Ryan's Speech Flunks Fact Checks

VP candidate lambasted for various deceptions

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 30, 2012 10:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – Paul Ryan's speech last night may have been rousing, but accurate it was not. Ryan is being lambasted today for what Sally Kohn of Fox News calls "an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech." Here's what the critics are saying:

  • Ryan said Obama broke a promise by not saving a GM plant in Janesville, Wis. But PolitiFact could find no evidence that Obama explicitly made such a promise and, more importantly, the plant closed before Obama was even sworn in.

  • Ryan chastised Obama for creating a bipartisan debt commission and doing nothing with its findings. But as Talking Points Memo points out, Ryan was on that commission—and voted against it, as did the panel's other Republicans.
  • Ryan attacked Obama for the S&P's downgrade of America's sovereign credit rating. Which is rich, writes Brett LoGiurato of Business Insider, because the S&P specifically said that it downgraded the rating "because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues."
  • He repeated the Romney campaign's frequent assertion that Obama "funneled" $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for ObamaCare. Actually, the Affordable Care Act reduces payments to health care providers, not Medicare's budget.
  • In another oft-repeated distortion, Ryan said Obama wanted to credit the government with the private sector's successes. "That isn't what the president said. Period," Kohn writes.
  • The speech also gave Mitt Romney credit for bringing up household income as governor of Massachusetts. That's only half-true, PolitiFact rules: Adjust for inflation, and income actually decreased.
  • Near the end, Ryan described protecting the poor as the "greatest of all responsibilities." According to TPM, two-thirds of the cuts in his budget proposal come from programs that help the poor.

Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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