GLEN ALLEN, VA (WWBT) - For most Virginians, Paul Ryan's introduction onto the national stage was the first time they ever heard of the Congressman from Wisconsin.
This week, our Ryan Nobles was granted an exclusive sit down with the man who wants to be the next Vice President of the United States.
Paul Ryan got his start in politics early. He went to Washington to work on Capitol Hill soon after graduating college.
"I have great experience in congress trying to get things done," he said.
Republicans, including his running mate Mitt Romney are often critical of too much time spent in Washington. Ryan is working to prove he is the exception.
"One of the reasons (Romney) picked me, among other things, is because I can help him get things done," Ryan said.
Among the many things Romney and Ryan plan to get done: reform Medicare. Their plan is something democrats have labeled a "voucher" system.
Ryan called the characterization of their plan as a voucher system "quite inaccurate".
"A voucher is you go to the mailbox and buy something," he said. "This is far from that."
Richmond Delegate Jennifer McLellan, a democrat argues that Ryan can call their reform plan what he wants, but it will still cost seniors more.
"His plan to privatize Medicare would raise senior health care cost and estimated $64 hundred," she said.
But as much as Ryan and Romney have worked to make their policies front and center, their personal lives continue to make headlines, specifically how much they pay in taxes. Ryan released his returns this week. Romney has only released two years of returns and said he has never paid lower than 13% of his yearly income.
That 13% figure was a number democrats attacked as being too low.
Paul told us Romney has paid what he was required to pay.
"There are different effective tax rates based on people who make different incomes," he said. "But if you look at all the studies, we still have a very progressive tax system."
McLellan thinks Romney needs to release as many tax returns as possible. She said the fact that he won't is indicative of the type of fiscal policies he promotes.
I think the overall Romney plan is for the economy is a top down approach where we give tax cuts to the wealthy and raises taxes on the middle class," she said.
Ryan and Romney counter that the average American cares little about tax returns. They believe President Obama has had four years with little success and it is time for a fresh start. According to Paul Ryan that is exactly what the republican ticket offers.
"I have the kind of experience that compliments his leadership skills and fix this mess that we have in Washington right now."
And part of the team Ryan hopes to include in the plans to fix Washington is local Congressman Eric Cantor.
Here what he has to say about Cantor and several other things in the uncut interview, which is on my political blog Decision Virginia.