Ryan makes campaign stop at Iowa State Fair
Vice presidential presumptive nominee heading to Colorado Tuesday
MADISON, Wis. — Republican vice presidential presumptive nominee Paul Ryan got a mixed reception at a stop Monday at the Iowa State Fair, his first stop on his own since being named Mitt Romney’s running mate.
Ryan spoke on the “soapbox,” a political tradition at the Iowa State Fair where candidates are given up to 20 minutes to speak or take questions from the crowd.
A huge group gathered to hear Ryan’s speech, but just a few minutes into his remarks two women interrupted, tried to take the stage and were removed from the event.
“You know what? It’s funny because, Iowans and Wisconsinites, we like to be respectful of one another and peaceful with one another and listen to each other. These ladies must not be from Iowa or Wisconsin,” Ryan said after being interrupted.
Ryan continued, and told reporters later he was used to it.
“In Wisconsin we’ve been dealing with this sort of thing with these recall elections. There was an overwhelming crowd of support, and I love coming to the fair,” Ryan said.
Marquette University law professor Charles Franklin said Ryan’s polarizing effect on voters should be expected.
“One of the striking things Saturday was both Democrats and Republicans seemed delighted by the pick, and on the Democratic side that’s because they believe they have good arguments against him (Ryan). On the Republican side, it’s because they believe they have one of the articulate spokesman for their position,” Franklin said.
President Barack Obama was also in Iowa on Monday, touring a drought-stricken farm. Obama blamed Ryan as part of why a farm bill has yet to pass the U.S. House.
“If you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities,” Obama said. “Congressman Ryan is a good man, a family man, an articulate spokesman. The problem is, it’s the wrong vision for America.”
Ryan attacked Obama in his speech, saying he might have taken “too many left turns” to get to the state fair.
“President Obama has given us four years of trillion dollar deficits. He’s making matters worse, and he is spending our children into a diminished future,” Ryan said.
Ryan will go to Denver on Tuesday to speak at a high school.
He told “60 Minutes” that he’d be doing most of his campaigning away from Romney, saying that the campaign had been two against one and now it was a fair fight.
As far as the affect Ryan could have in the swing states he’s visiting, Franklin said his name recognition is below 50 percent but is growing and it will depend heavily on how Ryan is able to define himself or the Democrats define him in the coming days and weeks of the campaign.
Meanwhile, the president’s camp is firing back at Ryan.
David Axelrod, a senior political adviser to Obama, on “CBS This Morning” likened Romney’s selection of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate to John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin.
Axelrod said he recalls “that kind of excitement four years ago” when McCain presented Palin to the country as his choice for vice president. Axelrod said in Monday’s interview he thinks the selection of Ryan, who is popular with tea party figures — as Palin was — is “not going to be a plus for Mr. Romney.”
Axelrod said he likes Ryan personally, but he also is labeling the Wisconsin Republican “a certifiable right-wing ideologue.”
Obama’s adviser said Ryan is “a genial fellow, but his views are quite harsh,” and he said “these Republicans don’t like Medicare.”