Paul Ryan’s first solo campaign trip since he was chosen as Mitt Romney’s running mate felt a little bit like he was being thrown into the deep end of the pool. His speech at the Iowa State fair on Monday put him in front of an audience known for its hecklers, according to POLITICO.
The vice presidential candidate spoke from the same state where last year Mr. Romney made his infamous statement that “corporations are people.” The heckling began almost as soon as Mr. Ryan opened his mouth to speak. A small group of protesters attempted to drown out his words by yelling over him. Then a couple of women charged the stage, in the process climbing over reporters who were crouched in front of the stage for the Republican’s remarks
Mr. Ryan recovered fairly quickly after two women tried to rush the stage and were taken away by state police.
“You know what? It’s funny. It’s funny because Iowans and Wisconsinites, we like to be respectful of one another and peaceful with one another and listen to one another. These ladies must not be from Iowa and Wisconsin,” he said.
Reporters heard a campaign staffer tell local police that one of the protesters “just punched one of our volunteers,” and advising the officer to “go, go, go get her.”
Throughout the rest of Mr. Ryan’s speech, hecklers continued to shout over him and another man was removed by Iowa State Patrol officers. Despite the numerous interruptions, the vice presidential candidate managed to stay on message.
“My guess … is, the reason President Obama isn’t making it here from Council Bluffs is because he only knows left turns,” Mr. Ryan said, getting a few laughs from the crowd. “You know, but as you see the president come through on his bus tour, you might ask him the same question that I’m getting asked by people all around America, and that is: ‘Where are the jobs, Mr. President?’”
He devoted much of his speech to attacking the president and his economic policies.
“We ought to stop spending money we don’t have. President Obama has given us four years of trillion-dollar plus deficits. He’s making matters worse and he’s spending our children into a diminished future,” Mr. Ryan said.
He then pivoted to highlight Mr. Romney’s business background.
“One of the great things about Mitt Romney is that this is a man who actually knows how to create jobs. This is a man in his life who has created jobs started small business, turned around failing businesses,” he said. “That’s the kind of leadership and experience we want to have in the White House. This is a man who has real-life experiences, who knows that if you have a small business you did build that small business.”
Mr. Ryan was joined at the fairgrounds by several major Iowa Republicans, including Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Steve King. All had positive things to say about the Wisconsin Republican.
“Wisconsin values and Iowa values mesh pretty well together,” Mr. King said to a reporter. “One of the things I say about Paul is he’s a blue-collar guy.”