HUDSON, Wis. — “Start Packing.”
The order was given by a campaign staffer about 20 minutes before PaulRyan entered the GOP victory office here. Two dozen campaign staffers and volunteers pulled boxes from under six tables laden canned food and dry goods to be shipped to New Jersey for storm relief.
Just across the tables were an equal number of reporters, videographers and photographers.
Ryan came under fire earlier this month after posing at an Ohio homeless shelter for an event in which he was washing dishes, long after the kitchen had closed.
It was the second of Paul Ryan’s photo ops in his home state today where the campaign made a show of helping storm victims however they could. At the first stop in La Crosse, the vice presidential nominee thanked supporters for coming, shaking hands with some standing in front of an American flag, where minutes before, aides arranged boxes of Cheerios and cans of corn in perfect order.
In Hudson, the packing was proceeding too quickly, and the supporters wearing red “Team Wisconsin” t-shirts were given the order to slow down and then to stop to be sure there were still goods to be packed when Ryan entered.
One by one the boxes were filled and loaded into a waiting U-Haul, and then they stopped to wait for the candidate.
“Thanks a lot, thanks for doing all this,” Ryan said to the supporters when he arrived.
More than a hundred supporters waited outside to cheer Ryan — many of them bringing supplies — chanting “Ryan, Ryan, Ryan.”
“Go home, and if you can, donate to the Red Cross,” Ryan said outside, standing on a metal chair next to the truck. He noted that victory centers across the state and the country are accepting donations of non-perishables.
As Ryan walked back through the office to the motorcade volunteers finished packing the supplies, which are being driven to a Red Cross facility in New Jersey.
As supporters walked out the door they were handed a flier about the GOP’s election night party.