NORFOLK, Virginia (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Saturday said he has selected Congressman Paul Ryan, 42, as his vice presidential running mate.

Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, announced that he has tapped the House of Representatives Budget Committee chairman at an event in front of the retired battleship USS Wisconsin - coincidentally named for Ryan's home state.

"His leadership begins with character and values. ... Paul Ryan works in Washington but his roots remain in Janesville, Wisconsin," Romney said before introducing Ryan.

The announcement marked the end a months-long search by Romney for a running mate to join him in facing Democratic President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the November 6 election.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Vicki Allen and Jackie Frank)