By Amie Parnes - 08/11/12 05:36 PM EDT
Vice President Biden called Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Saturday to congratulate him on being selected as Mitt Romney's running mate and to "welcome him to the race," according to a statement from the Obama campaign.
Biden "urged Congressman Ryan to enjoy the day with his family, and said he looked forward to engaging him on the clear choice voters face this November," the statement said.
Biden is expected to visit North Carolina and Virginia.
Biden has had warm words for the seven-term GOP lawmaker before. In a speech in June, Biden called Ryan a “a bright, handsome guy from the state of Wisconsin. He's a fine guy.” But Biden was quick to add, “I I think his ideas are not nearly as fine as he is a man.”
Biden has been a tough critic of Ryan’s budget plan, which would cut $5 trillion in spending and turn Medicare into a subsidized private-insurance model. Democrats hope to make it a central issue in the election.