Total Pageviews

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ryan Sees \'Media Bias\' in Campaign Coverage


At a time when the Republican presidential ticket has received some scolding from fellow conservatives for being insufficiently bold, the vice presidential nominee, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, suggested on Sunday that part of the problem might be in getting the message past the mainstream news media.

“It goes without saying that there is definitely media bias,” Mr. Ryan said on “Fox News Sunday.” He said he believed that most people in the news media were left of center and pro-Obama; that meant that he and his running mate, Mitt Romney, needed to take their message directly to the people.

Mr. Ryan declined to say exactly where he saw such bias.

At the same time, he acknowledged that the Republican campaign has had its flaws, including what he described as Mr. Romney's “inarticulate” comments about people who pay no taxes and receive government help.

“We've had some missteps,” he said, “but at the end of the day the choice is really clear.”

Some conservative commentators contend that Mr. Romney is keeping Mr. Ryan too tightly collared, preventing him from making the full-throated arguments that many on the right are waiting to hear.

“I hear the hand-wringing in Washington,” Mr. Ryan said. He insisted, however, that “Mitt Romney has never once asked me to temper anything down.”

But one fellow Republican said on Sunday that complaining of media bias was not, perhaps, the most effective response.

“I'm not going to sit here and complain about coverage of the campaign,” said Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. “As a candidate, if you do that, you're losing.â €

Mr. Christie defended Mr. Romney but also said he did not “buy” the assertion by some critics that voter surveys showing Mr. Obama leading nationally and in key states were skewed.

What was needed, Mr. Christie said on ABC's “This Week,” was a “big and bold” showing by Mr. Romney in his debate against the president on Wednesday â€" “and that's what he's going to give us.”

David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser, playing the time-honored game of expectations-setting, said that Mr. Romney might have spent more time preparing for the series of debates starting Wednesday than anyone ever, and that “challengers tend to do really well in debates.” Still, he said on ABC, Americans would be drawn to Mr. Obama's defense of the middle class.

Mr. Ryan said that his own opponent in an Oct. 11 debate, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., was no pushover, despite a reputation for shooting from the hip.

“He's fast on the cuff, he's a witty guy, he knows who he is, and he's been doing this for 40 years, so you're not going to rattle Joe Biden,” Mr. Ryan said. “Joe is very good on the attack.”

In his own preparations, Mr. Ryan said that he was not focusing on zingers or sharp one-liners. “I'm not really a line guy, I'm more of a gut guy,” he said.

“In the end of the day,” he said, “I'm just going to go in there and be me.”