August 30th, 2012
06:25 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan doesn't back down on controversial comments from speech

(CNN) – Despite facing heated criticism over some comments from his convention speech, GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan stood by his remarks Thursday.

On CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," Ryan said he would not revise his statements linking President Obama to the closure of a General Motors plant in Wisconsin, even though the decision to shutter the factory occurred before Obama took office.

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"It's still idle," Ryan said. "The point is this is a story of the Obama economy. A man running for president in 2008 making all these grand promises and then none of them occurring."

During his speech Wednesday night, Ryan told a story about then-presidential candidate Obama sharing with auto workers his hope that government could help keep their plant open. In his speech, Ryan quoted Obama as saying "if our government is there to support you ... this plant will be here for another hundred years."

Ryan added: "That plant didn't last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day."

The plant was shut down just over a year later, but the decision to do so occurred in June 2008, prior to Obama winning election to the White House. It officially closed its doors in April 2009, a few months into Obama's first term.

According to a CNN Fact Check, Ryan's statement was true–in the sense that the factory closed down while Obama was president, but his speech was incomplete.

The CNN report states: "To fairly evaluate Obama's statement, at least two pieces of context – missing from Ryan's account – would be useful: First, that Obama wasn't telling this plant that he'd save it from a pending closure. He wasn't addressing a plant that he knew to be closing, because the closure announcement didn't come until four months after his speech. Second, although the plant's last bit of production stopped early in Obama's presidency and the plant remains closed, the closure was planned before Obama became president."

But Ryan on Thursday did not walk back his comments.

"He got elected. He put his policies in place and the plant is still shut down," Ryan said on CNN. "These are empty promises that become broken promises, and that's the story of the Obama economy."

The House Budget chairman also stood by another jab he made Wednesday, blaming Obama for "doing nothing" over last year's debt deal fiasco.

"He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing," Ryan, who served on that panel, said in his convention speech.

According to a CNN Fact Check, Ryan was misleading over the so-called Bowles-Simpson plan–the deficit reduction proposal that became the end product of the presidential debt commission. However, the proposal failed to gain enough votes from the group's 18 members to pass. Ryan, himself, even voted against the plan.

The CNN Fact Check states: "Obama didn't sign onto the Bowles-Simpson recommendations wholeheartedly, but he did take some of their suggestions to Congress in 2011. And Ryan ignores his own role in the failure of the Bowles-Simpson panel."

Pressed about it further Thursday, Ryan emphasized the budget plan he put forward, arguing that he at least took action beyond the commission, whereas the president did not.

"We took the best ideas from Bowles-Simpson and added other ideas and passed it. President Obama did none of that. President Obama said 'I don't like this plan' and offered nothing in return," Ryan said.

Asked about the last-minute debt ceiling deal reached between Congress and the White House last summer–one for which House Speaker John Boehner engaged in multiple negotiations with Obama–Ryan said it wasn't enough.

"It was a small or medium-sized deal, and cutting a back room deal that gives you liability is not leadership," Ryan said. "Submitting a budget to Congress that fixes a problem is leadership, and we haven't seen it from President Obama."

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Filed under: 2012 • Debt • Deficit • Paul Ryan • Republican National Convention • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Dan B

    Very typical ! Ryan not accepting mistake and apologizing – No, he would NOT. He blongs to a group of ignorant foolhardy people, who deliberately tell untruth and knowingly keep on repeating such as if by so doing they can make them true for all to accept. Really disturbing – one can get nowhere with such people. Ignorance and arogance can make a very harmful combination. Such people speak false dogma.

    August 30, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  2. Mike A

    For all you liberals crying about corrupt conservatives and vice versa... There are no republicans or democrats, just politicians on both sides that want power. If you really think your party cares about you you are either brainwashed or a complete fool.

    August 30, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  3. Darron R. Brown, M.D.

    There is no worse politician than one who will not admit to lying or deceiving the public (intentionally or otherwise) to further his/her own interests. Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, this sort of behavior should not be rewarded with your vote.

    August 30, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  4. willamette2012

    He can't afford to retract a lie. He's running for office. He can't afford to tell the truth either. If the Republicans are going to rely so heavily on misleading the public to get Obama out of office, I guess the truth about Obama must not be so bad.

    August 30, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. Ken

    Of course he doesn't back down. He's got the republican "say whatever you like and repeat it enough times hoping that it sticks as the truth with some who are not too bright" thing down pat!

    They don't call him Lyin' Ryan for nothing!

    August 30, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    Ryan has demonstrated the quality of his character by the numerous lies in his speech.

    August 30, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  7. Observer

    Similar to pants-on-fire Romeny, Ryan sadly chooses to double-down on his lies. Not presidential material.

    August 30, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  8. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    CNN even said Ryans account was true. Face it, the uhbama is a failure.

    August 30, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  9. NikoEsquire

    And to think that the Republicans see this man as someone who is honest. An honest man would be able to admit that he did not tell the truth. Ryan outright lied, got caught in the lie & now wants to double down on it. Well, they are running a campaign that has stated it won't be hamstrung by fact checkers. Here's another example...

    August 30, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. NC

    No way I am voting for the R&R duo.

    August 30, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. Martha in CF

    He's a liar and he knows it...........Hopefully the easily swayed people who were swooning will catch on about the untruths spoken/////

    August 30, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  12. JustAO

    I sure hope that all the i'm for something, now i'm against it done by Romney and Ryan do well for them at the debates. Obama is a chess player and I think these guys, like most GOP are still playing a checkers game.

    Keep offering nothing different from the Bush year policies and see yourselves not in the White House.

    August 30, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  13. albert

    Ryan is the future of politics. Meaning that the lies won't stop. The future generation of politicians are lying conniving crooks. Thank you Mr. Ryan.

    August 30, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. California Gary

    He knew they were lies when he said them........why would he go back on them now? He did exactly what Romney hired him to do. Don't expect any integrity from this guy now, or in the future. He is bought and paid for.

    August 30, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  15. n

    In the end the truth will be the only thing standing. Period.

    August 30, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  16. Steve

    So apparently Ryan believes that the government should control the means of production. Wow! What a revelation! Ryan is a socialist!!

    August 30, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. albert

    Nd lets not forget, these are the "Christian" guys. What a bunch of liars! We all know what the Bible says about liars.

    August 30, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. Blackflag

    When you think about how Paul Ryan and the GOP members of Congress worked tirelessly with their colleagues across the aisle to improve the economy over the last few years, you can't help but feel their disappointment.

    Oh wait, that's right. They did literally everything they possible could do stifle the economy during Obama's first term so they could use it against him in this election, just like Ryan is trying to do right now. They even announced their intentions to do this. How dumb does Paul Ryan think we are? (Sadly, at least 40% of the population actually is just that stupid. Fortunately, the number is not much higher than that so Obama will no doubt be elected to a second term.)

    Try campaigning on your own record you self-serving, corrupt, little automaton. Oh that's right, you don't have one.

    August 30, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  19. rs

    Nevr give up, never surrender" said the science fiction comic hero. Probably very appropriate give the lack of reality displayed by Mr. Ryan last evening in his fact-free screed.

    August 30, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  20. Pieman211

    I like the question "what are you doing to prepare for the debate with Uncle Joe?" BWHAHAHHA Ryan could drop some acid and go to the debate and Uncle Joe will be exposed again as the idiot he is!!!

    August 30, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  21. Marie MD

    He sure doesn't back down. In a CBS interview just now the facts, the truths, are being presented to him and he still insists that the repugs are not the ones keeping the country behind the fence. Who blackmails and extorts the President? The teapublikkklans. Who want to make him a one term president? The teapublikkklans.
    Of course his body language says differently. It's like he was sitting on a hornets nest. Talk about moving the body left right and all around.
    I never understood how the shrub #43 could live with himself knowing that the Iraqi war was a war that should have never happened and all those deaths should have never occurred but what is it about these rethugs? It's scary.

    August 30, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  22. Rik Warren

    Facts are not facts unless they support your world view. This is the GOP disease. Ryan or any of the others can distort the truth because their base will not consider anything other than, rid us of Obama. This underlying sentiment was expressed very clearly early in Obama;'s term by Mitch McConnell. Nothing matter more than limiting Obama to a single term.

    August 30, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  23. Abraham

    He lie too much he was trying hard for obama o fail. I watched everyday the news CNN I do not like him and GOP they maeing life hard for me and my friends they think we do not understand what is going on . Only if obama was white man they wontt be no GOP, the way they did their work. I hope he gets elected one more time . I hope most white peopel understood what the GOP did and si still doin . They make it so hard for our elected leader to do his jub. They voted for Iraq war he ended it. HE KILLED THE MOST WANTED MAN . WE ARE SAFE, when they were leader they used yellow orange red colors to scared us, Obama doesn't.

    August 30, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. Chad

    Ha. Wolf got destroyed. Everything Ryan said was correct. It's just the poor media doesn't want to accept it.

    August 30, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  25. Spanglish

    The plant was functioning still in 2009 and Obama did not do a thing only saved. The jobs for the syndicates and its pension , He also forgot the GM/Deldhi workers they were not syndicaliised and 290.000 thousands were let go they pans ions cut by 45% and they are living out of the basics. Obama is the worst thig ever happen to US.

    August 30, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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