Royal Oak, MI — GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will appear topless at the only scheduled vice presidential debate in Danville, Kentucky on Thursday, as well as key campaign stops thereafter.
Campaign manager Matt Rhoades surprised everyone with the announcement at a pre-rally press conference in Michigan today.
Rhoades said they decided to have Ryan appear with his shirt off at the televised debate as well as certain campaign stops after examining the results of recent focus group studies conducted on the campaign trail. The studies enable them to be dynamic and responsive to issues, and "to fine-tune the overall campaign strategy if necessary."
"Part of our revised strategy is to take advantage of the tools and opportunities available to us in order to win not just the White House, but the Senate and Congress as well," said Rhoades. "We believe strongly, above all else, in Paul Ryan's status as a fiscal conservative. But we also recognize his popularity as a sexually desirable, ripped heartthrob."
In an official press statement, Ryan acknowledged the importance of his role in the Republicans' fight to win back the White House, and promised to do everything he can to "make sure we win this thing."
"More than anything, I am honored to show to everyone that you can mix politics and P90X." said the Wisconsin congressman and budget specialist.
Left-leaning political talk show host Rachel Maddow deplored the move, widely seen by political analysts and pundits everywhere as a deliberate attempt to reel in a significant chunk of the women's vote, as well as the oft-marginalized gay men's vote.
"Clearly they are trying to influence the vote by appealing to straight women's and gay men's visual proclivities," said Maddow. "Unfortunately for them, this trick won't work on me."
The GOP presidential ticket is presently enjoying a surge in popularity following Governor Mitt Romney's spectacular performance in the first presidential debate last week. The Republicans hope to sustain that momentum of positive favorability with Ryan's topless appearances.