Paul Ryan's lies about President Obama being responsible for closing the GM plant where "a lot of the guys" he "went to high school with" used to work have been debunked over, and over and over and over.
He may think he has fooled America with this lie, but he hasn't fooled the media. And the voters and local reporters in his home district know he hasn't done anything about fixing the problem of high unemployment in his district that an auto assembly plant closing has caused.
Those that do know him seem to be aware that he has focused his career path immediately on going to Washington DC, diving into shaping national policy.
"The people of Janesville are probably as divided about Paul Ryan as the rest of the country," Angus said Saturday, hours after Ryan was announced as Romney's choice. "A lot of people would view [Ryan's opinions] as pretty conservative and pretty far to the right and that does not sit well with a lot of people in his district."A local reporter makes note of the fact that Ryan's failure is known locally, and hopes that this catches the national media's attention.
Angus, a 21-year editor of the paper, added, "He has lived here, but he has not worked here much, he has been in Washington working on his career path. I think a lot of people are surprised because he has always said his plans were not to rise to national office. He never had any elected office until he was elected to Congress."
But Janesville's recent past is also important, several reporters said, citing the town's difficult economic situation, sparked by the closure of a General Motors plant in 2009.
"Their unemployment rate is double digits," said Jeff Flynt, a news reporter at WTAQ Radio in Green Bay. "For a state that is trying to turn around the business aspects of the state the fact that Janesville unemployment continues to be pretty high and you have a guy who is known pretty well nationally and has not found a way to help the plant or put something in its place, that may catch" the national media's attention.
He added, "Paul's district has no big city in it. It is small cities, small towns and farms. He has had a congressional career that has gone largely under the radar."This same reporter compared Paul Ryan to 'Dick Cheney with good hair'.
"There are people in his district shocked to find out he was a big player on budget stuff. He has been able to define his own story.He didn't really spend any time in state politics and right out of college he went right into interning. While he is a Wisconsin congressman, he is not somebody who came up through the state ranks."
Wisconsin knows Paul Ryan's efforts, not President Obama's, to save the GM plant failed. But now Ryan wants to retroactively blame it on Obama. (He wrote op-eds to the local papers in 2008, so he must have known the plant was closing that year).
Ryan's own efforts to save the plant failed, but he is content to blame the closure on President Obama
According to a rudimentary LexisNexis search, Ryan made multiple public pleas to GM, including op-eds in his home state newspaper, to keep the plant open. He and fellow Wisconsin lawmakers went to the automobile company's headquarters to present plans to extend the plant's life. When the Bush administration itself called the decision to close the plant evidence that the auto industry was trimming fat and improving its bottom line, Ryan called the news "gut-wrenching."Wisconsinites seem to be on to Paul Ryan, let's hope it catches on.
And as it became clear in early-fall 2008 that GM wouldn't relent, Ryan publicly touted the federal tax money he secured to help displaced workers -- a use of funds that would seem at odds with his limited-government, fiscal conservative image.