Though the segment began in typical mainstream media fashion, painting Romney and Ryan as “two well-groomed white guys” offered up by the GOP, the Tuesday evening edition of Nightline from Tampa, FL took a positive turn focusing on 42 year-old Ryan’s appeal to younger GOP voters. RAP’s own Francesca Chambers was at the 2012 GOP Convention and asked to comment on Ryan’s cross-generational charm.
“I mean, the guy was homecoming king,” Chambers said. “You don’t get to be homecoming king, right, of your high school, unless you’re a cool guy. So I don’t understand why everyone is painting him as a dork just because he’s into budget and the economy.”
Chambers was one of several GOP youth leaders highlighted in the ABC package, which also sought comment from 23 year-old CRNC National Chairman Alex Schriver and 29 year-old Maverick PAC National Co-Chair Jay Zeidman.
Though ABC reporter David Wright did say that Romney and Ryan appear “at first glance about as cutting edge as a J.CREW catalogue” he continued to explore what the ticket had to offer and focused the remainder of his three minute segment on Ryan’s Generation X upbringing.
“Ryan is squarely in the age bracket who know where they were when Kurt Cobain committed suicide,” Wright pointed out. He then told viewers that Ryan is a fan of the band Rage Against the Machine, but that RATM lead guitarist Tom Morello did not return the favor when he said that Ryan was the “embodiment of the machine” they rage against.
Wright then turned to Chambers and Crossroads Generation communication adviser Kristen Soltis for reaction. Soltis said, “I don’t think he’s the machine – I think he’s trying to change the machine. I think he’s trying to change a really broken machine.”
Even one of Red Alert’s 30 under 30 influential conservatives showed up in the Nightline segment. Jay Zeidman of Maverick PAC told ABC News, “I mean I’m 29 - a lot of my friends are mal-employed which means, you know, they’re working jobs that they weren’t necessarily educated for, living with their parents, not earning the incomes that they thought they would be.”
Schriver was interviewed later in the piece and told Wright that “More people live at home with their parents today than they have since 1950. We have more young people unemployed since the government started keeping track in 1948 – at the end of the day, this generation deserves better, and this generation can do better.”
Red Alert is glad to see ABC actively seek the voice of young activists and air a balanced piece on a man who could become the next Vice President of the United States.
You can watch the Nightline segment on Paul Ryan and young voters here. (The segment is the very last three minutes of the broadcast.)