Paul Ryan’s Vice Presidential campaign off to a tough start - hecklers in Iowa and policy criticism
Views on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid give pause to voters
Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, 42, had a rough public roll out on Monday when protesters heckled him at the Iowa State Fair.
The new Republican vice presidential hopeful from Wisconsin wore a red check shirt with rolled up sleeves to the event popular with politicians who are keen to show their common touch.
Ryan's billowing shirt looked a little large for his frame but he bantered with the fairgoers until his debut campaign speech was interrupted by demonstrators.
Hecklers who had placed themselves front and center of the pro-Ryan crowd started shouting 'Stop the war on the common good' and 'Stop the war on the poor' prompting Republicans to shout back and swear at them.
'Are you going to cut Medicare?' one woman shouted at him. Another woman rushed the small stage where Ryan was speaking until she was quickly carried away by three state troopers.
Ryan had hardly taken the stage before press reports announced that President Barack Obama had accused him of blocking emergency aid to drought-hit farmers. Ryan, he said, is 'one of the leaders of Congress standing in the way' of passing a farm bill that would provide relief from the drought hit state.
Mitt Romney's surprise pick has reportedly given his campaign a jolt of drama after several difficult gaffe filled weeks that included his criticisms of the British Olympic preparations and persistent questions about his personal finances and tax records.
Polls taken since Saturday demonstrated the smallest boost to a political campaign in decades, according to a Reuters/Ipsos online survey. Gallup called the public reaction to the Ryan pick 'among the least positive' that the polling group has recorded in recent elections.
According to the Christian Science Monitor 51 percent of those surveyed said the decision did not change their opinion of Romney. 26 percent said they viewed Romney more favorably after he added Ryan to the ticket, while 23 percent said they regarded him less favorably.
Ryan has long been a polarizing figure in Washington, where he has led an unprecedented push to cut domestic spending, lower taxes and scale back the size of the federal government as chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee.
On the same day president Obama visited the State Fair but did not face hecklers. Instead he shook hands with cheering bystanders and reportedly turned down a smoothie and cinnamon rolls in favor of a beer and pork chops.
During his Iowa tour president Obama announced an emergency purchase of up to $170 million of meat and fish to help locals farmers who are watching their crops wither under searing heat.
The reception and announcement stood in sharp contrast from Ryan, who made no mention of the farmers current difficulties due to the ongoing heatwave.
Meanwhile Vice President Joe Biden has already been criticizing his Republican counterpart for targeting Medicare spending in his budget plan.
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