Last night, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, accepted the nomination with a speech that took place in a world of his own making. The breathtaking dishonesty of Ryan’s speech seems to have shocked a lot of journalists and observers.
A lot of outlets talked around the “L” word. The Associated Press fact-check used the term “factual shortcuts” and said Ryan “strayed from reality,” while USA Today came closer by saying Ryan’s speech “contained several false claims and misleading statements.” But let’s say it outright: Paul Ryan lied. He lied, deliberately, about a lot of things.
It’s especially galling because Rep. Ryan has acquired an undeserved reputation in Washington as a “serious” guy, a courageous teller of bold truths. One hopes that the straight-shooting Paul Ryan myth will fade away after last night. We’ll see. Continue reading “The Upside-Down World of Paul Ryan”
Representative Paul D. Ryan used his convention speech on Wednesday to fault President Obama for failing to act on a deficit-reduction plan that he himself had helped kill. He chided Democrats for seeking $716 billion in Medicare cuts that he too had sought. And he lamented the nation’s credit rating — which was downgraded after a debt-ceiling standoff that he and other House Republicans helped instigate.
Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times
Barack Obama touring the G.M. plant in Janesville, Wis., in 2008.
And Mitt Romney, in his acceptance speech on Thursday night, asserted that President Obama’s policies had “not helped create jobs” and that Mr. Obama had gone on an “apology tour” for America. He also warned that the president’s Medicare cuts would “hurt today’s seniors,” claims that have already been labeled false or misleading.
The two speeches — peppered with statements that were incorrect or incomplete — seemed to signal the arrival of a new kind of presidential campaign, one in which concerns about fact-checking have been largely set aside.
In recent weeks, the Romney campaign has broadcast television advertisements leveling the widely debunked assertion that Mr. Obama had gutted the work requirements for welfare recipients. The Obama campaign, for its part, ran a deceptive ad saying that Mitt Romney had “backed a bill that outlaws all abortion, even in case of rape and incest,” although he currently supports exceptions in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk. Continue reading “Facts Take a Beating in Acceptance Speeches”