WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Though U.S. Representative Paul Ryan was just announced this weekend as the Republican vice-presidential candidate, the digging into his past has already begun. A YouTube video posted last year shows Ryan giving a speech during which 71-year-old retired plumber Tom Nielson voiced an objection to Ryan’s plan to make deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare. “I paid into that for 50 years, my unemployment, my Social Security and my Medicare and now you’re going to—” was as far as Nielson got before he was forced from the room by police. He was wrestled to the ground and forcibly handcuffed despite his cries of pain and telling the officers he had a broken shoulder.
Just after Nielsen was removed from the room, Ryan joked “I hope he’s taking his blood pressure medication; he was a little worked up.”
Now that Ryan has been named Mitt Romney’s running mate the video has gone viral, and Ryan’s joking about the situation has caused outrage across the country. Ryan has been quick to express remorse over his comment. “I should not have joked about this 71-year-old man taking his medication,” he said. “Under my budget I’m taking away his Medicare and Social Security, so this man will no longer be able to afford medication.
“I can see now how my remark might have been in poor taste.”