Presumptive Republican candidate for Vice President, Paul Ryan, encountered a group of violent protesters during his speech Monday at the Iowa State Fair. Ryan was speaking to an enthusiastic crowd of about 3,000 supporters when a handful of demonstrators began interrupting, screaming that the Democratic party line that Ryan was going to destroy Medicare and start “a war on the poor.”
According to reports from the scene, several protesters tried to force their way onto the stage from which Rep. Ryan was speaking. They struggled with police and had to be physically removed from the stage. Other reports indicated that one female Ryan supporter was punched in the face by a protester, and State Senator Joni Ernst, R-Red Oak, was pushed to the ground.
Mr. Ryan gave a 12 minute long speech, outlining the Romney-Ryan plan to get the struggling American economy back on its feet. As he spoke, he was routinely heckled, and State Police were forced to enter the crowd on several occasions to stop the protester’s violent behavior.
Ryan took it all in stride, handling the hecklers with calm assurance. He commented on their behavior, saying, “It’s funny because Iowans and Wisconsinites, we like to be respectful of one another and peaceful with one another and listen to each other.”
The Congressman outlined his plan to create 12 million new jobs and to help the middle class bounce back from unemployment and declining incomes. He blamed Obama, who he said “has given the country four years of trillion-dollar plus deficits.” Ryan added, “We don’t have to stand for that. We’re not going to stand for that. And on Nov. 6, we’re going to change that.”
He also criticized Obama for his recent directive on welfare, accusing the President of stripping away the reforms that had been signed into law by Obama’s fellow Democrat Bill Clinton in 1996. Obama instructed The Department and Health and Human Services to issue waivers for the work requirement of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Critics say this essentially guts welfare reforms, and they point out that elimination of the work requirement was specifically forbidden in the original legislation.
Mitt Romney, Ryan’s running mate, was quite outspoken on this issue, saying:
“President Obama now wants to strip the established work requirements from welfare. The success of bipartisan welfare reform, passed under President Clinton, has rested on the obligation of work. The president’s action is completely misdirected. Work is a dignified endeavor, and the linkage of work and welfare is essential to prevent welfare from becoming a way of life.”
Now that the campaign appears to have begun in earnest, it will be interesting to see if the Republican candidates are plagued with an ever growing number of violent protesters and hecklers trying to shout down Romney and Ryan. Will the candidates be allowed to engage in a civil discussion of the important issues facing America or will they be subjected to a campaign based on slander and false accusations?
We have already seen how far the Democrats are willing to go, with commercials falsely accusing Romney of causing a woman’s death from cancer. We have already heard Robert Gibbs tell outright lies about Ryan’s Medicare reform plans when Gibb’s claimed his own 83-year-old, cancer stricken father would lose his medicare coverage if Ryan gets elected even though Ryan’s proposed reforms apply to those under 55 and no one currently on Medicare will be affected.
Neither party has even held their convention, and, already, the 2012 Presidential election is looking more like a down and dirty street fight than a serious discussion of the issues facing our bankrupt nation. Hopefully, the candidates’ debates will allow the voters to hear what each candidate will do to improve our lives and get Americans back to work. So far, every indication is that Mr.Obama is unwilling to run on his actual record, and he is happy to send his hatchet men out besmirch the reputations of Romney and Ryan. Welcome to politics, Chicago style; farewell Hope and Change.