Paul Ryan offered a throwback to the 2008 election in a Tuesday speech in Pennsylvania, citing two lines of attack against President Obama that originated in the John McCain era.
“Remember back in 2008?” Ryan said. “Remember the guy ‘Joe the Plumber? Remember when he said we want to spread the wealth around?”
Ryan cited Obama’s remarks to Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, whom the McCain campaign raised to prominence in the final weeks of the election, as proof that Obama believes that “the economy is some fixed pie” and can’t be grown, only divided up.
“Remember this other time where he was caught on video saying people like to cling to their guns and religion?” Ryan said. “Hey, I’m a Catholic deer hunter. I am happy to be clinging to my guns and my religion.”
He was referring to an incident at an off-record fundraiser in 2008 when Obama was recorded by a blogger saying that because of job losses in the Midwest, “it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
According to Ryan, those instances were significant because “every now and then President Obama sort of drops his veil, he’s less coy about his philosophy, he sort of reveals his true governing philosophy.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.