NORTH CANTON, Ohio – President Obama has rubbed elbows at his campaign events with the likes of singers Katy Perry and Beyonce and actor George Clooney. For GOP nominee Mitt Romney, the celebrity endorsers might be a bit more dated – but they’ve made up for it, at least this week, with humor.
Take actress Patricia Heaton, an Ohio native who starred on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. As she introduced Paul Ryan on Friday, she alluded to the amount of interest that the vice presidential candidate’s abs have drawn.
“I have to tell you backstage I didn't recognize him with his shirt on,” the actress said in front of an 8,000-person crowd here.
“And I did wear orange not only because I'm a [Cleveland] Browns fan, but I was afraid Paul would have his shotgun," she quipped, a reference to Ryan’s oft-stated fondness for hunting deer. "I just wanted to make sure he knew I was here and where I was standing. Didn't want to get any buckshot."
Heaton also made the rare public reference to Romney’s faith, in the form of a joke. “I come from a big Irish-Catholic family. My mom was one of 15 kids, I have over a hundred first cousins on my mom’s side, so we’re giving those Mormons a run for their money,” she said.
During a rally in Defiance, Ohio, on Thursday night, rock musician Meat Loaf of 1970s "Bat Out of Hell" fame made light of an old Democratic ad that portrayed a Ryan lookalike pushing an old lady off a cliff. “I want you to know at 65 that Paul Ryan has not pushed me off the cliff in a wheelchair,” the musician said.
The rest of his message was a bit more serious, as he warned of “storm clouds” over the United States and bashed the president for saying that the Cold War is over.