Last night at the Republican National Convention, Paul Ryan introduced himself to the American people. But instead of detailing how his and Mitt Romney's budget plan would affect middle-class Americans, seniors, and the economy, the so-called "intellectual leader of the Republican Party" launched false attack after false attack against President Obama. So at this morning's Democratic press conference in Tampa, OFA deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter got straight to the point:
"Last night, Paul Ryan lied. Repeatedly, knowingly, and brazenly, reciting charges that have been universally dismissed as false by news organizations. They just don't care. And they've said so: Two days ago, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney said they're not going to be beholden to fact checks. And boy, did they prove that last night."
Cutter joined Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who have both served alongside Ryan in Congress, to correct what they heard in the biggest speech of Ryan's political career.
One of Ryan's most egregious attacks centered around a General Motors plant in Janesville, Wisconsin that was effectively shut down in December 2008, before President Obama took office—a fact that Ryan, who represents Janesville in Congress, would be well acquainted with.
"When the speechwriters came in and said, 'We want you to say Barack Obama closed the plant,' he should have stopped them and said it's not true," Durbin said. "The fact is, General Motors is alive and well and thriving today because Barack Obama stood up. He said, ‘We're going to stand behind them and the workers’—and it worked. Remember what Mitt Romney said? ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt.’"
Wasserman Schultz, who serves with Ryan on the House Budget Committee, said, "To suggest that Paul Ryan is fiscally responsible is ludicrous, because his record doesn't even remotely reflect that." Just take his claim that President Obama failed to advance a deficit reduction plan. What Ryan neglected to mention was that as a member of the Simpson-Bowles commission, he voted against the plan.
Durbin incredulously recounted the year he spent on the Simpson-Bowles sitting across the table from Ryan. "All the witnesses came in and presented their views on the deficit," he said. "At the end of the day, Simpson-Bowles produced a balanced plan to put everything on the table. And then came the final vote on the plan. And when the 18 names were called, I voted yes. Paul Ryan and every House Republican voted no. So they can stand there with the deficit clock ticking this week, but they have to explain why their vice presidential candidate voted against the President's plan that came out of Simpson-Bowles."
As Cutter said, Ryan's speech "may have rallied a bunch of Republican delegates in the arena last night, but it failed the American people."