Update: Turns out that Poltiico’s Roger Simon intended his Ryan’s going rogue story to be an Onion-style satire. However, a GOP operative in Iowa — the state where Ryan will launch his presidential bid in three years — did say that Ryan would have to “wash the stench of Romney off of him.” Ryan really was booed at the AARP convention last week, and he really has begun using Romney-esque Powerpoint presentations on the federal budget during campaign events. But everything else in the Politico story was meant to be a joke.
With nothing but bad news coming from the polls in the wake of the release of a secretly recorded video in which Mitt Romney’s asserted that 47 percent of Americans are hopeless, self-victimizing wards of the state for whom, as president, he would bear no responsibility, it now appears that, like the previous teavangelical Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Romney’s running mate Rep. Paul Ryan is goin’ rogue.
-The Stench’s running mate, Paul Ryan
In the New York Times earlier this week, an Iowa Republican operative said, “I hate to say this, but if Ryan wants to run for national office again, he’ll probably have to wash the stench of Romney off of him.”
Now, according to Roger Simon at right-leaning Politico.com, Ryan has begun referring to Mitt Romney as “The Stench”:
Though Ryan had already decided to distance himself from the floundering Romney campaign, he now feels totally uninhibited. Reportedly, he has been marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, “If Stench calls, take a message” and “Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.”
Even before the stench article appeared, there was a strong sign that Ryan was freeing himself from the grips of the Romney campaign. It began after his disastrous appearance on Friday before AARP in New Orleans. Ryan delivered his remarks in the style dictated by his Romney handlers: Stand behind the lectern, read the speech as written and don’t stray from the script.
Ryan brought his 78-year-old mother with him and introduced her to the audience, which is usually a sure crowd pleaser.
But when Ryan began talking about repealing “Obamacare” because he said it would harm seniors, one woman in the crowd shouted, “Lie!” Another shouted “Liar!” and the crowd booed Ryan lustily.
Who boos a guy in front of his 78-year-old mother? Other 78-year-old mothers.
That was Friday, and that was the end of Ryan following the game plan.
Oddly, one way in which Ryan decided to go rogue was to give a Romney-esque Powerpoint presentation at a campaign event:
Ryan’s PowerPoint slides were officially labeled: “Our Unsustainable Debt (U.S. Debt Held by Public as a Share of Economy),” “Your Share of the Debt,” “Who Funds Our Reckless Spending?” and “How the Government Spends Your Money.”
The Romney campaign was furious. But Ryan reportedly said, “Let Ryan be Ryan and let the Stench be the Stench.”