To release these photos on the same day when important issues are to be discussed is, in my view, poor judgment.
~ Ryan aide to CNN News on day of Biden debate
Transcript: Time Magazine Editor on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer:
BLITZER: It's no secret, of course, that Paul Ryan is in excellent physical shape. He's committed to a very serious workout regimen, for good reason. His father and his grandfather, they both died of heart disease in their mid-50s.
"Time Magazine," our sister publication, is now publishing these photos of the Republican vice presidential nominee. The magazine is on the newsstands tomorrow.
They were taken last year, almost a year ago, when he was named runner-up in the magazine's Person of the Year issue.
Joining us now is "Time Magazine" editor, Rick Stengel. Rick, thanks very much for coming in.
You always have a great issue.
Let's talk about the controversy. Some Romney aides are criticizing "Time Magazine" for publishing these photos now, on the eve of the debate, on the same day, actually, of the debate. And they insist that they had every reason to believe these photos would not be published.
Tell us the decision, why you decided to publish the photos today.
RICHARD STENGEL, "TIME" MANAGING EDITOR: Well, Wolf, I'm sorry that they feel that way. I think they're actually flattering pictures of -- of Mr. Ryan. And I mean the -- the explanation is pretty simple. I mean, he is in the news right now. And we are in the news business. And this seemed like the most appropriate time to do those pictures.
In fact, I -- I kind of wonder if we'd done them another time, you'd be asking me, well, why are you publishing those pictures of -- of Paul Ryan?
It seems sort of arbitrary. And he's not in the news. So you can't win either way.
BLITZER: Well, there -- there was a lot of talk about his being in such great physical shape when he was named to the ticket. That would have been a good time to publish those pictures, as well.
STENGEL: Well, we thought about it. And you know, for various reasons, you know, there's space reasons and things like that, it wasn't -- it didn't seem like the right thing to do at that moment, and then we held them. And then, this seemed like the right moment.
BLITZER: Did they ever have any understanding from "Time" magazine that those pictures would not be used?
STENGEL: Well, we had discussions with them about using them back and forth. And, there was never an understanding that they would not be used. In fact, you know, the photographer owns those pictures, and he can sell them to anybody. He happened to be on assignment for us. So, we had a proprietary use agreement with him over that. So, it's not like those pictures would have gone to waste all together.
Wait. WHAT?! Those pics are REAL??!?!?! bwaaaahahahaaaa. All the times Ive seen them here I thought they were photoshopped.
omg, omg, omg... I think I just peed a little. bwaahahahahaha!!!!
~ comment by bunnies on Democratic Underground
Even big biceps can't distract from that Wicked Witch of the West face.
~ comment by poorgradstudent on Wonkette
Is he making a gay calendar?
~ comment by Webwzrd on Huffington Post
Paul Ryan and his dumb-bell? Twins!
~ comment by doloreskdb301 on Huffington Post
Paul Ryan is not the least bit attractive.
The GOP keeps ooohing and ahhhing over him.
I just don't see it.
He looks like Eddie Haskell, a weaselly little wannabe.
~ comment by demisfine on Huff Post
What a goober.
~ comment by KeyopsBack on Huff Post
He looks like a combination of Beaker and Gonzo, on the Muppets.
~ comment by brooklyncitizen on Huff Post
I still maintain he has the face of a Fraggle.
~ comment by MovieTheaterIntifada on Gawker
He reminds me of the troll dolls. Down to the lines around his eyes and mouth. And those ears.
~ comment by Captain_Tripps on Gawker
Dead eyes... like a doll's eyes.
~ comment by JustPlainSomething on Atlanticwire
It's like Michael Scott is running for VP
~ comment by Joan R. on Atlanticwire
While I give him credit for working out, the photos look goofy rather than sexy. I can't say whether this is a result of the selection of images made by the photographer or editor, or if the entire run of shots were similar. Sarah Palin's photos, regardless of how you feel about her, were much more flattering.
~ comment by SmallChange on Atlanticwire
From David Letterman on CBS
Now this is a guy who wants a career in politics. Honest to God, ladies and gentlemen. Take a look at Hamilton, or Jefferson, or Washington. You don't see them pulling crap like this. Hey, Buddy. It's like the Backstreet Boys or something. I don't know - what is wrong? Look at the cap, 'look how cute I am.' Hey chill! Hey, bro - I'm cool. Are you cool? I'm cool. We're cool, right bro? Huh? Seriously, check it out, we're cool. Right, bro?
Top Ten Thoughts Going Through Paul Ryan's Mind When That Picture was Taken:
10. These weights are 100 pounds each. (Wait a minute, right there it says "40")
.9. My biceps are cut like taxes for the wealthiest one percent.
.8. Of course they won't publish this on the most important day of my political career.
.7. My flaccid smirk will motivate Americans to get in shape.
.6. What's the worst people will say about a photo of me and a dumbbell?
.5. There's no 3-Day Waiting Period at this Gun Show.
.4. Please, please, ask me to take my shirt off.
.3. Why are the people giggling?
.2. Please, please, aske me to take off my shorts.
.1. Maybe now people will take me seriously.