08/30/2012; Mike Hall
Last night, Paul Ryan lived up to the Mitt Romney campaign pledge that it would not be “dictated by fact-checkers” when he blamed President Obama for the closure of a General Motors (GM) plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wis. As any fact-checker or Janesville worker who lost a job knows, the plant closed during the Bush administration.
Even Ryan’s congressional office knows the truth that Ryan ignored last night. Take a look at this June 3, 2008, letter from Ryan and Wisconsin Sens. Russ Feingold (D) and Herb Kohl (D) criticizing GM’s plan to shutter the plant. Obama was an Illinois senator and George W. Bush was in the White House, just as they both were when the Janesville plant closed its doors later in that year.
It should be noted that thanks to the Obama administration’s auto industry recovery program, Chrysler and GM have moved from the brink of bankruptcy to profit, while Ryan is carrying water for a running mate who famously said he would have let Detroit go “bankrupt.”
The auto industry supports 1-in-8 Ohio jobs and Ohio AFL-CIO Communications Director Mike Gillis says Ryan’s bold-faced falsehood about Janesville is part of:
an attempt to re-write history and the Romney/Ryan ticket has an obvious complex when it comes to the [auto recovery] issue.
But Ryan’s lie about Janesville was just part of a fact-challenged speech, the audacity of which is stunning but not surprising. Earlier this week when the Romney campaign was roundly criticized for a blatantly false TV ad accusing Obama of secretly removing the work requirement in the welfare law, Romney pollster Neil Newhouse told reporters, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” It’s obviously standing by that pledge.
Last night, we wrote how Ryan twisted the truth about Medicare when he cynically labeled Obama’s cutting of waste from Medicare as a takeaway from seniors. But the reality is that the Affordable Care Act cut overpayments to hospitals and private insurers who were making billions in profits. That money was invested back into traditional Medicare. Seniors saw improvements, not cuts to their Medicare benefits.
Here are some other takes on Ryan’s “truthiness,” starting with this stunner from Sally Kohn at FoxNews.com who writes:
- “[A]nyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech.”
- Fact Check by the Associated Press says, “Ryan Takes Factual Shortcuts in Speech.”
- Talking Points Memo’s Brian Beutler outlines the “Top 5 Fibs in Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech.”
- The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn wonders if Ryan gave “The Most Dishonest Speech…Ever?”
- Jonathan Bernstein at The Washington Post writes, “Paul Ryan Fails: The Truth.”
- At The Nation, Greg Mitchell wonders how the media will respond in “Liar’s Poker: GOPers Make Stuff Up.”