(WASHINGTON) — Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan received a warm welcome from his GOP colleagues when he made his first return to the Capitol since Mitt Romney chose him as his running mate last month.
After arriving at the Capitol, Ryan spent about an hour meeting with House Republicans in Speaker John Boehner’s office suite. Lawmakers attending the meeting said Ryan stood in the room, greeting colleagues excited to meet with their now-famous friend.
Ryan, R-Wis., emerged from the speaker’s office with House Speaker John Boehner, and walked through Statuary Hall.
“It feels great to be back,” Ryan said walking next to Boehner. “It’s great to be here.”
Asked what he told his Republican friends during the meeting, Ryan answered, “I miss them.”
The duo moved across Statuary Hall amid a giant scrum of reporters and photographers. Once he entered the House chamber, Ryan was greeted with cheers and applause.
Ryan returned to the Capitol to vote on a continuing resolution, which the House passed Thursday, and a bill to replace the “defense sequester” — half a trillion dollars of defense cuts set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2013.
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy told reporters that Ryan’s presence would be felt, and Republicans have the votes to pass both bills.
“Chairman Ryan, people look to his votes no matter what is on the board because of his intellect and they know he studies policy,” McCarthy, R-Calif., said. “The CR is going to pass.”
Rep. Cory Gardner, a freshman from Colorado, told ABC News that Ryan told them he and Mitt Romney intend to win this fall.
Another GOP freshman, Rep. Bobby Schilling, said he told Ryan “I was proud of him” and said “it was pretty cool that he was the pick.”
“It’s kind of humbling to have him come back, say hi to us, but it’s very exciting to see one of our colleagues as the VP candidate,” Schilling, R-Ill., said. ”I’m pretty excited because he can articulate very well, seniors, young folks, and I think he’s got a message and I don’t think that when it comes to him and Biden, I mean it’s going to be a clear, crisp difference.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ruth Brown, Idaho Press-Tribune
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Shelbie Harris, Idaho State Journal