Paul Ryan and his team “ramrodded their way” into the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society’s soup kitchen last week, president Brian J. Antal told The Washington Post.
“The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate,” Antal said. “He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”
Ryan stayed at the soup kitchen for about 15 minutes on his way back to the airport after his town hall in Youngstown Saturday morning. But by the time he, his wife, and three children arrived, the food had already been served and the hall had been cleaned. Antal said Ryan and his team did not have permission for the photo-op from his organization.
A Romney aide said a staffer was sent to the De Paul Society before Ryan’s visit and spoke with a woman in charge. The woman said it was fine for the congressman to stop in, but the campaign did not contact Antal before the visit.
Antal, who describes himself as an independent, said he can’t fault his volunteers for letting Ryan in, but the campaign “didn’t go through the proper channels.” He said the soup kitchen relies on private funding and its supporters might change their minds if it looks the organization is favoring one candidate or part over another.
“I can’t afford to lose funding from these private individuals,” Antal said. “If this was the Democrats, I’d have the same exact problem.”
Several media outlets have criticized the Ryan photo-op, as it shows him washing already clean dishes. The Ryan campaign has been called “out of touch” by some, while others have defended the Wisconsin congressman. With just 20 days left until the election, the Romney/Ryan is making one last push to win over voters, but this latest effort has, so far, backfired.
Do you think Paul Ryan can come back from the fallout of his photo-op?