Paul Ryan waded into the Chick-fil-A controversy when he told a reporter that he associates the fast food chain with "free speech."

On Thursday, a reporter from Virginia-based CNN affiliate WDBJ, upon finding out that he would only have five minutes with the Republican vice presidential candidate, decided to engage Ryan in a round of word association.

"Chick fil-A," Orlando Salinas, the WDBJ reporter, offered.

"Good chicken," Ryan said. "Free people exercising their free speech rights."

Chick-fil-A sparked controversy last month when company president Dan Cathy said that he and his company support "the biblical definition of the family unit" when asked about the issue of same-sex marriage.

Cathy's remarks were met with backlash, as many LGBT activists called on supporters of gay marriage to boycott the chicken chain. Protesters have organized "kiss-ins" at Chick-fil-A locations across the country.

Meanwhile, conservatives jumped to defend the chain's right to condemn same-sex marriage. Mike Huckabee organized a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day earlier this month, which was endorsed by a number of notable right-wing figures including Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann.

Romney, however, has distanced himself from the controversy, declaring that the Chick-fil-A debate was not "part of my campaign." While he has avoided directly addressing his stance on the chain, his campaign may have made a quiet showing of support. Politico reported earlier this week that the Romney campaign spent $500 in "meeting expenses" at the chain last month, just days before Huckabee's appreciation day.

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  • Tony Scarcella, Dan Zegelien

    Tony Scarcellad, left, kisses his partner of 15 years, Dan Zegelien during the protest of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Pompano Beach, Fla., Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. Gay rights activists kissed at Chick-fil-A stores across the U.S. on Friday, just days after the company set a sales record when customers flocked to the restaurants to show support for the fast-food chain president's opposition to gay marriage. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Kim Harrell, Paula Tyer

    Kim Harrell, left, kisses her partner of five years, Paula Tyer during the protest of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Pompano Beach, Fla., Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. Gay rights activists kissed at Chick-fil-A stores across the U.S. on Friday, just days after the company set a sales record when customers flocked to the restaurants to show support for the fast-food chain president's opposition to gay marriage. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Ronni Dowd, Lois Kirby

    Lois Kirby, left, kisses Ronni Dowd during the protest of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Pompano Beach, Fla., Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. Gay rights activists kissed at Chick-fil-A stores across the U.S. on Friday, just days after the company set a sales record when customers flocked to the restaurants to show support for the fast-food chain president's opposition to gay marriage. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Protesters take part in a "Kiss In" outside a Chick-fil-A restaurant on Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 in Atlanta. Gay rights activists are planning demonstrations at Chick-fil-A restaurants to protest the fast-food chain owners' opposition to same-sex unions. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bob Andres) MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT

  • Jim Fortier, left, and Mark Toomajian, kiss as they join about two dozen members of gay rights groups and others protesting outside the Decatur, Ga., Chick-fil-A restaurant Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. Gay rights activists plan kiss demonstrations at Chick-fil-A stores Friday, just days after the company set a sales record when customers flocked to the restaurants to show support for the fast-food chain owner's opposition to gay marriage. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Phil Skinner) MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT MBO (REV-SHARE) editor's note: CQ

  • Mia Finterman, Gwendolyn Griffin

    Mia Finterman and Gwendolyn Griffin, Birmingham, kiss as they join several dozen people at Chick-fil-A on Montclair road Friday Aug. 3, 2012 in Birmingham, Ala., for a national same-sex kiss day to protest Chick-fil-A executive Dan Cathy, who was quoted as supporting the traditional family unit. Mia, who is heterosexual, came to support her gay friends. (AP Photo/The Birmingham News, Hal Yeager)

  • Damon Devine, Anthony Coca

    Damon Devine, right, kisses partner Anthony Coca in front of Chick-Fil-A in Los Angles on Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. Gay rights advocates gathered at Chick-Fil-A's across the country to kiss in protest of the CEO's recent anti-gay remarks. (AP Photo/Grant Hindsley)

  • Kiss Day

    Todd Partridge, left, kisses partner, Wes Thomas, right, during National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A on Richmond Avenue in support for love, equality, and the real definition of family Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Cody Duty)

  • Kiss Day

    Sarah Dobbs, left, kisses partner of 9 years, Chris Neil, right, as she holds 4-month-old Cash Neil-Dobbs, during National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A in support for love, equality, and the real definition of family Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, in Houston. "We just feel like Dan Cathy is using his position to spread an intolerant message," Dobbs said. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Cody Duty)

  • Kiss Day

  • Gina Fields, Mary Rose

    Gina Fields, left, kisses wife of 4 years, Mary Rose, in front of Chick-Fil-A in Los Angles on Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. Gay rights advocates gathered at Chick-Fil-A's across the country to kiss in protest of the CEO's recent anti-gay marriage remarks. (AP Photo/Grant Hindsley)

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