What Was Ryan's April Fools' Joke On Romney?

Aug 12, 2012
Originally published on August 12, 2012 9:40 am
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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney did hit the campaign trail together on another occasion. That was in March, when Ryan formally endorsed Romney in the Wisconsin Republican primary. And Ryan stumped in his home state on Romney's behalf, including a couple stops on April 1st.

MITT ROMNEY: This is a morning I'm not going to forget anytime soon. You know it's April Fools' Day.

(LAUGHTER)

WERTHEIMER: I forgot.

But Paul Ryan, along with Wisconsin's Republican Senator Ron Johnson, remembered the date. And so, they set up a little April Fool's prank. On his tour through Milwaukee, they added a pancake breakfast. From a back room, the moment had the trappings of a Romney event. Kid Rock's "Born Free," the Romney campaign anthem on the PA system...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BORN FREE")

WERTHEIMER: ...and, as Romney recounted later that day, an introduction from some political allies.

ROMNEY: Paul Ryan goes out there, gives the same introduction, what he just said. He's down there: And so, now let's welcome Ron Johnson and Mitt Romney, the next president of the United States. And so, the two of us go out there and I come in there and it's completely empty...

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: There's nobody there. It's like, oh, boy. This is going to look really bad on the evening news, let me tell you.

(LAUGHTER)

WERTHEIMER: So Ryan and Johnson made up for it. Their campaigning helped Romney win the Wisconsin primary. But the former Massachusetts governor has a long memory.

ROMNEY: This is known as forgive, but remember. I'll tell you...

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: ...we're going to remember this.

WERTHEIMER: Romney's hoping that next April, he can return the favor from inside the White House.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "APRIL FOOLS")

WERTHEIMER: You're listening to NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.