Opinion: Paul Ryan And His Little White Lies
Last night, Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan addressed the Republican National Convention. After a shaky start, Ryan became comfortable with the TelePrompter and delivered a talking points filled speech that was well received in the Convention Hall and drew positive reviews.
But if Paul Ryan tried to submit his speech as a school paper he would draw a F for failing to do even the most basic checking of his facts.
If Paul Ryan turned that speech in to an editor it would be either covered in corrective red ink or unrecognizable if the editor chose to use track changes and emailed it back. Or they would simply reply: start over.
If a CEO received a paper from his staff full of such glairing inaccuracies Paul Ryan would be looking for a new job this morning.
While Paul Ryan is entitled to his own opinions, he is not entitled to his own facts.
Maybe if he spent less time doing P90X and more time doing the most basic research his speech would not have been filled with little white lies.
He lied to America about Medicare. He lied to America about the debt commission. He really lied to America about the stimulus and America's debt rating.
He went out of his way to lie and blame President Obama for a plant closing that happened when George W. Bush was President. That is a bold lie to tell America when your boss wrote an op-ed that demanded that we "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt".
Across the Midwest auto plants are adding jobs, like in Lordstown, Ohio where they make the Chevy Cruise and keep adding shifts. If W. Mitt Romney had his way those jobs would not be in Lordstown or anywhere else in the US.
When it comes to the stimulus, Ryan likes to call it "a case of political patronage, corporate welfare and cronyism at their worst." He lied to a reporter’s face about requesting stimulus money and he lied to America about it last night.
Ryan also lied when he said the "American people were cut off" from the benefits. The payroll tax reduction that put dollars in people's pockets hardly left them cut off from the stimulus. The stimulus built and repaired roads and bridges they use every day don’t leave them cut off.
Just another Paul Ryan little white lie to America.
The fact is, that Paul Ryan requested tens of millions in stimulus dollars, voted for an alternate stimulus in 2009 and spoke on the House floor of the benefits of stimulus and borrowing money to boost the economy, when George W. Bush was President.
Paul Ryan's white lie to America on the Debt Commission is that he voted against it. He failed to mention that when he criticized Obama for not acting urgently on the recommendations that Ryan, himself, opposes.
That is a cleaver little lie to America for a deceitful person.
Paul Ryan blamed Obama for the decline in America's credit rating. That is a big lie coming from the leader of the Tea Party House that scuttled a budget deal and threatened to throw America into default as a temper tantrum.
But Paul Ryan does not want America to know about his tantrums or his record.
The kid has a lot to learn.
But the biggest of Paul Ryan's little white lies to America was saved for Medicare. Ryan criticized Obama for reductions in Medicare and lied when he said benefits were cut. The fact is, and Paul Ryan knows it, that the cuts are in fees for services and those reductions are used to create efficiencies in the way we deliver health care. That helps the economy and improves the long-term outlook for Medicare.
Raul Ryan, if he were an honest man, would tell you that in his budget roadmap he kept the Obama Medicare payment reductions but used the savings to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy, not to reduce our national health care costs.
He also failed to tout his couponing scheme that ends Medicare and raises the cost of health care for seniors while lining the pockets of the health insurance industry.
But Paul Ryan knows that the truth is politically toxic.
So instead he tells lie after lie to America about Medicare, the debt, the auto recovery, the economy and the stimulus. But mostly he lies about his record.
There is a reason that the Obama campaign, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee wanted to make the Ryan Budget the focus of this election.
First, it is the most detailed policy outline of the Republican Party and every Republican has voted for a version of it or promised to support it.
Second, it is a political loser. It is the skunk at the garden party. And that is why Republican House and Senate candidates are not happy with a Romney-Ryan ticket (and Democratic candidates were, to say the least, overjoyed). It is why those Republican candidates have run as fast as they can away from their record of supporting Paul Ryan and his radical plan to end Medicare.
Even W. Mitt Romney immediately tried to distance himself from his running mate. He clearly believed that he could pick Paul Ryan to be a heartbeat away from the presidency but expect everyone to ignore the Ryan record.
A monumentally dumb belief.
Romney and the GOP are stuck with Paul Ryan and his record. They are going to spend the next two months lying to America about it. Because lying is the only chance they have at beating Obama.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.
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