Ryan compares NFL replacement refs to Obama
September 25th, 2012
12:31 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan compares NFL replacement refs to Obama

Cincinnati, Ohio (CNN) – Devoted Green Bay Packers fan Rep. Paul Ryan weighed in on the stunning referee call during Monday night's Packers-Seattle Seahawks football game Tuesday. The GOP vice presidential nominee likened the replacement referees to bad calls made by President Barack Obama.

"Did you guys watch that Packers game last night? I mean, give me a break. It is time to get the real refs," Ryan said Tuesday at a town hall in Ohio. "And you know what, it reminds me of President Obama and the economy. If you can't get it right, it's time to get out."

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Ryan's beloved team lost to the Seahawks 14-12 after an NFL replacement referee awarded a questionable winning touchdown to Seattle. The Republican vice presidential nominee watched the game from his hotel room in Ohio at The Cincinnatian, according to an aide.

With five seconds left in the game, Russell Wilson, starting quarterback for Seattle, threw up a 'Hail Mary' into the end zone and refs awarded Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate with the touchdown, when it appeared to many that Green Bay defender M.D. Jennings intercepted the ball.

The replacement referees are made up of officials who primarily work for Division II and Division III colleges and are being used in the professional games until a labor dispute with NFL referees gets resolved.

The Wisconsin native and seven-term congressman tied the NFL firestorm to the presidential campaign.

"I have to think that these refs work part time for the Obama administration in the budget office. 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," said Ryan.

Outraged players, Packers fans and sports commentators turned to social media sites, namely Twitter, to express their frustration over the disputed call.

"Any player/coach in Seattle that really thinks they won that game has zero integrity as man and should be embarrassed," Packers Offensive Guard T.J. Lang said on Twitter.

In Ohio, Paul compared the Romney-Ryan presidential campaign to last night's game.

"Unlike the Seattle Seahawks last night, we want to deserve this victory. We want to earn this victory."

CNN's Devin Smith contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Paul Ryan
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. gt

    the old refs made a149,000. a yr. for 16 games...sounds like a good job to me for part time work...they must have the same union as chicago teachers,,,

    September 25, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. linda

    These NFL refs are more like Romney and Ryan......one says touchdown the other calls it something else.....just like Romeny and Ryan.....Ryan has changed from his own values since becoming VP canidate and Romney has had so many turnaround moments in his campaign we don't know where he stands......take about BUMPS IN THE ROAD.....Romneys had so many he doesn't know where his campaign stands.......or where he stands for that matter.....OBAMA 2012

    September 25, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. FactCheck

    Ryan makes Sarah Palin look like Lyndon Johnson.

    September 25, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. ghostriter

    WOW. Guess Ryan does like unions....when they can affect the outcome of Packers games.

    Funny, they never mention sports unions. I guess they would not like the pub of dissing Aaron Rogers. Those cheese heads take their Packers seriously.

    September 25, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    The incorrect way to look at the play is like this. When is the play over? The defender was never "down" because he was laying on top of the receiver. Defender never touched the field before the wrestling match for the ball began.

    September 25, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. PJ

    Ryan: Teachers Unions bad, NFL Referee Unions good. Nice to know his priorities are in place.

    September 25, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. julie

    geesh I think the replacements refs are more like romney and ryan then anything or anyone.....

    OBAMA 2012

    September 25, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. Nash

    Really? I almost thought Ryan entrance into the VP slot would make a difference. I am voting for the Democratic ticket! I am sick and tired of the lies.

    September 25, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. Thomas

    Ryan / Palin 1620

    September 25, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. dannyCali

    Yes, we already have the real refs that's why we don't want to replace. New refs is not going to work for this country so, new President not going to work for Americans.

    September 25, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    I'm sure one of the replacement refs has run a marathon in under 3 hours....and has not lied about it.

    September 25, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Dan5404

    Actually, Ryan and Romney are like amateur refs trying to be hired when they are eminently unqualified.

    September 25, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. Thomas

    The analogy is correct. If Ryan/Romney win, it would be the most atrocious result in political history.

    September 25, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. Facts don't Lie

    looks like the GOP ticket is still playing "let's throw it at him and see if it sticks"! Lying Ryan is making the Palin pick in 08 look a whole lot better.....in fact the McCain/Palin ticket looks a whole lot better than this.

    September 25, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. UDidntBuildThat

    Oh come on Ryan!! Everyone deserves a "fair shot". We want "shared prosperity and equality of outcome". That is what the Dems are preaching. That is what Obama says over and over. We need to make everything fair so that everyone has a fair shot. These Refs cannot referre a game as long as the other Refs around. They have to have a chance too. If they screw up so what. It is not about that it is about fairness. Obama's own words. So when Obama screws up, & show just how he is incompetent, inexperience and just a flat out failure, no big deal right America? Just like the Refs in the NFL. No big deal.

    The NFL is just practicing what the Dems have done to this country all along. Mediocrity and low standards should be the order of the day. All the teams should win and get super bowl trophies and all players should get superbowl rings. Experience does not matter. Just like it did not in 2008. So lay off these Refs. They are the Dems of the NFL. Let them Refs cause it is really working out for the league.

    September 25, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. dan

    Maybe Ryan will now understand the importance of "regulators" who are there to enforce the rules equally and fairly. Otherwise you have sandlot football and nobody will pay $200 a ticket to watch that no matter how good the athletes are. If a punter can make $2million a year, a good ref should be worth at least $500K. They play every snap, every down, and usually do not make a mistake.

    September 25, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. DJ Reality

    I would compare Paul Ryan to a snake oil salesman. For every statement he makes he has to walk back half of them.

    September 25, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Did He Think That One Through?

    If I was the proposed replacement team running against the guys who actually have the job, I don't believe I would be stupid enough to put down the replacements.

    Dear Paul Ryan: You and Romney would be the replacements.

    Did you think that one through?

    September 25, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Well Paul... You better not try making comedy your next career after you lose two elections in November. Good thing you'll have those government hand outs to fall back on or your kids would starve.

    September 25, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. WhereIsPalin

    "Did you guys watch that Packers game last night? " Excuse me..........there was another team playing, also.

    RYAN / romney 2012. The world's gotta end sooner or later.

    September 25, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. jack donaghy

    lol, so this implies that george w. bush was the "good referee?" the same guy who presided over the worst economic collapse since the great depression and vietnam part ii (ira

    September 25, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. Expat American

    Romney and Ryan couldn't officiate a lawn dart contest.

    September 25, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Well it's a good thing for the Packer fans that Paul Ryan wasn't the game's time keeper. It would have been over by halftime and my Packers still would have lost!!

    September 25, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. Terry

    Pretty weak analogy...he was stretching for it...someone as smart as him should be able to do better!

    September 25, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Ryan doesn't realize that he just made a "dumb call" injecting President Obama in the NFL, that's the worst call of all.

    September 25, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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