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Ryan's children weekend buddies for VP hopeful

Associated Press Published: November 5, 2012

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Liza likes to wear smart clothes and wave to the strangers. Charlie is "the shy one." Sam mugs for cameras every chance he can. All of this would be unremarkable behavior for a trio no older than 10 if their father, Paul Ryan, weren't running for vice president.

A regular presence on their father's campaign in its last days, the trio of tikes fires T-shirts into the crowd from slingshots and seems to enjoy the shift from small town Janesville, Wis., to motorcades across the country. They joined their parents here on Sunday to tailgate before the Green Bay Packers' game and tossed beanbags with their father — while hundreds craned for a peek at the potential second family of the United States.

They're getting quite accustomed to the attention. Even when they went trick or treating last week, national journalists came with them.

"You need two hands to hold your candy bag," Ryan explained to reporters who asked him why he was carrying a scythe.

He then chased after his children through the same neighborhood where he once went door to door for candy. Secret Service and aides, of course, were not far behind.

Candidates' children are often featured on the political campaigns, although seldom are they as young as Liza, Charlie and Sam Ryan. Romney's five sons are surrogates for their father and Vice President Joe Biden's son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, often appears for the Democrats.

The Ryan children haven't taken public roles, of course, but they are a familiar site at Ryan's side, especially on weekends. And there is a softer tone to Ryan's remarks when his children are a few feet away in the audience.

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