Paul Ryan, U.S. congressman (R-WI), speaks at the SALT conference in Las Vegas May 16, 2014.
Rick Wilking/Reuters

Paul Ryan hits the campaign trail for Shelley Moore Capito

Updated

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan has co-sponsored legislation that would criminalize some forms of birth control, voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and mocked the “war on women,” and yet he’s headed to West Virginia to support Rep. Shelley Moore Capito in a U.S. Senate race where only a woman can win.

The 2012 vice presidential nominee will support Capito during a campaign event in Charleston, West Virginia next week, during which criticisms of President Obama’s fiscal policies are expected to be the focus. 

“I am thrilled to have Congressman Ryan join us for a conversation about protecting our way of life and getting West Virginia back to work,” Capito said in a news release. 

“We will discuss the importance of an energy policy that employs West Virginians and stops President Obama’s war on coal. We will discuss creating an environment for job creation through lower taxes, common sense regulations and less debt, and we will discuss putting a stop to the pessimism and lack of growth that has resulted from Obama’s presidency,” she said.

“Few states have been hit harder by President Obama’s devastating policies than West Virginia, but Shelley Moore Capito has been right there on the front lines fighting back,” Ryan said in a statement. “She is dedicated to her state and to the people she represents.”

Capito faces Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant in a Senate race for the textbooks – the state has yet to elect a female senator. If elected, Capito – who is favored to win in November’s general election – will become the first Republican senator from West Virginia in more than 50 years. 

In the second quarter of 2014, Capito raised more than $1.3 million – bringing her fundraising total to more than $7.1 million from all 55 counties in the state, according to a July 9 release. She also leads Tennant by 11 percentage points, according to a recent West Virginia poll of 400 registered voters. 

But Tennant isn’t watching from the sidelines. On the same day Paul Ryan will be in West Virginia campaigning, progressive Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts will be standing next to Tennant to promote the candidate’s education plan. 

Tennant’s campaign has routinely condemned Capito for voting for Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which would make severe cuts to Medicare in the state, four times. 

“Congresswoman Capito proved she will stop at nothing to protect tax breaks for millionaires like herself when she voted four times to cheat West Virginia seniors out of the Medicare they’ve earned,” Tennant campaign spokesperson Jennifer Donohue said. 

Asked what the biggest difference is between her and Captio, Tennant said on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown in May, “I represent West Virginia values and the people of West Virginia, where for far too long, [Capito] has represented Washington and Wall Street.” 

Capito and Tennant will fight for Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s seat, a Democrat retiring after 30 years this November.

West Virginia and Women in Politics

Paul Ryan hits the campaign trail for Shelley Moore Capito

Updated