CINCINNATI, Ohio - Republican vice presidential nominee compared the NFL's replacement referees to President Obama and slammed an apparent blown call during the Green Bay Packers loss to the Seattle Seahawks during Monday Night Football.
A few hours later, Obama tweeted about the lockout and the refs, but he didn't mention Ryan's analogy.
"NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs' lockout is settled soon. -bo ," is what came from the @BarackObama Twitter feed. A tweet signed "-bo" is supposed to signify it comes personally from the president.
Ryan, who hails from Janesville, Wisc., made clear in Ohio today that he was unhappy with the controversial call as a Packers fan. But he went further, using the refs in a riff on the Obama White House that deviated from his traditional stump speech.
"I'm going to start off with something that was really troubling that occurred last night. Did you guys watch that Packer game last night? I mean give me a break!" Ryan complained. "It is time to get the real refs."
Ryan then drew a parallel between NFL's struggle with replacement referees and President Obama's economic job performance during his term in the White House.
"It reminds me of President Obama and the economy. If you can't get it right, it's time to get out. I half-think that these refs work part-time for the Obama administration and the Budget Office," Ryan said.
"They see the national debt clock staring them in the face, they see a debt crisis, and they just ignore and pretend it didn't even happen. They're trying to pick the winners and losers and they don't even do that very well. Look, we have a big choice to make. It's not an ordinary time."
Ryan wasn't done yet. A short time later, the budget guru told supporters that he and Mitt Romney are out campaigning "trying to deserve this victory" and "show you how we're going to deal with it." "The principles we will use, the policies we will put in place, and we will not duck this issue," he said.
"Unlike the Seattle Seahawks last night, we want to deserve this victory. We want to earn this victory, we want a real victory because we want a mandate to fix this mess in Washington before it gets out of our control." "I'm sorry a Packer fan," Ryan said in an attempt to excuse himself for breaking from his traditional remarks. "I had to get that last one in there."
But it is not a perfect analogy for the Republican ticket. The replacement refs are working during a labor dispute between the unionized referees and NFL owners in which the owners have locked out the refs. Both Ryan and Romney generally favor less powerful unions.
The league announced Tuesday that a review by the NFL officiating department affirmed the controversial ruling from Monday' night's game. The Seahawks win.