MOORESVILLE, N.C. — It’s one thing when a crowd starts cheering your name.
It’s another when your typically-reserved White House running mate joins in.
“Yeah — Paul! Paul! Paul!” Mitt Romney chanted Sunday morning along with an overflow crowd of more than 3,000 people who had gathered outside the NASCAR Technical Institute here to meet him and his newly-anointed running mate, Paul Ryan. “Paul! Paul! Paul! Let’s cheer for Paul!”
The crowd had interjected to show its love for Ryan just as Romney was praising the Wisconsin congressman’s “extraordinary character” in impromptu remarks outside the venue where an additional 1,700 supporters had heard the duo speak.
Ryan handled the moment in stride — just as he has done amid similar shows of unbridled enthusiasm from supporters in the 28 hours since he was formally introduced as Romney’s running mate.
Whether it’s been backers in Ashland, Va., stomping their feet on the ground in support, or cheering crowds of more than 7,000 such as the one in Manassas late Saturday, Ryan has appeared energetic but composed as he interacts with supporters from the stage.
At one point as he paced the stage here Sunday morning and delivered remarks without a teleprompter, a woman in the crowd yelled out to him, “We love you, Paul!”
Ryan smiled and gave a thumbs up.
At another point, Ryan pumped his fist in the air -- but even then, he was taking his cue from Romney, who threw his own fist up as the crowd interrupted his speech speech to chant “USA! USA!”
In fact, if there’s anyone who seems to have gotten swept away by all the excitement, it has been the Romneys.
It was Romney who now-famously stumbled when introducing Ryan on Saturday morning, calling him “the next president of the United States.”
And at Sunday’s event, Ann Romney enthusiastically took to the stage along with Ryan’s wife and rallied the crowd, telling them, “We’re not gonna take it anymore! We’re gonna take back the White House!”
Ryan’s wife, Janna, by contrast, opted not to speak; as Mitt Romney offered her the microphone, she politely declined.