GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan on Tuesday criticized the replacement referees who made a disputed call that caused the Green Bay Packers to lose the Monday Night Football game.
“You guys watch that Packer game last night?” Ryan said at his Cincinnati, Ohio, town-hall meeting. “I mean give me a break. It’s time to get the real refs, and it reminds me of President Obama and the economy. If you can't, if you can't get it right, it's time to get out.”
Later, Ryan again referenced the game while encouraging voters to turn out in large numbers for him and GOP nominee Mitt Romney. "Unlike the Seattle Seahawks last night, we want to deserve this victory… because we want a mandate to fix Washington and get this debt under control," Ryan said.
Romney's presidential campaign said the Wisconsin lawmaker watched his favorite team lose to the Seattle Seahawks as replacement refs decided Seattle had completed a Hail Mary touchdown pass on the last play of the game.
The refs ruled Packer safety M.D. Jennings had not intercepted the pass when he and Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate both came down with the ball. Replays appeared to show that Jennings had initial possession of the ball, but both men had their hands on it in the endzone. The replacement refs watched the ruling and determined it was a touchdown.
Ten minutes later, they brought players back onto the field so that Seattle could kick the extra point and win 14-12.
The game capped a brutal weekend for the NFL's replacement refs, who have come under heavy criticism from fans, coaches and players.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), a friend of Ryan's, called for the NFL to bring back the real refs in a message on Twitter after the game.
Ryan is a Wisconsin congressman and a Green Bay Packers fan. The Romney campaign has joked that it has to give Ryan breaks to watch the games, even as his campaign team prepares him to face Vice President Biden in a vice presidential debate Oct. 11.
The National Football League's lockout of the NFL Referees Association has led to the use of the replacement refs.
— This story was originally posted at 10:07 a.m. and updated at 12:38 a.m