A local TV station in Paul Ryan's home state of Wisconsin is refusing to air an ad that features an elderly woman being thrown from a cliff, an attack on the presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee's Medicare proposal.
The ad, "Granny Off the Cliff Part 2," was released by progressive policy group Agenda Project Action Fund shortly after Mitt Romney tapped Ryan as his running mate last week. The spot is a sequel to the group's original "Granny Off the Cliff" video released in May of last year, which went viral amidst heated debates over Ryan's controversial budget plan.
Erica Payne, the producer of the video and president of the Agenda Project Action Fund, announced in an email statement that WMTV-Madison, a local NBC affiliate, declined to air the ad "due to content." The station's general manager Bob Smith told the group that it is at the station's discretion whether or not it will air spots.
The ad began airing in Ohio, Florida and Colorado this week. The Wisconsin station is the first to turn the ad down, according to the Agenda Project Action Fund.
Like its predecessor, the new commercial also features a man in a suit, understood to represent Ryan, pushing a wheelchair-ridden elderly woman to the edge of a cliff and then flinging her from it. "Mitt Romney made his choice," the ad says. "Now you have to make yours."
"WMTV is doing a disservice to the citizens of Wisconsin by withholding critical information that will allow them to make informed decisions about their future leaders," Payne said. "I certainly hope that the Romney/Ryan campaign had nothing to do with WMTV's decision to censor the ad. That is a question I would like answered."
Since Ryan was announced as Romney's VP pick, there has been a renewed focus on his budget plans, particularly with respect to Medicare. Ryan had originally proposed a radical overhaul of the program, suggesting that it be turned into a voucher-like system -- an approach that independent analysts said would raise health care costs for seniors.
With Ryan's name now attached to the Republican presidential ticket, Democrats have revived the old attack line that the Wisconsin congressman would "end Medicare as we know it." To counter that claim, Republicans have launched their own assault on cuts to Medicare under the president's health care law, though Ryan's plan would leave Obama's savings in place.
Requests for comment from WMTV-Madison and the Romney campaign and were not immediately returned.
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