Democrat Randy Bryce has been invited to the State of the Union to "stare at" Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan during President Trump's speech, he said in an interview with Politico.
Bryce, who is running against Ryan in 2018, was invited to the speech by Rep. Mark Pocan (D., Wis.). He says he wants his presence to be a visual reminder to Ryan of his home district.
"Let me be a reminder of the district that he has decided not to represent for the last couple of years," Bryce said. "I’m coming here to go back to the 1st district and let them know what’s going on, because Paul Ryan won’t do that."
Though Bryce is publicly saying his focus is Wisconsin's 1st district, Republican opponents are seizing on news of an ad buy during the broadcast of the speech that shows his focus is on west coast donors.
The Associated Press reports the Bryce campaign is airing an ad on MSNBC and CNN not just in Wisconsin, but also in Seattle and San Francisco. His campaign did not respond to AP inquiries into the decision.
"Randy Bryce should be ashamed that he's decided to spend his money on getting to know West Coast liberals instead of voters in the First District," Wisconsin Republican Party spokesman Alec Zimmerman told the AP.
The National Republican Congressional Committee released a statement saying Bryce is attempting to "ingratiate himself with the Hollywood elite."
"Randy Bryce’s decision shows how detached he is from Main Street, Wisconsin," said NRCC spokesman Chris Martin. "He should drop the act and admit that his campaign is just a means to ingratiate himself with the Hollywood elite."