The latest tale from the campaign trail in the 2012 presidential election is a photo op Republican running mate Paul Ryan and his family staged over the weekend at a soup kitchen in Portsmouth, Ohio.
According to the New York Times:
Mr. Ryan stopped with his wife and children at a nearby soup kitchen.
The family put on aprons and washed several large pans, though they did
not appear to need washing, according to a pool reporter. There also was
no one to serve at the soup kitchen, as breakfast had ended.
And now Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, has spoken with the Washington Post about the event.
“We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the
majority of our funding is from private donations. 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,” says Antal.
He adds, “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.”
UPDATE: TMZ has spoken with Antal, who says that some volunteers did leave some dirty dishes in the sink for Ryan and his family. When asked if the Ryan camp orchestrated the dish-washing event, Antal says, “No comment.”
And there is CBS News video of the soup kitchen visit, where Ryan washes a pan and has a brief interaction with one of the clients of the kitchen.