This is an AP photo of Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan (his wife Janna is in the background) washing a clean pot at a soup kitchen for a photo op, after the campaign barged their way into the faith-based but apolitical non-profit, risking their donation stream. Sounds about right.
Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, said that he was not contacted by the Romney campaign ahead of the Saturday morning visit by Ryan, who stopped by the soup kitchen after a town hall at Youngstown State University.Antal said Ryan's impromptu visit, which, according to the Romney campaign, "had been intended to highlight the work of the soup kitchen volunteers," had caused him "all kinds of grief."
"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."
...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.
...Antal, a self-described independent voter, said that he "can't fault my volunteers" for letting the campaign in but said that the campaign "didn't go through the proper channels."
He noted that the soup kitchen relies on funding from private individuals who might reconsider their support if it appears that the charity is favoring one political candidate over another.
"I can't afford to lose funding from these private individuals," he said.
Way to go, Team Romney.
I'm not sure I can think of a more perfect metaphor for their campaign: Breaking the rules to stage a total lie that purports to care about people in need but actually makes life harder for them.