Proving he can’t speak without lying, Paul Ryan defended his previous lies about the Janesville GM plant closure being Obama’s fault by lying some more on NBC’s Today. This time, Ryan claimed he never blamed Obama for the closure but it’s still Obama’s fault and he claims GM is not alive, on the very day when all three automakers post double digit gains.
Oh prevaricating Paul.
Watch here via Today:
First we had Paul run, run running away from his speech:
“What they are trying to suggest is that I said Barack Obama was responsible for the plant shutdown in Janesville. That is not what I was saying; read the speech. What I was saying is, the president ought to be held to account for his broken promises. After our plant was shut down, he said he would lead efforts to retool plants like the Janesville Plant. It’s still idle. My point was not to lay blame on a plant shutdown, but this is yet another example of the president’s broken promises. In 2008, he traveled all around the country making promises he would break, just like in Janesville.”
Ah, so it’s not Obama’s fault but it is. Right. Let’s get the formalities done, although Ryan’s been fact-checked on this enough that everyone in America should know the story of how Janesville rolled the last car off the line in December of 2008, after announcing in the summer of 2008 that it would close (even Republicans can’t blame Obama for something that happened before he was in office, can they?). Ryan’s claim was rated “false” by PolitiFact and numerous other publications, in part because he blamed Obama for a “broken promise” that was broken under Bush, not Obama. Obama promised to fight to save auto industry jobs, and he did.
In October of 2008, then Senator Obama said:
“This news is also a reminder that Washington needs to finally live up to its promise to help our automakers compete in our global economy. As president, I will lead an effort to retool plants like the GM facility in Janesville so we can build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs in Wisconsin and all across America.”
Yes, see, “like the GM facility in Janesville” is not the same as what Ryan has been saying. Ryan added that this morning to his retooled version of his own words. And the President did exactly that; Obama used the stimulus and tried to use jobs bills (Republicans obstructed all but one of them) to retool plants in order to create new manufacturing jobs and push America forward.
And although Ryan moved a few words around until he arrived slyly at “like the Janesville Plant” today, the fact of the matter is that precisely because of President Obama, plants like the Janesville plant are open today. If Ryan wanted his plant “retooled” perhaps he should have convinced himself to vote yes on any part of the President’s jobs bill in addition to the Veteran’s Jobs Bill.
Maybe policy wonk Paul Ryan didn’t read the bills, but they included (like the brilliant and effective stimulus that Ryan was against but took the money anyway) things like retooling plants for green jobs.
I know, right? And meanwhile, Ryan could have proposed a jobs bill himself. Or any one of his Republican colleagues could have. Something to address that Janesville plant?
But no. Republicans did not produce one single jobs bill. Not one (and no, tax cuts and deregulation do not count as jobs bills, no matter what Republicans tell you). They ran on jobs, but then obstructed the President’s jobs bills and never introduced even one of their own. Remember when Republicans were mocking the incandescent light bulb and getting all huffy about Obama ordering them to use a certain light bulb and no amount of explaining that it was Bush who actually passed the light bulb orders but that they were a good thing ever made a dent in the right wing hysteria.
Well, see, those incandescent light bulbs also created jobs and plants were retooled in order to manufacture them.
• Sylvania has retooled a Pennsylvania plant to make the new, efficient incandescent light bulbs.
• TCP, a bulb maker that traditionally has done all of its manufacturing in China, plans to open its first U.S. plant, in Ohio, where it will make new CFL bulbs.
• Philips in California, Cree in North Carolina, and Lighting Science Group in Florida are creating jobs to produce LEDs and components.
And this speech was different than the other speeches wherein Ryan did blame Obama for Janesville (as he is still doing, though now Ryan has a new shiny ball reason).
A few weeks ago, CNN was trying to find an even nicer way of calling out Ryan’s “fib” about the GM plant, so they settled on asking the question, when of course, there is no world in which this is not a lie:
In a speech in Canton, Ohio on Thursday, Ryan blamed Obama’s energy policies for the closure of the GM plant in his hometown, but the plant closure was announced in June of 2008. The last car rolled off the Janesville line on December 23, 2008. Obviously, President Obama was then a Senator, and not the President.
KAYE: To politics now and a blame game that traces its roots back to Paul Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin. Ryan says this General Motors plant in Janesville, Wisconsin part of his congressional district is evidence of what he calls quote, “One more broken promise by President Obama” saying “The auto bailout which Ryan voted for failed to keep the plant open.”
So, there it is. Paul Ryan was blaming Obama for that plant closure, saying the auto bailout he (Ryan) voted for did not save it. Was Ryan really unaware that the plant was already closed or was he just lying because he couldn’t find a legitimate failure of Obama’s and so Ryan resorted to making them up, since the Romney/Ryan ticket is running on an entirely fictional Obama narrative and absolutely no policy?
We might ask what Paul Ryan has done for the Janesville plant in his district. After all, he tells us he knows how to create jobs and yet his district is no example of creating jobs. Why is that?
Where are the jobs, Ryan? Why didn’t Ryan go after stimulus money to retool the plant and retrain the workers ? Yes, Ryan got federal money for the workers — federal money he doesn’t think the rest of the country is entitled to, by the way and federal money that he is allegedly opposed to but can’t explain how Ryan’s “ideas” would work to create money or why he needed to double down on the President’s plan to save the economy if he truly doesn’t believe it works.
Then Ryan was on CBS where he was asked about Vice President Biden’s line “Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive” sour Ryan said, “General Motors isn’t alive in my hometown.”
It’s a wonder the press never asks him how GM would be doing if his running mate Mitt “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” Romney were anywhere near the White House during the last six years.
As Ryan was nattering on TV about the failure of Obama’s auto industry recovery, Forbes ran this headline as if smacking Ryan upside the head:
U.S. Auto Sales Speed Up In August: Ford, GM And Chrysler Book Double-Digit Gains
That slowdown in the U.S. economy didn’t seem to hurt auto sales in August as Ford Motor, General Motors and Chrysler each reported solid gains from a year ago.
Ryan wants y’all to believe that he wasted time at the Blame Obama convention saying this:
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.
But what he really meant was that while it wasn’t Obama’s fault, hey, the plant closed and government doesn’t support you so vote for Ryan/Romney government.
The trick here is that we are supposed to get so tired of winding our way down the acid strewn path of Ryan in AynLand that we lose our way, and so enraged that we sound exactly like them, thus leading to the inevitable “both sides do it” media crutch.
In campaign season, candidates will over simplify and interpret events within the paradigm of their belief and values. But that’s not what Paul Ryan is doing with this story. What happened is Paul Ryan repeatedly told a story about the Janevsille plant in which he blamed Obama for something that happened under Bush. Ryan, like most Republicans these days, is not used to being fact-checked, because on their network of choice, facts are not a priority. On Fox, Republicans have been given the false impression that all viewers are easily misled.
But the American voter is not stupid, and Ryan insults their intelligence and indeed insults all who place even a remote value on the issues.
Even under Ryan’s retooled explanation for his lie, he is still lying.
It was President Obama who saved the auto industry and who, through many programs that the Republicans mocked, successfully managed to get new manufacturing going in those closed down plants. The fact that Paul Ryan was unable to attract a new business to his town is no one’s fault but perhaps his own, for he mocked the stimulus and said repeatedly that it didn’t work. Still, Ryan took the stimulus money and still he failed to create jobs.
Sadly, the truth is that there is supposed to be a new business coming to Janesville down the road a few years, but Ryan chose not to have a serious discussion about that, and rather to blame Obama for the empty plant because Ryan’s entire job as a Republican this season is to keep whining about Obama instead of being a serious politician. Ryan’s job is to avoid issues by throwing red meat of Obama hate at the masses and then running away from his lies when he’s caught by the informed.
The biggest lie of all is that when GM announced the closure, Bush called it “trimming the fat” which is something Ryan is allegedly all for. If we could ever get past the endless lies, someone might ask Ryan how “trimming the fat” works in real life, when it happens in your district. The hypocrisy herein is epic, because the stark truth is that the economic “ideas” Ryan’s touting are such a failure not even he can make them work, nor does he attempt to do so in his own district.
But of course, Republicans can’t afford for you to be thinking about their “ideas” and finding the glaring hypocrisies within them. And so they boil it down to pointing a finger at an empty chair and ranting like madmen.
According to the very conservative Forbes, Obama’s plan to save the auto industry did in fact work, and they have posted double digit gains, making Ryan’s last refuge for his Big Lie even more ridiculous.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.