Danville, Kentucky (CNN) - An aide to Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan accused TIME Magazine of "poor judgment" in its decision to publish photographs of the Wisconsin congressman working out on the day of his debate with Joe Biden.
The pictures, which appeared on TIME's website Thursday, feature Ryan in his workout clothes, curling a dumbbell. According to the Ryan aide, the photographs were taken for the magazine's "Person of the Year" issue. The Wisconsin congressman, a well-known fitness buff in the House of Representatives, was a runner-up in the periodical's competition.
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Ryan's aide told CNN advisers to the House Budget Committee chairman were assured by the magazine the pictures would never be published. The aide said he was not sure whether Ryan had a reaction to the photos.
"To release these photos on the same day when important issues are to be discussed is, in my view, poor judgment," the aide told CNN.
TIME Managing Editor Rick Stengel said in an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" on Thursday that the magazine never promised that the pictures would not be published.
"We had discussions with them about using them back and forth and there was never an understanding that they would not be used," Stengel told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
Responding to the Romney campaign reaction to the publication, Stengel said he is "sorry that they feel that way."
"He is in the news right now and we are in the news business, and this seemed like the most appropriate time to do those pictures," he said. "I kind of wonder if we had done them another time, you'd be asking me, 'Well why are you publishing those pictures of Paul Ryan? It seems sort of arbitrary and he's not in the news.' So you can't win either way."