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

    More fairy tales and truth-dodging from the RR campaign. Can't wait until these guys are running the country...

    August 16, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  2. Cassie

    What is new here don't vote for something but then ask for the money. How many that was against but asked for the money?

    August 16, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  3. Mike

    Between this and Medicare, Ryan already has TWO "bridge to nowhere" stories to backtrack on. Is he Palin or what! Hahaha

    August 16, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Chris in NY

    What else is new. He didn't know he would be picked as VP candidate , so he could starve his district in the name of sticking it to President Obama.

    August 16, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  5. Donkey Party

    The only thing the GOP lacks more of than intelligence, respect, and decency, is accountability. Name one right-winger who has ever taken responsibility for their words or actions?

    August 16, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    Another flip flopping twit.
    Oh please, stop it with the lies. Just like your buddy you did and then didn't or you said and then didn't say.
    This is getting old. What's next? You have a dog?

    August 16, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  7. rs

    Well at least it is good to see that Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan are on the same page as far as telling the truth. It appears niether are what they claim.

    August 16, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. Ayn Rand(author of 'Selfishness is a Virtue') was an atheist, so doesn't that make her disciple, Paul Ryan, "ANTI-CHRIST"?

    ""This is why I didn't recall the letters earlier, he continued. "But they should have been handled differently"

    Well of course, they should have, NOW that it has been proven you were caught in a lie!

    August 16, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  9. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Waddya know. Another GOP etch-a-sketch artist. Come on now, is ANYBODY really surprised?

    Easy to wipe facts and reality away at a whim, when your whole political premise is based on rightwing fairytales. If their etch-a-sketch ever breaks, they will be forced to confront the reality that their fairytales have already had seriously bad consequences for this country. Only a dysfunctional electorate would purposefully vote such FAILURE back into office.

    August 16, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  10. California Gary

    Nope......not me........I never asked for those funds. What's that? You have a letter? Oh, that letter......yeah, I forgot about that one. But that should have been handled differently, and it doesn't matter anyway. What matters is this Mr. Ryan.......you voted one way, then asked for funds you voted against, then blamed the president for issuing funds that you received for your district to help create jobs that you now say were never created by those funds. And when asked about it.....you lied. That's what matters.

    August 16, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  11. dwmanning13

    By "handled differently", Ryan means, " I should have hidden this better. I like to rail against government subsidies and stimuli, but like every other Republican, my convictions are overwhelmed by the thought of getting my snout in the trough."

    And, the stimulus did work. The American private sector was rupturing, and shedding over a half million jobs a month. Major steps were required to stop the bleeding as a result of the eight years of fiscal lunacy, and Obama took major steps. Ryan voted against it.

    I'm voting against Ryan. And that other guy he's running with...oh, his name eludes me right now.

    August 16, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. Scum1981

    Um...In his letter it says "Recovery Act" soooo........seems like he did know.

    August 16, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  13. CBR

    Mr. Ryan, you were caught. Please don't explain your actions by putting the onus on your constituents. If you cannot take responsibility for what you have done then how do you expect us to believe that you will always be upfront with us. You cannot have it both ways!

    August 16, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  14. n

    Oh what a tangle web we weave, when at first, we practice to deceive. Romney and Ryan, the king of thieves.

    August 16, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  15. Lisa P

    I guess Rep. Ryan would have preferred that the letters were burned? *After* the programs he supported got the stimulus money they were requesting, of course. This whole government transparency thing can be so inconvenient and annoying sometimes! For liars. Like Paul Ryan.

    August 16, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  16. Tom

    Sorry, Ace. Try backpeddling from the truth now. Have fun taking the media acid bath from now until November.

    August 16, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  17. CanadaONE

    and NOW the TRUTH is starting to emerge – WAIT until you hear the rest of the STORIES

    August 16, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  18. labman57

    Translation: "I regret that my prior moment of candor has come back to bite me in the ass."

    Of course, Ryan is hardly unique with respect to his two-faced assessment of the federal stimulus fund program.

    All of these hypocritical anti-Stimulus right wing politicians, reeking of faux outrage, remind me of an ungrateful teenager who asks Dad for $50 and the keys to the car, receives both ... and then proceeds to diss his parents as he drives his buddies to their favorite club.

    August 16, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  19. nitro

    Stop that lie and most important stop insulting my intelegence.

    August 16, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  20. SafeJourney

    Really? so you didn't want anyone to know that you vote against the stimulus but then asked for it for your county saying that it would create jobs. You are a liar just like romney and a hypocrite

    August 16, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  21. Darryl

    This guy Ryan is a real scum-bag to say the least. Him and his family have strong and huge investments in Big Oil Corporations too. His Family bussiness got financial help from the goverment also.( loans ). If he gets into the W/H with Romney, you can Kiss Social Security good-bye to Wallstreet and Medicare ? It won't be around very long.

    August 16, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  22. Christy P in Santa Cruz

    So the squeeky clean Rep from Wisconsin is a LIAR too. Hmmm. Why am I not shocked? Let's see...
    1. Lies about what ACA is and will do for seniors – claiming the President cut $716 Billion from Medicare. While his very ownbudget cute the SAME amount, but gives it back to the insurance companies.
    2. Is trying to dismantle Social Security, yet personally benefited by receiving survivor benefits when his Dad died when Ryan was 16. Then went on to use that money towards colleg.
    3. Lies about writing 5 letters to the Obama Administration asking for money for his home town in Wisconsin.
    4. And then there's the lies about welfare and 'people don't need to get jobs, they just get a check'

    Obama/Biden 2012 vs TaxDodger/LiarLiarPantsonFire 20never!!!

    August 16, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. Sarah

    Liar, liar, pants on fire. Next up it'll be "I'm not a crook." And Romney, "I didn't put the dog on the roof of the car ... uh ... duh ... er ... my wife did!"

    August 16, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  24. Dawn

    In other words, he is throwing his staff under the bus.

    August 16, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  25. joyce

    He can't even get his lies straight.

    August 16, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
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