VIDEO REPORT: Ryan's Remarks on GM Plant: Are They Accurate?

By: Rachelle Baillon Email
By: Rachelle Baillon Email

Thursday, August 30, 2012--5:30p.m.

Republicans are rallying behind Vice-Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan's address to the RNC last night--while Democrats believe Ryan's remarks are misleading.

A particular point of contention revolves around the closing of the GM plant in Janesville. Here's what Ryan said: "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," said Ryan. "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, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight."

Back in February of 2008, then Senator Obama visited the plant. According to Ryan's congressional campaign manager--these are the remarks Ryan was referring to in his speech last night: "I believe that if our government is there to support you and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition that this plant will be here for another hundred years," said Obama.

Did the president make a promise at the plant--and then not deliver?

Democrats are today saying Ryan was trying to blame the President--and are calling his remarks "intentionally misleading."

"The whole goal of what Paul Ryan had to say last night was to give people the impression that Barack Obama, because of his lack of leadership was the result of the GM plant closing," said State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton. "That that was his intention, I watched the speech last night I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He made it sound like his high school buddies should be mad at Barack Obama when in fact it was closed before he was sworn in."

The plant's final SUV rolled off the line on December 23, 2008. President Obama took the oath of office nearly a month later on January 20th.

In an e-mail, a Ryan Spokesman said he didn't say the plant closed under Obama, he said the issue is that production there hasn't been restarted.

Spokesman Brendan Buck wrote: "It's President Obama who needs to explain his words. The facts are clear: when the GM plant went on standby the President told the people of Wisconsin he would 'lead an effort to retool' it and restart production. But when the bailout's winners and losers were decided, Janesville ended up losing. The people of Wisconsin, like so many Americans, are still waiting for the President's imaginary recovery."

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