Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) sought a photo op with a group of visiting middle schoolers who were on a field trip to the Capitol on Friday. It did not turn out well for him.
Half of the visiting eighth graders refused to be photographed with Ryan, with many of the students citing the speaker’s plans to slash social services as motivation. “I can’t take a picture with someone who supports a budget that would destroy public education and would leave 23 million people without healthcare,” student Matthew Malespina told The Village Green, a local New Jersey paper.
Ryan has, at various times, proposed repealing the Affordable Care Act, repealing Medicare and replacing it with a voucher program that provides vastly inferior coverage to seniors, cutting Medicaid by as much as 50 percent, slashing billions from food stamps, restricting Pell Grants, and using much of the savings to pay for tax cuts for the rich.
The approximately 100 students who refused to be photographed with Ryan waited in a parking lot while their classmates joined the photo.