First, an observation: Aside from some very loud and persistent hecklers (some of whom came disguised as Romney supporters, complete with shirts and signs), Paul Ryan had a warm, enthusiastic reception at the Iowa State Fair.
After the heckling — which took place at the famous Soap Box where Romney was heckled last year — I caught up with Ryan during his rather chaotic departure. Here’s our exchange:
JK: What did you think about that reception?
PR: I thought it was wonderful.
JK: Does it bother you — the hecklers?
PR: Nah. We are used to it. I come from Wisconsin.
I also caught up with him when he first arrived and asked him to respond to Obama saying Ryan is “part of the problem.” He declined to answer, saying: ”We can play stump the running mate later.”
He did, however, tell me he had taken part in cow milking competitions back in Wisconsin and always lost, usually to some 17-year-old farm girl. But he claims to know how to milk a cow and made a gesture with his hands to show how it is done.
You’ve got to love state fairs …
One other thing: I spoke to many people at the fair and found two reactions over and over –
A lot of people, even here in neighboring Iowa, have no idea who Paul Ryan is.