Now that the buzz over the party conventions is starting to die down and the candidates have gone their separate ways onto the campaign trails, it seems as though the media has reverted back to the horse-race style campaign coverage we see each season.
With the last week’s attacks on U.S. embassies overseas and the resulting reactions from the White House, as well as this week’s video leak from a Mitt Romney fundraiser and the Romney campaign’s subsequent “image re-launch,” there has been a lot of back and forth regarding our two presidential candidates.
However, due to all the hype over Obama and Romney, there seems to be one element of the campaign that has faded into the background: Vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan. The handsome, young congressman from Wisconsin that excited so many republicans and stole media headlines for weeks has seemingly disappeared from the mainstream news in the recent days.
So, what has Congressman Ryan been up to this past week and what has his message been? Not surprisingly, Paul Ryan has spent much of this past week on the campaign trail. With stops in New Hampshire on Tuesday and Virginia on Wednesday, the vice-presidential hopeful has been courting voters in the swing states. Although Ryan has made few comments directly addressing Mitt Romney’s “47% statement” from the fundraiser video, damage control for his running mate seems to have been a top objective.
At a New Hampshire town hall event a day after the video was leaked Ryan offered no apologies for Mitt Romney’s self-proclaimed “inelegantly stated” words, but rather drove home his belief that the free-market approach has done more to “uplift people out of lives of dependency” than any government program.
“We’re worried about more and more people becoming dependent on the government than upon themselves, because by promoting more dependence, by not having jobs and economic events, people miss their potential,” Ryan said to voters.
At a campaign rally at a Danville, Va. factory, Ryan spoke to supporters about self-reliance versus redistribution.
“President Obama said that he believes in redistribution. Mitt Romney and I are not running to redistribute the wealth. Mitt Romney and I are running to help Americans create wealth. Efforts that promote hard work and personal responsibility over government dependency are what have made this economy the envy of the world,” he said at the rally.”
Only time will tell if Ryan’s efforts to blunt criticism of his running mate will pay off. Given Thursday’s Gallup poll results, which show the two tickets split at 47%, perhaps it is. Regardless, once the hype around Mitt Romney begins to die down in the coming days, it will be interesting to see if Paul Ryan makes a resurgence back into the mainstream media.