Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan made an appearance at the ‘Shoe Saturday morning for the Buckeyes’ first game of the year.
Ryan arrived to the ‘Shoe about an hour before kickoff, spending a few minutes at a private tailgate party playing cornhole and greeting fans.
Saturday marked the start of the Urban era at Ohio State as first-year football coach Urban Meyer led the Buckeyes into the stadium against Miami (Ohio), Ryan’s alma mater.
Drew Stroemple, president of OSU College Republicans, said Ryan’s appearance at the game shows that he’s a down-to-earth candidate.
“It’s awesome to have a vice presidential candidate around, it’s good for campus,” he said before the game. “It’s fun for him to get to see the game-day environment, even though we’re going to have to beat his team.”
Jessica Kershaw, Obama for America Ohio press secretary, said in a statement Ryan “fumbled” his attempt to connect with the Buckeye Nation.
“Never mind the fact that he came to OSU just to cheer on Miami, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney have total disregard for what it’s like to be a student,” said Kershaw in an email. “No amount of tailgating today can erase the fact that Romney and Ryan are wrong for the future of Ohio students.”
Many football fans cheered for Ryan from the edge of the barricades set up surrounding the tailgate, but others seemed annoyed by the congestion.
With several direct routes to the stadium blocked, some fans expressed frustration that they weren’t able to get to their seats with about 45 minutes to kickoff.