Ryan renews defense of GM plant claim
September 4th, 2012
09:12 AM ET
11 years ago

Ryan renews defense of GM plant claim

(CNN) – Paul Ryan continued defending his speech at the Republican National Convention Tuesday, saying the link he made between President Barack Obama and a closed auto plant in Wisconsin was accurate and reflected a record of failed promises from the Democratic incumbent.

"What they are trying to suggest is that I said Barack Obama was responsible for the plant that shut down in Janesville. That's not what I was saying. Read the speech," Ryan said on NBC. He made similar comments last week on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

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Ryan continued Tuesday, "What I was saying is the president ought to be held to account for broken promises. After the plant was shut down he said he would lead efforts to restart the plant. It's still idle."

During his speech Wednesday night, Ryan relayed a story about then-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."

In his remarks at the plant in February 2008, Obama was discussing a transition to producing vehicles powered by alternative energy. He said, "I know how much progress you've made – how many hybrids and fuel-efficient vehicles you're churning out. And I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years. The question is not whether a clean energy economy is in our future, it's where it will thrive. I want it to thrive right here in the United States of America; right here in Wisconsin; and that's the future I'll fight for as your president."

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

Ryan said Tuesday that while Obama may not have had a hand in closing the auto plant, he was to blame for not re-opening it.

"The promise was he was going to open the plant," Ryan said. "The promise was he was going to lead an effort to retool the plant so people would be open and go back to work for 100 years. The point is he filled people with hope traveling around the country running for president making grandiose promises which are not true."

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Ryan defended Mitt Romney's decision not to mention Afghanistan in his convention speech, saying the Republican nominee had already addressed the issue in remarks to the American Legion the day before his address.

"I think you have to remember the day before that speech Mitt Romney went to the American Legion and gave a lengthy speech on the topic. He was invited, did a lengthy speech the day before," Ryan said.

In that speech, Romney briefly mentioned Afghanistan and paid tribute to troops serving there, but used the majority of his remarks to blast Obama's foreign policy record, which he characterized as weak.

Ryan said on CBS that the Republican ticket agreed with Obama's deadline to bring troops home from Afghanistan by 2014, but said there was disagreement with the president on the wisdom of withdrawal timetables.

"We do agree with the timeline," Ryan said. "Where we have some differences of opinions are political timetables for troop size. We feel that our commanders in the theater ought to have the resources they need, especially throughout the fighting season, to make sure that the counterinsurgency of operations are done with the amount of troops that are needed to see the job through as safely as possible. But we do agree with the 2014 timeline."

CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Paul Ryan • President Obama
soundoff (323 Responses)
  1. quinLee

    ...so the Reps leave their convention defending lies, misinformation, lack of having new ideas, and a whacky overshadowing closing performance.

    September 4, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |

    Paul Ryan was the Chairman of the House Budget Committee. He embraced this Budget Control Act.Now Ryan is blaming Obama for a plan that Ryan and other House Republicans put through”

    “Ryan denounced Obama policies and maneuvers that closely resemble some of his own and made several not-quite-complete statements that resulted in a day of criticism and gave Democrats an opportunity to question both his credibility and his intellectual honesty.

    , Ryan criticized Obama for ignoring the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles Commission. What Ryan didn’t say is that he served on the commission and voted against its proposals.

    Ryan criticized Obama’s plan to cut $700 billion from the growth of Medicare. Ryan’s own plan also calls for $700 billion in cuts, though with different details. Why not acknowledge this? Everyone knows it — unless Ryan believes that his audience isn’t up to speed — so why not set the record straight?”

    To run America more like a business, you must downsize underperforming states

    September 4, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  3. bill

    What a liar. He's no better than the piece of cardboard he's running with.

    September 4, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  4. Yonni

    How old is Ryan? May be he is too young or not fully grown up to understand that lying is not a virtue for a VP. Very infantile, not to insult the infant.

    September 4, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Perhaps if Ryan had spent more time trying to save this plant (which incidentally is in his District), he wouldn't now feel so obligated to save face by lashing out at Obama for it's closing. The truth behind the closing was a recession occurring before Obama became President, and a direct result of Paul Ryan's voting record which in effect helped give GW the means with which to cause the complete economic meltdown each of Paul Ryan's yea votes supported.

    Just another "what's sauce for the goose, ISN'T sauce for the gander" Romney campaign foolishness.

    By this time in her campaign, even Palin knew to quit with the "I said No to the Bridge to Nowhere" bs. Which Paul Ryan also supported ... the bridge to nowhere that is.

    September 4, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    This man is a liar! He has a record of ineptness that he is trying to deny. 14 years of incompetence in the house: he never saw a Bush unfunded program he could vote against, two unfunded wars, unfunded drug programs, TARP, Bush tax cuts for the wealthy with no revenue increase from other sources, over 60 attacks on women's rights, 33 attempts to repeal ACA, vote against the stimulus and took credit for the jobs it created in his district. Lyin' Ryan is a typical tea bagger waging war against America.

    September 4, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    In the words of Joe Wilson, "You lie Ryan!"

    September 4, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |

    Lyin Ryan would make just as bad a vp as he is as a house teaparty member ,if you haven't been able to find a job ,this is the gop goofball to blame !!!and if you want to pay for your mom and dads healthcare if their under 55, send this total loser the bill.

    September 4, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  9. dreucalypt

    When Republicans are caught lying, they "double down" on the lie. And then people think they really really mean business and wonder whether they are speaking the truth after all. It's the oldest trick in the book.

    September 4, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  10. JPNAmerican

    Wow Ryan that is so hypocritical of you. To go on and say this is what I meant when you not only attack Obama for his "You didn't build that" comment even though it was debunked by fact-checkers, but you build an entire convention theme around it. You sir are a big liar and now a lot of American's know it.

    September 4, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  11. Anonymous

    It is a wonder that Janesville is still allowing Mr. Ryan to use their fine town as a political prop. He seems more determined to wash his hands of his own failures where Janesville is concerned, than actually help Janesville.

    The Bush recession caused the plant to close, and Paul Ryan spent his time in Washington saying HELL NO to each of President Obama's solutions for the auto industry. No doubt, had Ryan actually worked with the President instead of using the unemployed as a lever to make Mr. Obama a one term President, who knows what might have happened in Janesville.

    And the country as a whole.

    September 4, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |

    I thought the Gop goofballs didn't want the government involved like the auto bailout that romney the tax cheat is againest,Gop lies and double speak Ryan the Gop house loser has never even had a real job except driving a hot dog car and has been living off the taxpayers for his whole crooked career!!!!!

    September 4, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  13. tee1227

    Paul Ryan: I Wasn't Blaming Obama For GM Plant Closure hmm now he want`s to walk it back no way, This guy is a fraud.

    September 4, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  14. maf

    So we get eight more weeks of innuendo and baffle speak from the GOP that picks upon a veiled promise that the President made BEFORE the Republicans began to obstruct and filibuster and negate EVERYTHING that President Obama was trying to do FOUR years ago!!
    The GOP will continue to paint themselves onto a platform that is unrecognizable except to the religious right!
    Keep telling the partial truths. . . we see through it!

    Dems, get out and vote. That will be the only way to sweep Republicans out of the House!!

    September 4, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  15. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Ryan said Tuesday that while Obama may not have had a hand in closing the auto plant, he was to blame for not re-opening it.◄

    I knew that word "re-open" was going to SLIP or FLIP in there because a Republican analyst said the same word last week – LYAN did not say “REOPEN” in his speech – LYAN also made his audience BELIEVE that President Obama was the direct result of the plant closing – PERIOD!! That is what he relayed and that is what he wanted his audience to believe.

    LYAN also did not mention that GM was begging him to get funds from Bush to keep the plant open and he FAILED to do that – Why didn't Bush bail the company out??? ►"And I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool...”◄ The government "THERE" at the time GM closed was under Bush – LYAN asked for stimulus money for other needs, why NOT for GM???

    LYAN speaks with a forked tongue and he cannot clean up his lies!! How’s that 2-hour marathon going for you Lyan? If you really look at Lyan, closely, I bet his mom had a time raising him because he probably had an excuse for every lie he told – If Lyan was in my family, he’ll still be blowing bubbles out of his mouth!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only TRUSTED Way Forward and YES, We Know You Built That – We ALL Did!!

    September 4, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  16. vic , nashville ,tn

    Romney/Ryan running a bizarre campaign

    I don’t know what their in mind, but they don’t have real, reasonable message , they are talking the past ,they don’t have any solid plan for future

    September 4, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  17. incredulous

    Why is anyone listening to Paul Ryan? Even Fox News reported that he lied in his convention speech. The guy even lies about his personal life. He's rotten to the core and as evil as they come.

    September 4, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  18. ge

    cryin ryan would have voted down the money to save the plant any how

    September 4, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  19. Chumlee

    Go away lyin Ryan – you are an idiot and will be retired on November 6.

    Oh, forgot, still trying to hang on to your House seat when you lose in November.

    What a total loser

    September 4, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  20. Bill from GA

    Ryan says that Obama said, essentially. I believe, with government help, this plant will be open for another hundred years. Using Ryan's memory of Obama's words, that is not a promise to keep the plant open; it is a statement on Obama's belief.

    More hypocritically, does anyone believe this plant would be open under romney, who made millions by shutting down factories?

    September 4, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  21. CNN Fan

    This Paul Ryan just trying to correct his lies to Americans...the he talking the more Americans know how flip-flop he is....Poor Ryan....He used to be one of the impressive speaker....now he is disappointed speaker to me....I think Romney Ryan ticket won't sell many to Americans even they offer 99% off...haha

    September 4, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  22. Tony

    Romney's plan was to let Detroit go bankrupt. If Romney were president, that factory still would have closed, as its closure was planned before the 2008 election. Romney probably would have claimed credit for that result too. Remember, he claimed credit for the rebound of the auto industry, because, as he said, Obama followed his suggestion on saving the auto companies.

    September 4, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  23. Halls for Obama

    I guess mitt and his sons can do better. I don't have any more grand sons or sons to give to these two ninnie. You see my sons have foght a good fight. They reture to the state and hear some one talk about them as if they are no body. Send your own sons you have five send them.

    September 4, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  24. Mikey

    So Ryan is saying that as part of the GM bailout, the Government should have dictated to this private company that the plant should be reopened?

    What Obama said to the auto workers was that Government should be able to provide assistance and keep the plant open. Unfortunately, their fate was in the hands of the GOP. Ryan lied to make it look different and he got caught in the act. Now he's doubling down on dishonesty. Paul, how fast did you run that marathon?

    Oh, and Mitt, where are those tax returns?

    September 4, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  25. ITGUY

    Just Shut up about it dude, what you said wasn't true quit splitting hairs. You guys wanted to let the entire Auto Industry fail. Mitt Romney wrote an entire Op Ed in the paper about why we should let that happen. Argue whatever point you want for why we should vote for you, just don't make up crap. Tell the truth it is what it is.

    September 4, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
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