The backlash from Paul Ryan’s rousing convention speech yesterday has been quite fun to watch. Almost immediately following his speech, the Obama campaign started issuing statements via Twitter about the “lies” Ryan allegedly made during his speech.
Now, the Obama campaign’s lies about Paul Ryan’s assertions on Medicare are pretty easy to refute. Obamacare does take money from Medicare to pay for itself. That isn’t a lie, it is a fact. Obamacare will inevitably lead to reduced services for seniors – it will have to, due to the money Obamacare takes to fund itself. The Obama camp’s attempts to refute these facts have fallen flat, because they can easily be proven using simple math.
The other alleged lie centers around Paul Ryan’s talk about the General Motors plant in his hometown of Janesville, WI. For anyone who hasn’t been watching the convention or paying attention to this drama as it unfolds, here is what Paul Ryan said:
President Barack Obama came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two. Those were very tough days, and any fair measure of his record has to take that into account. My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.
A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.” That’s what he said in 2008.
Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.
In response to these remarks, the Left went crazy, insisting that they had caught Paul Ryan in a lie. In fact, as of this writing, the hashtag #LyinRyan is still trending on Twitter.
According to the Leftist media and blogosphere, the GM plant in Janesville was closed in 2008, before President Obama even took office…so therefore, Ryan is lying when he blames the plant’s closing on President Obama. But look closely at what Paul Ryan actually said. He didn’t accuse President Obama of single-handedly closing the Janesville plant. He points out that candidate Obama made a pledge to stand by the workers at the Janesville plant and that “this plant will be here for another hundred years.” That plant is closed…so where did Ryan lie?
And it is even more telling when you look at Obama’s own words in his Janesville campaign speech (thanks to Breitbart for this):
As president, I will lead an effort to retool plants like the GM facility in Janesville so we can build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs in Wisconsin and all across America.
He then went on to make his “another hundred years” pledge.
And while it is true that plans were made to close the Janesville plant in 2008, before Obama took office, the plant didn’t actually close until April or May 2009, after the president had been in office for a few months…so as it turns out, all of those leftist claiming that Ryan lied because the plant closed before Obama took office are themselves lying.
In truth, this section of Paul Ryan’s speech was meant to point out a fact that is rather relevant to the presidential campaign. President Obama has been lauding the success of the General Motors bail-out for some time now in his campaign speeches. But the president never mentions the fact that General Motors still has not repaid millions of taxpayer dollars that were loaned to them in the bail-out. He doesn’t bring up the fact that even after being bailed out, GM is once again teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. The news just came out that Chevrolet is stopping production of the Chevy Volt – the plug-in electric car that President Obama himself hailed as a major achievement.
All in all, this bit of political kabuki is quite irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, except for one thing: the charge that Paul Ryan lied has been led by leftist political commentators masquerading as “fact-checkers.” This has become quite a problem during this campaign, especially since sites like Politifact or the Washington Post Fact Checker are supposedly credible, non-partisan sites that just check the facts, as the names of their websites would suggest. But now, the blogosphere has to be on alert to fact-check the fact-checkers, proving that no one in the media can truly be trusted anymore. It’s become so bad now that the Washington Post Fact Checker site has even published an article “checking the facts” of Mitt Romney’s convention speech – which hasn’t even been given yet. That’s right: a supposedly credible “fact check” website affiliated with a major media outlet – the Washington Post – is making up facts that they think will be in Mitt Romney’s speech so they can preemptively debunk them. It’s absolutely ridiculous.
The main thing is, the next time you hear someone saying that a candidate on either side is lying, don’t take them at face value. Do your own research. Finding the real facts in today’s media world is becoming increasingly difficult, but if you pay attention and look out for trustworthy sources, it is possible to learn the real truth.