For a year or so, House Budget Committee Chairman and possible 2016 presidential candidate Paul Ryan has been making trips to the inner city to help understand urban poverty and how the federal government can help fix it.
The trips have been kept mostly hush-hush, but in the wake of a recent controversy about remarks Ryan made about generational poverty, he allowed a reporter to tag along for the first time. That reporter? BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins.
The results are predictable. Ryan comes across as a deeply awkward millionaire paralyzed by political correctness as he struggles to identify with a black church congregation in Indianapolis, Indiana. In one particularly embarrassing moment, Ryan corrects himself from uttering similar language to that which got him in trouble, only to nervously search for something more appropriate and settle on a comically bland statement that the Romney campaign wanted to “try for everybody’s vote.”
Another painful anecdote is a joke Ryan told about how early he was meeting with the group at the church. “Usually when I get up this early, I get up to kill something,” Ryan said. He was referring to hunting, but no one in the audience understood him until he clarified it.
In the wake of Coppins’ piece on Donald Trump in which he described the real-estate mogul as a con-man perpetually pretending to run for office to bask in the attention that came from the ruse, some GOP operatives warned Republican flacks not to let Coppins anywhere near their bosses. Looks like Ryan didn’t get the memo.