Press Helps Obama Campaign Commit Gaffe Over Woman's Question of Ryan in Iowa

I originally thought that the story of Linda Morrison which will follow after the jump would be all about the Obama campaign completely misreading the situation surrounding a question asked of GOP vice-presidential nominee at a Clinton County, Iowa town hall forum. It turns out that it's actually biased reports from their good friends in the establishment press which led the overeager campaign to do something embarrassing.

Here's how Shushannah Walshe at ABC News described the question Ryan was asked and the answer he gave (bolds are mine throughout this post):


Paul Ryan Gets Asked for More Specifics, But This Time by a Voter

It was a homecoming of sorts for Paul Ryan's family here, but it didn't stop some tough questions from Iowa voters who are used to grilling their candidates before casting their ballots. At his town hall here, the GOP vice presidential candidate was called out for more specifics from a voter.

"My question is, you know we keep talking about China and jobs and then we talk about the unemployment," the woman wearing a Green Bay Packers sweatshirt said. "But, where are the answers? I mean, why aren't you more specific? I heard you, was it Sunday when you were on Fox, and you didn't answer his question about how we're going to … you know, what are your plans?"

Ryan launched into Mitt Romney's five-point plan focusing on energy, education, trade, and their tax plan. The tax plan, which Chris Wallace asked Ryan about on "Fox News Sunday" that the voter referred to, was mentioned last, but he again did not get into what loopholes the plan would close or what deductions they would eliminate in order to get to the 20 percent tax cut his ticket has promised.

"The problem is, it just took me about five minutes to go into all of this with you and when you are on a 30-second TV show, you can't do it as much," Ryan said.

He argued that his plan does have specifics, but did not get into those details of how they are able to get to that 20 percent figure.

Well, the woman didn't ask about what "loopholes" would be closed.

The Obama campaign took the report from ABC and several others as a signal that they could pounce on Ryan for failing to adequately answer the woman's question:

“Ryan can’t attend his own campaign rallies without being called out for failing to provide specifics about what Mitt Romney would do if elected.”

Except for one thing -- the woman who asked the question, Linda Morrison, later sent a message to the local Quad Cities Times emphasizing that she thought Ryan gave her a great answer, and that she "was not calling Ryan out" (HT Hot Air):

I am the woman in the Green Bay Packer jacket at Rep. Paul Ryan’s rally in Clinton who asked him the question about specific plans to fix our economy. Needless to say, I was quite shocked to learn the Obama campaign seized my question, putting out the statement “Even Ryan can’t attend his own rally without being called out.”

I was not calling Ryan out. I had the opportunity to ask a direct question to Paul Ryan and what I got was a complete direct answer with no spin.

Even though 600 other people were attending, I felt Mr Ryan was talking directly to me. I thanked him after the event for answering my question. I left the event feeling satisfied and confident that the Romney/Ryan plan is what our country needs.

Today I am outraged that my question is being misrepresented and used as a political tool against the Romney/Ryan campaign by both media and the Obama camp. The question I asked is what we the citizens want to know: How is the Romney/Ryan plan going to tackle this economy? Paul Ryan answered it with precise clarity.

My next question is to President Barack Obama. What is your specific plan to fix the economy you said you would fix 4 years ago?

Ouch.

If anyone is aware of the Obama campaign's response to Ms. Morrison's question, let me know. I doubt there has been one.

As one would expect, the press coverage of Ms. Morrison's statement has been extraordinarily light, as seen in this Google News search on ["Linda Morrison" "Paul Ryan:] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets), which returned only about two dozen results.

This is the kind of gaffe you just know the press would virtually crucify a Republican campaign for committing. But because President Obama's campaign committed it, that hasn't happened. And it almost definitely won't.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.