Paul Ryan, Republican party pretend to help charities, help starving people
The Nation — As part of the Romney campaign’s current disingenuous pivot to the center, Republicans and their allies have been promoting private charity as a substitute for the social welfare programs they would savagely cut. In anticipation of just this moment, Mitt Romney donated considerably more to charity in 2011 than he does in a typical year, which was conveniently timed to be revealed in late September. (Although, as I pointed out, most of Romney’s giving has historically been to the Mormon Church, his alma maters and the George W. Bush presidential library, not directly to poor people.)
During the vice-presidential debate Paul Ryan pointed to Romney’s donations as evidence of Romney’s compassion. Other conservatives been doing the same for Ryan. For example, the Family Research Council noted in its vice-presidential Catholic voter guide that Ryan gave more to charity last year than Vice President Biden. (It made no mention of any substantive anti-poverty policy positions.)
But the Romney/Ryan campaign took its obsession with proving their personal charitable bona fides a little too far on Saturday. After Ryan held a townhall at Youngstown State University in Ohio, Ryan stopped by a soup kitchen, without permission from the charity that runs it, for about fifteen minutes on his way to the airport. Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, in an interview withThe Washington Post, said the Romney campaign did not contact him prior to their visit. Had they asked for permission to hold a photo op there, Antal tells the Post, he would have denied it because he runs a faith-based organization that avoids the appearance of engaging in partisan politics. But, says Antal, the Romney campaign “ramrodded their way” in. That’s because Ryan does not actually care about helping charities, only creating the appearance that he does.