Paul Ryan took the stage in Tampa and peppered his speech with lies, falsehoods distortions and exaggerations. There were many to choose from, but here are the five biggest lies.
1). Ryan accuses Obama of closing down the GM plant.
What Ryan Said, “A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.” That’s what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.”
The Truth: The GM plant closure was announced in June of 2008, when George W. Bush was president. Barack Obama took office in January 2009.
2). Ryan Claims Taxpayers Got Nothing Out of the Stimulus.
What Ryan Said, ” What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted. Maybe the greatest waste of all was time. Here we were, faced with a massive job crisis – so deep that if everyone out of work stood in single file, that unemployment line would stretch the length of the entire American continent. You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation, and nothing else, his first order of economic business.”
The Truth: The stimulus added 3.3 million jobs, cut unemployment by 1.8%, and grew GDP by 4.1%. Nothing is what the country got when Ryan and his fellow Republican obstructed the American Jobs Act.
3). Ryan Accused Obama of Putting the Federal Government in Charge of Healthcare.
What Ryan Said, “Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care. Obamacare comes to more than two thousand pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country.”
The Truth: What would a Republican gathering be without a hat tip to the ugly step child of death panels? Obamacare doesn’t federalize healthcare. In fact, it does the opposite.
As FactCheck.org pointed out, “The health care law does set new minimum benefits packages, but that’s more a matter of coming between patients and their insurance companies, rather than patients and their doctors…he health care law doesn’t come close to establishing a government-run system like those of Britain or Canada. While Medicaid will be expanded to more people, most Americans will continue to get their insurance through a private carrier. To the dismay of many liberals, a proposal to include a government-run “public option” to private health insurance was dropped during the legislative process.”
4). Ryan Blames Obama for The Nation’s Downgraded Credit Rating.
What Ryan Said, ” It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.”
The Truth: S&P blamed the downgrade on the political dysfunction caused by the Ryan led House on the debt ceiling, “We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process.”
In short, Ryan is blaming President Obama for a crisis that he helped manufacture. If anyone is responsible for the downgrade, it is Paul Ryan and his fellow House Republicans.
5). Ryan Hints that Obama is a Socialist.
What Ryan Said, “None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.”
The Truth: Ryan’s sly nod to the right wing talking point that Obama is some sort of secret socialist hides the fact that this president is the biggest taxcutter in American history. This is a president whose biggest policy achievement is a healthcare reform that will give private sector health insurance companies millions of new customers. Obama is a lot of things, but he is definitely not a socialist.
Ryan speech showed both why Romney chose him, and why he isn’t going to help the ticket. Romney chose Ryan because he can talk the talk the far right conservative backbone wants to hear. Ryan sent the crowd on the convention floor into euphoric joy with his claims that Obamacare is the root of all evil, and big spending Barack Obama is ruining the country with his secret socialism.
This kind of rhetoric only resonates with the Republican Party. Any non Republican tuning probably wondered what that teenage boy on stage was so darn mad about. That’s the other problem with Paul Ryan. He lacks gravitas. When you listen to Paul Ryan speak, you don’t hear leader of the free world. You hear a teenager railing against Mom and Dad because he can’t have the car tonight. This perception is only advanced by Ryan’s constant usage of his mother as a political human shield.
All told, the GOP’s big idea man(child) gave a speech that completely lacking in ideas. This was completely forgettable speech by a completely forgettable running on a completely forgettable ticket.