An ex-girlfriend of GOP vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan has spoken up about her past relationship with the Wisconsin congressman when the pair both attended Miami University of Ohio in the 1990s.
The twist: Ryan’s former flame is African-American.
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Deneeta Pope, a former cheerleader for the college they attended, spoke exclusively with UK paper MailOnline revealing that while she supports President Barack Obama, she has nothing but fond things to say about Ryan.
“Paul is a very nice guy, a kind guy and a family guy. He’s very approachable and a very likeable person,” said Pope regarding Ryan. Apparently, his interracial relationship with Pope exposed Ryan to the ugliness of racism and he has stated that he endured negative reactions from students and others for dating her. The experience led Ryan to become an advocate for civil rights and cemented his adoration for leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, this according to earlier statements.
Pope denies Ryan’s claims of racism, saying that she’s never witnessed such actions. The current I.T. specialist who now resides in Chicago said that, while the relationship wasn’t serious, the two have remained friendly over the years. When Pope married her second husband this past May, Ryan and his wife Janna were in attendance.
“A week before his vice presidential nomination, Paul and Janna came to our wedding in Chicago to see Michael and I get married,” said Pope.
All of this came about after CNN’s Peter Hamby tweeted about a 2005 interview where Ryan mentions his Black “college sweetheart,” prompting talking heads on both sides of the aisle to look at its political importance. The bombshell revelation seems well-timed; an almost earnest attempt to endear the Romney-Ryan ticket to Black voters in a bid to drum up minority support.
Struggling in the polls to garner African-American support, Romney has wisely mentioned how this father, George, a former governor of Michigan, supported the civil rights movement. It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that the mention of that instance and now Ryan’s college girlfriend showering glowing comments about her ex are all part of a ploy to connect them with a base that largely does not support them or their proposed policies.
And, if you think he is a “nice” and “likable” guy, check out NewsOne’s analysis of his his lie-ridden speech at the RNC this week.
Pope says she and Ryan’s relationship wasn’t serious. That said, African Americans, as a whole, do not take Romney or Paul seriously, either.