One day after President Barack Obama hammered the Republican House and presumptive GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan for opposition to a subsidy-heavy farm bill, the Romney campaign unveiled on Wednesday its agricultural coalition.
Three Georgian politicians with deep ties to agriculture were named national co-chairs, included among forty-some other members of congress and agricultural secretaries and state commissioners.
Senator Saxby Chambliss, who once helmed the chamber’s committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Rep. Jack Kingston, the Savannah lawmaker sitting atop the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, and state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black were all tapped as national organizers of the effort to cement the farm vote for the Republican ticket.
While campaigning in Iowa on Tuesday the president accused Rep. Ryan, a budget leader in the House, of putting politics first in the debate over the farm bill, which would provide for drought response spending in the Hawkeye State.
“Now, I’m told Governor Romney’s new running mate might be around Iowa these next few days. And he’s one of those leaders of Congress standing in the way,” Obama said. “So if you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities. It’s time to put politics aside and pass it right away.”
Boston quickly responded, saying Ryan “hails from an agriculture state” and had the gumption to fix what the president broke: the economy.
“Paul Ryan hails from an agriculture state and supported disaster relief, and the truth is no one will work harder to defend farmers and ranchers than the Romney-Ryan ticket,” Romney spox Ryan Williams said in a statement. “After nearly four years of failure, it’s no wonder that Barack Obama returns to the state that launched his presidential campaign with nothing more than broken promises and false attacks.”
The inclusion of Chambliss in the coalition comes after the senator had already been wrangling the support of farmers for Romney in battle ground North Carolina.
- James Richardson