Ryan revives Obama gaffe, says he’s 'happy to be clinging to guns, religion'

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) began resurrecting some of President Obama's most famous gaffes on the campaign trail Tuesday, reminding a crowd assembled at a Pennsylvania steel plant of the president's remark four years ago that some voters are "clinging to their guns and religion."

"Remember this other time when he said people want to cling to their guns and religion?" Ryan said. "Hey, I'm a Catholic deer hunter, I'm happy to be clinging to my guns and religion."

Ryan has repeatedly cited his Catholic faith while campaigning in swing states in recent days.


The Republican vice-presidential nominee also mentioned other famous moments from the 2008 campaign as he rallied supporters, telling them that occasionally the president's "true" beliefs come out.

"Remember the guy 'Joe the Plumber?' Remember when [Obama] said he wanted to spread the wealth around?" Ryan said to cheers.

The Obama campaign said Ryan was seeking to distract voters from the effects of Republican economic policies. 

“In Pennsylvania today, Paul Ryan chose to launch recycled attacks rather than debate the devastating impact that the Romney-Ryan agenda would have on middle class families,” said Obama spokesman Danny Kanner in a statement. 

“But that makes sense — their plan includes middle class tax increases, turning Medicare into a voucher program, and slashing critical investments in education, all to pay for massive tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires,” he said. “It’s an agenda Romney’s own advisers have said would be suicidal for their campaign to discuss, which is why Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have completely abandoned the ‘substantive’ campaign they promised to run.”

Ryan mostly stuck to his regular stump speech aside from mentions of the 2008 campaign stories, knocking the president on energy policy and Medicare.

"Medicare should be there for Medicare, not 'ObamaCare,' " Ryan said.

Ryan has a second campaign stop in the Keystone State on Tuesday. Aides say that there, Ryan is expected to hit President Obama over $500 billion in impending sequestration defense cuts that will take effect beginning in January.

The president has been working to combat Republican messaging on the issue, taping a series of interviews with swing-state local television news channels this week on the topic.