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Paul Ryan deemed too liberal by Alabama congressional candidate
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- During the 2012 presidential race, Democrats pilloried Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as an Ayn Rand-quoting conservative loony who wanted to dismantle Medicare and Social Security.
On Wednesday, Ryan was blasted as a liberal, amnesty-loving union suck-up.
Welcome to Alabama.
The Wisconsin congressman made an endorsement in the crowded GOP primary in Alabama's 1st Congressional District, a race that features nine Republicans vying to replace departing Rep. Jo Bonner.
Ryan announced his support Wednesday for Wells Griffith, a Mobile native and former Republican National Committee aide, calling him a "true friend" and "a strong conservative voice."
But it seems Ryan isn't conservative enough for one of the other candidates in the race, conservative writer Quin Hillyer.
Hillyer's campaign unloaded on Ryan, who has worked behind-the-scenes in the House to pass a version of comprehensive immigration reform:
"I have been a longtime admirer of Paul Ryan, but he has increasingly proved to be a disappointment and out of touch with Alabama values," Hillyer said in a statement circulated by his campaign.
"Alabama's economy is dependent on being a right to work state, but Ryan keeps adding to a long record of limiting employee freedom and driving up costs via support for the horrible Davis-Bacon law and other suck-ups to union bosses. I, on the other hand, am proud to have the official endorsement of the National Right to Work organization. And now Ryan is the driving force in the House for amnesty, against the principles laid out by our own Senator Jeff Sessions. If one of my opponents wants a leftward-moving Paul Ryan, he can have him."
A spokesman for the Griffith campaign pointed out in response that Hillyer has the backing of Rick Santorum - like Ryan, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate - who has called for "fair and robust" immigration reform that includes a guest worker program.
Hillyer also pledged earlier this week not to run a negative campaign against his opponents.