News & Politics

Paul Ryan Nicknames Romney 'The Stench' in Believable Parody

Is Paul Ryan already trying to distance himself from the toxic Romney brand?

Photo Credit: A.M. Stan

Note: Poe's law strikes again. AlterNet was taken in by the Politico report referenced below, though it has now been confirmed that the column is a parody. But not a very good one--Roger Simon is not very funny. Paul Krugman, Mediaite, Steve Benen of the Rachel Maddow blog and Raw Story also apparently took the story seriously.

The fact that Romney is running such an awful campaign and that Ryan is really childish made the piece believeable.

When conservative pundits and elected officials pushed the Romney campaign to unleash Paul Ryan, this was probably not what they were looking for: Ryan deriding his running mate and referring to him as “Stench.”

An unconfirmed Politico column by Roger Simon reports that Ryan has been “marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, ‘If Stench calls, take a message’ and ‘Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan [the Wall Street Journal columnist] and will text him later.’”

The apparent nickname for Romney was prompted by a New York Times article that quoted the former political director of Iowa’s GOP, who said: “I hate to say this, but if Ryan wants to run for national office again, he’ll probably have to wash the stench of Romney off of him.”

Ryan also gave a PowerPoint presentation on debt and government spending at a Florida town hall meeting. As Simon notes, PowerPoints aren’t the most exciting thing in the world. The Romney campaign was “reportedly furious” at Ryan for the PowerPoint antics.

The first hint of Ryan “going rogue,” if you will, occurred at last Friday’s rally in front of the AARP in New Orleans, the nation’s premier lobbying group for seniors. Ryan was supposed to stick to “the script.” But when Ryan started talking about repealing Obama’s health care overhaul, the crowd booed him lustily. Simon reports that “that was the end of Ryan following the game plan.”

Responding to the Politico report, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman quipped, “I like how Ryan is declaring independence: by using PowerPoint! I’ll bet [Ryan’s] not a Charlie Stross reader; if he were, he’d know about the scene inThe Jennifer Morgue involving a PowerPoint presentation that turns anyone who watches it into a murderous zombie.”


Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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