Ryan says his letters in support of stimulus 'should have been handled differently'
August 16th, 2012
06:39 PM ET
11 years ago

Ryan says his letters in support of stimulus 'should have been handled differently'

(CNN) - Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan responded Thursday to his previous statements that he had not requested stimulus funding after reports emerged that he had sent letters to federal agencies in support of stimulus grant requests made by a Wisconsin non-profit.

Ryan, who represents Wisconsin in Congress, denied that he had requested stimulus monies in an interview this week with an Ohio television station as well as in a 2010 radio interview, statements which were contradictory to the letters he wrote as well as his opposition to the stimulus program.

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In a paper statement on Thursday, Ryan said, "After having these letters called to my attention I checked into them, and they were treated as constituent service requests in the same way matters involving Social Security or Veterans Affairs are handled.

"This is why I didn't recall the letters earlier, he continued. "But they should have been handled differently, and I take responsibility for that. Regardless, it's clear that the Obama stimulus did nothing to stimulate the economy, and now the President is asking to do it all over again."

In an interview with CNN affiliate WCPO on Thursday, Ryan said, "I never asked for stimulus," but declined to comment on reports that he did, saying he had not read one such report raised by the interviewer.

He said on a Boston-area radio station in October 2010 that he is "not one of the people who votes for something then writes to the government to ask them to send us money."

"I did not request any stimulus money," he said. The station, WBZ, posted audio of Ryan's 2010 comments to its website on Thursday.

In several letters obtained by CNN from a Democratic source, Ryan wrote to Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis "writing to express my support for" grant applications submitted by organizations including the Energy Center of Wisconsin.

Energy Center communications director Leslie Post told CNN that Ryan wrote letters on behalf of two projects in which the center was involved. The center received a total of $240,000 in grants primarily for a hybrid geothermal heating project. Post said Ryan did not write letters on behalf of a third project in which the center was involved but not the primary grant recipient.

The letters, grants, and radio interview were reported this week by The Boston Globe and The Wall Street Journal.

In the letters, Ryan wrote, "I support the Energy Center of Wisconsin and its partners' grant application for the Recovery Act - Training Program Development for Commercial Building Equipment Technicians Building Operators, and Energy Commissioning Agents/Auditors. I would appreciate it if you and the appropriate DOE would ensure that it is given your prompt and full consideration, consistent with all laws and regulations."

The grant referred to was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - the stimulus program which Ryan and other Republicans opposed.

Members of Congress regularly serve as advocates for those in their districts, as Ryan's official House website explains: "One of my most important jobs as your Congressman is to assist those I represent by serving as a direct link to the federal government, helping constituents navigate the bureaucratic maze, and cutting through the red tape to obtain answers from federal agencies."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. drewsco

    Hmmm, why is FOX news the only main stream news network thats not airing this story?

    August 16, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  2. yeah right

    All that Stimulus money you enjoyed

    August 16, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  3. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Ryan has shown himself to be just another republican liar. These fools seem to wear their liar credentials as a badge of honor. republicans must be completely morally bankrupt! I don't think we want liars representing the United States, do you?

    August 16, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  4. ron

    LOL. OK, Paulie. What would you lke to "retro-actively" change?? Hey, if Romney Hood can do it why can"t you?!

    August 16, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  5. PJ

    Oh boy, now the Tea Party has two candidates that can't take responsibility for their actions. Just two flat tires
    flipping and flopping their way down the road to nowhere.

    August 16, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  6. Jersey Girl

    Oh, dear, what's a losing VP candidate to do?
    Ryan is such a hypocrite and a liar. I guess that is why vulture-Romney picked him! Ryan first put down the Obama's stimulus, saying it was going to fail, then sent 3 letters – with his signature – requesting stimulus $ for his district, then said he didn't apply or get any stimulus $ (he said this to a radio station), but newspapers picked up on that at the time), and yesterday again when confronted he denied getting the $, but now today another backtrack, but still says the stimulus failed! How can he not remember signing 3 letters requesting $ just 2 years ago? Yep, folks, he is Repub VP material! LOL. (And then you wonder why it has been reported that so many people who are disillusioned and not going to vote this time around, sigh...)

    August 16, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  7. David R

    Ryan is sounding more an more like Mittens.

    Can either of them tell the truth?

    August 16, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  8. bold

    Right did nothing to stimulate the economy though Ryan wrote it would create 7600 jobs

    August 16, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  9. ObamaCares

    Oops, I was for it before I was against it. Ryan today: "I can't wait to have that debate." Looks like he's gonna have a lot of those moments. HaHaHa.

    August 16, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  10. Sorensen

    This man looks scary. His rubberface and strange mouth looks more like a lizard.
    The ultimate nerd. Romney is just totally empty and dishonest. This one is scary.

    August 16, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  11. Jobless recovery

    hilda solis is a la raza operative appointed by b. o. Like the vice pres of la raza cecilia munoz, he made her sec of DOMESTIC POLICY

    August 16, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  12. Bill in Florida

    Mitt the Flip-flopper now has PERFECT running mate: Paul the Flip-flopper. "I was in favor of the stimulus payments before I was against them."

    August 16, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |

    America: meet the VP-nominee for Flipping and Flopping.

    August 16, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  14. Sheon1

    Lies,Lies,Oh Lies
    Why do they con't to LIE when their words and deeds are caught on tape, video, and print?
    Can you really tell me you trust These People with our Country?

    August 17, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  15. Andy M.

    Simple solution. Ryan should demand that the company, that he begged the stimulus money for, return the money. Afterall, "he didn't build that."

    August 17, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  16. Bernard

    I think congress should not have rush anything and took there time and pass a balance budget over turn over right to house and senate

    August 17, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  17. Name Stephanie from Pittsburgh

    Romney and Ryan r both liars. Please voters see them for who they r and what they stand for. Make the rich richer at the expense of the middle class.
    Obama/Biden 2012!!!

    August 17, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  18. J.V.Hodgson

    He does what every single elected official in office does.
    1) He looks at whats on offer federally that works for his state and will support it overtly or covertly the result is the same.
    2) He will at the Federal level support party ideology ( vote against recovery act) even if that is the opposite of what he says within state = take the money and run.
    The tag label and justifications for these is checks and balances. It's a horrible usurpation of what our founding fathers intended which can be encapsulated in the slavery debates and many legisaltive actions thereafter.
    These changes were moral, human rights needs that were a federal need and over rode any specific states commercial or other objections, equal access to education being the classic state vs federal needs.SCOTUS had to interfere... bad!!
    By checks and balances the founding fathers saw " compromise" as the way forward and did it consistently.
    The last 30 years in USA have seen ideology overtake compromise completely to the extent that compromise as a word does not exist. Bi partisan ship is a nice new word for compromise but has been unachived any where in the last 12 years at least. We can all make progress by NOT trying to "BLAME" either side but please fix the problem in the national or federal interest.... you will still get re-elected.

    August 17, 2012 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  19. Darrell

    He was caught...now he is lying. Coming to a theater near you, a new movie, starring Romney and Ryan, The Liars Club.

    August 17, 2012 04:00 am at 4:00 am |
  20. MrManhattan

    "But they should have been handled differently" ...

    So you would have preferred not being caught in a lie??

    August 17, 2012 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  21. Nameemma

    Is cnn part of republican party to go out of their way to get stuff from ryan website?

    August 17, 2012 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
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