In his first post-election interview, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said he was surprised by the overwhelming strength of the Obama turnout machine in the nation’s cities. “When we saw the turnout that was occurring in urban areas that [was] unprecedented, it did come as a bit of a shock,” Ryan told a Wisconsin television station Tuesday. “So those are the toughest losses to have — the ones that catch you by surprise.” For reasons that are not entirely clear, some Democrats, and some in the press, find that observation troubling.
“Certainly those types of comments do not suggest that those who lost last Tuesday are interested in an open dialogue about the challenges that our communities face,” said Marc Morial, head of the National Urban League, in an interview with the New York Times. The paper used quotation marks — “Ryan Surprised by Voters in ‘Urban Areas’” — to suggest there was something notable about the word “urban.” The paper even dredged through Twitter to find angry, anonymous commenters suggesting Ryan had been out of line. “Paul Ryan emerged from dustbin of nothingness 2 blame his & Romney’s defeat on ‘urban’ vote,” said one Tweet quoted by the paper. “These 2 losers continue 2 demean minorities.”