All of which, unfortunately, makes Paul Ryan the perfect running mate for Mitt Romney.
Think Progress: Here are the most glaring lies from his speech:
1. “A downgraded America.” Ryan blamed the president for the nation’s credit downgrade in August 2011 after Republicans threatened to allow the government to default on its debt for the first time in history. But the ratings agency explicitly blamed “Republicans saying that they refuse to accept any tax increases as part of a larger deal.”
2. “More debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined.” Romney has made the almost identical claim, that Obama has amassed more debt “as almost all of the other presidents combined.” But their math doesn’t add up: when Obama took office, the national debt was $10.626 trillion. It has increased to slightly above $15 trillion.
3. Shuttered General Motors plant is “one more broken promise.” Ryan described a GM plant that closed down in his hometown, Janesville, Wisconsin, and blamed Obama for breaking his promise to keep the plant open when he visited during his campaign. But Obama never made that promise, and the plant shut down in December 2008, before Obama even took office.
4. Obama “did exactly nothing” on Bowles-Simpson. Ryan said, “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.” In fact, Ryan was instrumental in sabotaging the commission, leading the other House Republicans in voting against the plan.
5. “$716 billion, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.” Ryan’s favorite lie is a deliberate distortion of Obamacare’s savings from eliminating inefficiencies. Furthermore, Ryan’s own plan for Medicare includes these savings. Romney has vowed to restore these cuts, which would render the trust fund insolvent 8 years ahead of schedule.
6. “The greatest of all responsibilities is that of the strong to protect the weak.” Ryan closed the speech with an invocation of social responsibility, saying, “The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.” However, numerous clergy members have condemned Ryan’s budget plan as “cruel,” and “an immoral disaster” because of its devastating cuts in social programs the poor and sick rely on. Meanwhile, Ryan would give ultra-rich individuals and corporations $3 trillion in tax breaks.
Eric Cantor explains Paul Ryan’s position on Medicare cuts: Attacking Obama’s health care reform law, Ryan said its “biggest, coldest power play of all” targeted seniors for $716 billion in cuts. But Ryan’s own budget counted on those same savings, which in fact would be squeezed from reimbursement payments to hospitals and insurers. Asked about the inconsistency of Ryan attacking cuts his own plan embraced, Cantor begged off. “The assumption was that, um, the, the, ah, again — I probably can’t speak to that in an exact way so I better just not,” he said.
Rudy Giuliani defends Paul Ryan’s lies: “Well, look, when people give speeches, not every fact is always absolutely accurate.”
Kevin Drum says even Ryan himself, when he was asked about [Medicare cuts], was forced to retreat into some word salad about baselines and the sun being in his eyes and it all being the fault of that tricksy Obama. There’s just no good answer here.
Unrelated to his speech of lies, but still…is there anything Paul Ryan won’t lie about? Pathological? –
Paul Ryan admits his marathon time claim was untrue: “The race was more than 20 years ago, but my brother Tobin—who ran Boston last year—reminds me that he is the owner of the fastest marathon in the family and has never himself ran a sub-three,” Ryan said in a prepared statement. “If I were to do any rounding, it would certainly be to four hours, not three. He gave me a good ribbing over this at dinner tonight.” The admission comes after wide speculation that Ryan had exaggerated his marathon time. Running a sub-3 hour marathon means averaging under 7 minutes per mile for the entire race, a possible but extremely impressive feat. As the New Yorker’s Nicholas Thompson put it, “It’s the difference between racing and running.”
Paul Krugman says it comes down to credibility (or lack thereof): I know, the [marathon thing] sounds trivial. But I remember the 2000 campaign, when Al Gore was constantly hounded by claims of fibbing on trivial issues — claims that, by the way, were all, as far as I could tell, fabricated. These alleged fibs supposedly showed some deep defect in his character. So if Ryan is making false claims about his physical prowess, this is absolutely fair game.
The strategy behind all the lies: