Paul Ryan delivered a stirring speech last night at the RNC-- so of course the Left decided to discredit and destroy him through flimsy and easily disproved lies. As Jacobson at Legal Insurrection pointed out Howard Fineman reacted by tweeting:
And not too much later we get this "fact check" from the AP:
"RYAN: Said Obama misled people in Ryan's hometown of Janesville, Wis., by making them think a General Motors plant there threatened with closure could be saved. '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.'
"THE FACTS: Although Obama did not explicitly promise to save the plant, Ryan is right that Obama implied that he had the backs of its workers when he spoke at the factory early in 2008 and issued a statement about its closure later. The plant halted production in December 2008, weeks before Obama took office and well before he enacted a more robust auto industry bailout that rescued GM and Chrysler and allowed the majority of their plants - though not the Janesville facility - to stay in operation. Ryan himself voted for an auto bailout under President George W. Bush that was designed to help GM, but he was a vocal critic of the one pushed through by Obama that has been widely credited with revitalizing both GM and Chrysler."
But as Ed Morrissey points out, the AP either lied outright over this issue, or did such an incompetent job of "fact-checking" that both writer and editor should be fired.
Morrissey points out:
1) The Janesville plant was notified of a pending closure in 2008 but continued to operate into 2009.
2) Obama visited the Janesville plant and promised to keep it and other plants like it open “for the next hundred years.”
From Obama's speech in Janesville at the plant:
"It was nearly a century ago that the first tractor rolled off the assembly line at this plant. The achievement didn’t just create a product to sell or profits for General Motors. It led to a shared prosperity enjoyed by all of Janesville. Homes and businesses began to sprout up along Milwaukee and Main Streets. Jobs were plentiful, with wages that could raise a family and benefits you could count on.
"Prosperity hasn’t always come easily. The plant shut down for a period during the height of the Depression, and major shifts in production have been required to meet the changing times. Tractors became automobiles. Automobiles became artillery shells. SUVs are becoming hybrids as we speak, and the cost of transition has always been greatest for the workers and their families.
"But through hard times and good, great challenge and great change, the promise of Janesville has been the promise of America – that our prosperity can and must be the tide that lifts every boat; that we rise or fall as one nation; that our economy is strongest when our middle-class grows and opportunity is spread as widely as possible. And when it’s not – when opportunity is uneven or unequal – it is our responsibility to restore balance, and fairness, and keep that promise alive for the next generation. That is the responsibility we face right now, and that is the responsibility I intend to meet as President of the United States. …
"Those are the steps we can take to ease the cost crisis facing working families. But we still need to make sure that families are working. We need to maintain our competitive edge in a global by ensuring that plants like this one stay open for another hundred years, and shuttered factories re-open as new industries that promise new jobs. And we need to put more Americans to work doing jobs that need to be done right here in America [emphasis Morrissey]."
And this was not the first time Obama made the promise to keep the Janesville plant open. In October 2008 candidate Obama issued this statement:
"Reports that the GM plant I visited in Janesville may shut down sooner than expected are a painful reminder of the tough economic times facing working families across this country. This news is also a reminder that Washington needs to finally live up to its promise to help our automakers compete in our global economy. 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."
3) After GM was bailed out by the government, the Janesville plant was one of the choices to keep open, but was eventually closed.
"In June 2009, GM considered three sites to locate a small car: its Orion plant in Michigan; Janesville, Wis.; and a Spring Hill, Tenn., plant slated to close in November. GM picked Orion and later reopened Spring Hill."
So, as can be clearly seen:
1) Obama made a promise to retool the Janesville plant and keep it open.
2) The Obama administration had the opportunity to fulfill this promise.
3) The Janesville plant was closed.
Further the AP mis-characterized what Ryan said by ignoring the line directly previous to their selected quote.
What Ryan said in his speech with the AP selected quote in bold:
"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."
That's right, Ryan said that in 2008 the Janesville plant was about to close and many people liked what candidate Obama said about keeping the plant open for another hundred years. And the plant was eventually closed within the year. Ryan was dead-on right. The facts contained in his statement are easily researched, yet the AP characterizes this as Ryan/GOP lie not long after people on the Left, such as Fineman, demand that Ryan be called out as a liar. This is only one example of this nonsense. There are many, many more.
We're now seeing the basest form of partisan journalism (selective quotes and mis-characterization) disguised as fact-checking journalism. Let's remember that the problem, of course, does not reside solely within the AP.
To steal a line, the lying liars continue to lie...