The digital rollout of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as the Republican vice-presidential candidate is hitting a few virtual speed bumps.
The Obama team launched a Google advertising campaign keyed to searches on Ryan’s name that links to Web pages with talking points criticizing Ryan’s budget proposal. The ad stood alone for a time on Monday, before the Romney campaign responded with its own search ad placed atop the Obama ad linking directly to Romney’s main website.
Most of the beachfront real estate covering the Romney-Ryan ticket has been snapped up by domain speculators. Paulryan.com, VPPaulRyan.com, RomneyRyan.com, and RomneyRyan2012 are all waiting for bidders — presumably from the campaign or an allied group. Romney-Ryan.com even has a price tag on domain registration site GoDaddy — it’s available for $49,880 as of this writing.
One exception is PaulRyanVP.com, which was registered on Friday night by Ohio University sophomore Matt McKnight, right when he heard that Ryan was the likely pick. He was prepared to do the same no matter whom the campaign chose, as a way of protecting the domain from potential abusers. “I’m sitting on it so no one else can get their hands on it,” he told National Journal.
McKnight says he’s a big supporter of the ticket and not looking to cash in on the domain; he says he would transfer it to the campaign if asked. “It would be cool to get some VIP tickets to a rally,” he said.
He has also registered a site dedicated to Ryan’s wife called JannaRyan.com, which he has populated with pictures and content and says he intends to maintain for a while.
McKnight also snapped up PaulRyanSucks.com, which he said he will keep blank.
“I could see some left [wing] organization using that,” he said. “I figured it would be good to get it off the market.”