When General Motors announced in 2008 that it would shut down its assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, local Representative Paul Ryan leaped into action.
The Republican met with company executives to try to change their minds. He lobbied the Obama administration for federal retraining and economic-development funds.
He even broke with his party -- and his future presidential running mate Mitt Romney -- to vote in Congress for a $15 billion federal bailout for GM and Chrysler as they teetered on the edge of insolvency.
Criticized by President Barack Obama this week as the "ideological leader" of cost-slashing Republicans in Congress, Ryan has veered from his budget-hawk stance at crucial times.
Along with the auto bailout vote, Ryan voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $700 billion bank bailout that is anathema to Tea Party conservatives. He opposed Obama's 2009 stimulus effort, but his office sought to secure funding once it was signed into law.