PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With dozens of protesters outside, House Speaker Paul Ryan snuck into the Duquesne Club from the back to the displeasure of local citizens who wanted to see him.
“Talk to us. Talk to us. Talk to us,” they chanted.
Instead of Speaker Ryan going in and out of the Duquesne Club through the front entrance right off Sixth Avenue, they took him in and out of an alley way, clearly more secure but allowing him to avoid meeting anyone in the public.
With all the security, Ryan wasn’t here to talk to average Pennsylvanians.
“If he really truly believes that he is acting on the agenda and will of Pennsylvanians, why is he hiding from us?” asked protester Liz Klie.
Ryan, who guided a controversial health care bill through the House, was here to raise money for his political action committee -– Team Ryan — which has already raised over $30 million this year to help re-elect Republican members of Congress like Tim Murphy, Keith Rothfus, and Mike Kelly.
They joined Ryan inside and slipped away with him to fly back to Washington.
Protesters blasted them, too, for voting for Ryan’s bill and then refusing to hold public town hall meetings.
“They are making these decisions in Washington and then are afraid to come home and face their constituents,” said Klie.
“I don’t think they really listen or care what their constituents are saying because they’ve made it quite clear that they’re putting party before country,” added protester Kara Kernan of Brookline.
Angela Aldous of Greensburg, like Ryan — a Wisconsin native, showed up with her two kids.
“When I heard that Paul Ryan was coming here, I just wanted to come by and say that he doesn’t represent Wisconsin values,” said Aldous. “Wisconsins take care of their neighbors. We don’t leave people behind, and his bill would devastate communities.”
Beaver County Commissioner Dan Camp, who was in on the private luncheon, said Ryan spoke for about 35 minutes.
“He gave a good speech to a good audience,” said Camp, a Republican.
Camp said Ryan devoted about half his speech to health care.
“He explained to the audience the things we were not hearing,” he said. “We get a lot of tweets about Russia and everything else. He spoke about how to make it affordable for everyone in the United States.”