By Meghashyam Mali - 08/29/12 10:58 AM EDT
Democrats unveiled a new Web video on Wednesday hammering Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) ahead of his speech to the Republican National Convention, painting Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick as “out of step.”
The video, designed to look like vintage newsreel footage from the 1930s, asks, “Who is Paul Ryan?
“Mr. Ryan is new to the national scene with out-of-step views from a bygone era,” a faux news announcer says. “He is known as the author of the extreme GOP budget, the 'Path to Prosperity,' one that many say hurts the middle class.”
“What’s perhaps most important for the American public to understand are Paul Ryan’s views toward women,” the ad continues, hitting Ryan for “sponsoring anti-abortion legislation that used the term 'forcible rape' ” and for moving to cut funding for Planned Parenthood.
“President Obama will continue to move the country forward toward an economy built to last with a strong middle class, but Paul Ryan has made it clear that he’ll take the nation back to a very different era — including the same failed policies that crashed our economy in the first place,” said the Obama campaign in a statement announcing the Web ad. “That’s the clear choice Americans face in this election.”
Ryan will address the GOP convention in Tampa on Wednesday evening.
The Romney campaign said the ad was an attempt to distract voters from the president’s economic record.
“President Obama has not helped the middle class over the last three and a half years, and now all he has to offer are tired and misleading attacks in an attempt to divert attention away from his failed record,” said Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck in a statement to The Hill. “Americans deserve better from their president. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have real solutions to our nation’s problems. They have offered common-sense reforms to strengthen Medicare for current and future retirees and their Plan for a Stronger Middle Class will create 12 million jobs and bring relief to the struggling middle class.”
Ryan’s proposals on Medicare would shift the program to a subsidized private insurance model for those under 55, but Democrats say the plan would stick seniors with higher out-of-pocket health costs.
On Tuesday, Democrats took out a full-page ad in the Tampa Tribune linking Romney and Ryan to Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), whose controversial statements on “legitimate rape” and pregnancy sparked a firestorm of criticism.
Ryan co-sponsored anti-abortion-rights legislation with Akin in the House, but has condemned the Missouri Senate candidate’s comments and asked him to stand down from his bid to unseat incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).
This story was updated at 8:35 a.m. to include a response from the Romney campaign.