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Paul Ryan speaks to Brit Hume
Paul Ryan continues trying to blunt the credit President Barack Obama gets for saving the American auto industry by asking voters to look past the major jobs resurgence at Chrysler, GM, and Ford and see only the closed GM plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin. Ryan's big reponse to Vice President Joe Biden saying that "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive" is that "General Motors isn't alive where I come from in Janesville."

Since the rest of the world has by now pointed out that Ryan is railing about Obama not saving a plant that had closed before he ever became president, Ryan is putting the "weasel" in "weasel words" to talk his way out of that little problem:

"What they are trying to suggest is that I said Barack Obama was responsible for the plant shutdown in Janesville. That is not what I was saying; read the speech. What I was saying is the president ought to be held to account for his broken promises. After the plant was shut down, he said he would lead efforts to restore the plant. It’s still idle," said Ryan on NBC’s "Today."
It's true, if you reach Ryan's speech with the full understanding that he's a weasel, you'll be able to parse his statements about the Janesville plant fine enough to make it not be a lie. What Ryan said was "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." Ryan did not directly say that the plant closed under Obama. He just implied it. Strongly. But is the fact that that wasn't the only statement he could defend in this same weasel way really an advertisement for him to be vice president?

Ryan's full of shit on this in two other ways. A minor point but one right at the level of sentence-parsing Ryan is applying to his own words is that General Motors is not, in fact, entirely dead in Janesville. Yes, the plant remains closed and, though it's on standby, may never reopen. But there's a Chevrolet dealer in town, and that's a sign of life. But whatever. We need not play at Ryan's level of trying to extract small truths from big lies or vice versa to see his full of shitness. The big point is that in 2008, Mitt Romney, the number one to Ryan's number two, called for a plan that would have closed not just the Janesville plant but General Motors itself. That's the real thing that Ryan is desperately trying to get voters to forget even as the auto industry continues to rebound strongly.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 06:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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