Skip to main content

Yesterday Paul Ryan told a heart-tugging story on the campaign trail that due to President Obama's disastrous energy policies, gasoline prices soared to $4 and so General Motors had to shut down its plant in his hometown, throwing his high school friends off the assembly lines and into the unemployment lines.

Problem is, the story is not true and he should know it's not true because he wrote a letter dated June 3, 2008 asking GM not to close the plant.

He signed it with Senators Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl. Here's a link to the letter that I found at

June 3, 2008

G. Richard Wagoner, Jr., Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
General Motors Corporation
300 Renaissance Center
Detroit, MI 48265

Dear Mr. Wagoner:

We are writing to express our unwavering support for the continuation of operations at the General Motors plant in Janesville, Wisconsin. We are deeply disappointed by GM's announcement that the company will close the plant in 2010. As you know, the GM plant has been a vital part of the Janesville community for generations. The Janesville GM plant has a continued role to play in the future success of GM and we ask that GM reconsider the decision to close the Janesville plant.

On May 1st of this year, we wrote to you asking that GM take future steps to ensure the continued success of the Janesville plant, including considering the assignment of new production models at the plant. We renew that request now. Our letter also expressed strong support for the Janesville workforce and noted the many accomplishments of the Janesville GM employees, including their constant efforts to improve productivity and product quality. Your response, dated May 14th, did not address the assignment of future production models, but did acknowledge the important contributions the Janesville workers have made to GM, noting that, "the Janesville team has worked diligently to improve health and safety performance, quality, reduce costs and run the plant efficiently."

We believe that the Janesville workers would bring the same dedication and effectiveness to a new product line. We recognize that market demand in the automobile industry is changing and that GM intends to adapt to the changing demand to remain a viable company. But rather than closing the Janesville plant, a retooled Janesville GM plant can assist in GM's efforts to adapt to a changing market. The Janesville workforce is first-rate and the Janesville workers have proven their commitment to GM generation after generation. The Janesville GM workers will be strong partners in a retooled Janesville GM plant.

We ask that you reconsider the decision to close the Janesville GM plant and request a meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss GM's plans for the Janesville plant, including the possibility of retooling the plant for different production lines. This announcement by GM will have an enormous effect on Janesville and southern Wisconsin, particularly for the GM workers and their families, related businesses, and the Janesville community at large. We would appreciate your prompt response to our letter.


Russell D. Feingold
United States Senator

Herb Kohl
United States Senator

Paul Ryan
Member of Congress

On the day that GM said they were closing the plant, Paul Ryan made this vaguely familiar statement:

Paul Ryan
Contact: Conor Sweeney 202-226-7326

Ryan Statement on Announcement from General Motors

Washington, Jun 3 -

JANESVILLE – Wisconsin’s 1st District Congressman Paul Ryan made the following statement in response to today’s announcement by General Motors, indicating that the Janesville plant will likely close its doors by 2010:

“Today’s news is downright gut-wrenching for Janesville. Growing up and living in Janesville, this is something we’ve always feared. First of all, my thoughts and prayers are with the workers and their families, many of whom I’ve grown up with and am still close friends with. If GM’s plans are fully carried out, this would be a big psychological and economic blow to our community and our state; but Janesville will survive this, because we simply have to survive this. As I have witnessed time and again, I have faith that our community will pull together to support one another in the difficult days ahead. It is my hope that as this 2010 shutdown date approaches, Janesville will be in a better position to reverse this decision.”

In an effort to provide assistance and support for those hit hardest by this morning’s announcement, Congressman Ryan, a fifth-generation Janesville native, will continue to work closely with union leaders, GM officials, and members of the Janesville community.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site