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What Paul Ryan’s Faked Soup Kitchen Photo Op Says About Romney Campaign

by David Badash on October 16, 2012

in News,Politics

Post image for What Paul Ryan’s Faked Soup Kitchen Photo Op Says About Romney Campaign

Paul Ryan on Saturday morning, uninvited, walked into a Youngstown, Ohio soup kitchen with his wife, children, and a camera crew, and fake-washed already clean dishes, all so the Romney/Ryan campaign could get a good photo op.

There’s no question about any of this. The video, below, shows Paul Ryan, standing in front of the empty dish washing sink, where there clearly are no dirty dishes, and telling his children how they’re going to fake it for the cameras. “I’m going to water them — I’m going to get them wet,” he says, as he ties their aprons.



So, it’s a political campaign photo op. What’s the big deal?

Consider this:

Paul Ryan didn’t ask the soup kitchen for their permission, and now the head of the soup kitchen, Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, which is strictly non-partisan, is now worried about losing funding.

Here’s how the Washington Post describes the issue:

“We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations,” Antal said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “It’s strictly in our bylaws not to do it. They showed up there, and they did not have permission. They got one of the volunteers to open up the doors.”

He added: “The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.” Antal later told NBC News that Ryan had cleaned some dirty dishes.

Ryan had stopped by the soup kitchen for about 15 minutes on his way to the airport after his Saturday morning town hall in Youngstown. By the time he arrived, the food had already been served, the patrons had left, and the hall had been cleaned.

Upon entering the soup kitchen, Ryan, his wife and three young children greeted and thanked several volunteers, then donned white aprons and offered to clean some dishes. Photographers snapped photos and TV cameras shot footage of Ryan and his family washing pots and pans that did not appear to be dirty.

This is how the Romney/Ryan campaign treats poor people, those desperately in need, those whom they cannot for one moment consider — except as talking points and photo ops.

And what did Paul Ryan teach his children?

It’s OK to lie. It’s OK to “ramrod your way” — to quote Brian J. Antal — into a charity, a place created to help the poor, and use their plight as a photo op that’s not even real.

Can you imagine the headlines at Breitbart and Drudge, the sludge coming from Michelle Malkin’s mouth, and the vitriol from the rest of the rabid right, if President Obama pulled a stunt like this?

Paul Ryan’s photo op was a lie, just as the Romney/Ryan policies are.

Today, also in the Washington Post, Greg Sargent reports:

Romney’s claim that he will create 12 million jobs is central to his candidacy’s entire argument. It is the whole basis for Romney’s positioning of himself as the alternative to the unacceptable status quo — high (though falling) unemployment, and a too slugginh recovery — under Obama. The question of which candidate’s plans would actually fix the economic crisis is what this whole presidential campaign is supposed to be all about. And we’ve now learned that the studies the Romney campaign itself cites to back up the claim that his plan would create 12 million jobs don’t do anything of the kind. [Bolding ours]

At the Republican National Convention, we were told story after story about how Mitt Romney cares for the poor, the sick, the dying. Yet his policies will harm those people the most.

At the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney used the names of people he says he met (ok, we’ll buy it) to plead his case to the American public.

Last week, the mother of Glen Doherty asked Mitt Romney to stop using his so-called “relationship” with her son for political purposes against President Obama. Doherty was a Navy SEAL who was one of the SEAL Team Six members who killed Osama bin Laden. He later was killed in last month’s tragic September 11 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

“I met some remarkable people, one of whom was a former Navy SEAL,” Mitt Romney had been telling supporters as part of his new stump speech focusing on foreign policy. “I just learned a few days ago that he was one of the two former navy seals killed in Benghazi. It broke my heart.”

Not according to Doherty’s friend, whom says Romney approached Doherty four times in the space of about a half hour trying to get his endorsement.

Glen Doherty is not the only dead person Romney has been using for political purposes against their families’ will. The father of Ambassador Christopher Stevens also asked Romney to stop using his son’s death.

“It would really be abhorrent to make this into a campaign issue,” Stevens told BusinessWeek as he prepared for his son’s funeral.

The faked photo op of Paul Ryan, where he lied to the American people, taught his kids how to lie, and all but literally stepped on the backs of the poor to advance his own interests, tied to the lie that is “central to [Romney's] candidacy’s entire argument,” along with the politicization — against their will — of those who died serving their country, our country, is what we’ve learned today.

And it’s disgusting.

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