The Romney campaign decided to take advantage of what they thought would be a good photo op for VP candidate Paul Ryan to appear helpful and caring when he was a soup kitchen in Youngstown, Ohio.
But the head of the charity didn’t exactly want the Romney campaign at the soup kitchen, nor did she want Ryan’s “help” when it came to washing her “dirty” dishes.
[Take a look at the photos here]
When the VP candidate left, the boss of the charity vented to the media.
Felicia Sonmez told the Washington Post the Romney campaign “ramrodded their way” into the Ohio soup kitchen just so Ryan could have a picture of himself washing some dishes.
Continue Reading Below
Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, explained that the Romney campaign did not call him and ask if they could stop by the soup kitchen after a town hall visit on Saturday morning at Youngstown State University.
“We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations,” Antal said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “It’s strictly in our bylaws not to do it. They showed up there, and they did not have permission. They got one of the volunteers to open up the doors.”
He added: “The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”
When Ryan, his wife Janna and their three young children entered the soup kitchen, they thanked several of the volunteers for giving their time at the soup kitchen.
The Ryans then suited up in white aprons and offered to help clean some of the dishes. Naturally, hordes of photographers were there to capture the moment, and TV cameras also shot footage of the family washing the dishes that didn’t even seem to be dirty.
Ryan told his children that he once washed dishes for a summer, and the water used to be so hot that his hands became calloused.
The Romney campaigned confirmed that Ryan did actually wash dishes for a summer, even though it would be hard to tell from the footage that was shot at the Ohio soup kitchen.