Paul Ryan popped a breath mint and turned to Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) as the two, squashed tight as sardines in a throng of hundreds of people, inched their way closer to a stage at the Iowa State Fair on Monday.
“So, this is where everybody speaks, right?” Ryan, clad in a red-and-white checked shirt, cheerily asked Branstad as they worked their way forward in the sweltering afternoon heat.
“Right,” the governor responded.
“And you and I are going to do that?” Ryan asked.
Moments later, Ryan took the microphone at his first solo event as the GOP vice presidential nominee — and then endured demonstrators shouting him down for the duration of his speech and two women climbing over bales of hay in an attempt to storm the stage. It became clear that bad breath would be the least of his concerns.
Ryan today kicks off the last day of his week-long, six-state tour with a visit to the sprawling central Florida retirement community known as The Villages. And just as at the start of his trip Monday, several things have come into clearer focus over his past few days on the trail.