Ryan’s challenger: American Dream is not just for wealthy people

Updated

Mitt Romney is receiving all kinds of flack for his now-infamous 47% comments. But could they hurt his running mate too?

Rob Zerban, Paul Ryan’s Democratic challenger for his Wisconsin House seat, told Ed Schultz Wednesday that Badger State voters are “quite resentful” over the remarks, which were surreptitiously recorded at a Romney fundraiser and posted online Monday by the liberal magazine Mother Jones.

Zerban said the comments echoed Ryan’s own much-debunked assertions at last month’s Republican National Convention that President Obama had gone back on a promise to keep open a Janesville GM plant . Ex-Janesville plant employees told Schultz after that speech that Ryan “ought to be ashamed of himself” for the claim.

Despite Ryan’s presence on the national ticket, he’s spending $2 million in ads against Zerban—a sign the 7-term incumbent may actually be worried.

Zerban, who currently trails by around 8 points, said he himself benefited from “government cheese” as a young kid and is living proof of the American dream.

After taking advantage of Pell grants and Stanford loans—students, of course, account for a good share of the 47% Romney was talking about—the Democrat started two businesses of his own that employ 45 people.

“I was one of those job creators the Republicans like to talk about,” Zerban said, despite his humble beginnings. “The American dream shouldn’t just be reserved for people who are wealthy and well-connected.”

Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney

Ryan's challenger: American Dream is not just for wealthy people

Updated