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CNN: Ryan Was Right About Obama’s GM Vow

From CNN:

CNN Fact Check: Did Ryan get Obama’s GM speech right?

Thu August 30, 2012

(CNN) — Paul Ryan on Wednesday night told a story about then-presidential candidate Barack Obama telling automotive workers that government can help keep their plant going — an account that Ryan reportedly got wrong previously…

Hilariously, even though this is probably the only mainstream media ‘fact check’ to admit that Ryan was right, they don’t mention that in their headline or lead. In fact, the lead only mentions that Ryan "previously" got his facts wrong. (Which is a charge that is also up for debate.)

The facts:

First, some context. Ryan reportedly recalled this event incorrectly just days ago, during an August 16 speech in Ohio. Ryan reportedly alleged that Obama said he’d "keep that plant open," and therefore broke his promise because the plant closed.

"That plant was shut down in 2009. I remember President Obama visiting it when he was first running, saying he’ll keep that plant open," Ryan said, according to the Janesville Gazette. "One more broken promise."

By "bad news," Obama apparently was referring to GM’s February 12, 2008, announcement that it had a $38.7 billion adjusted net loss for 2007. So, back on August 16 of this year, it does appear Ryan was wrong for saying Obama promised to keep it open…

As we have noted, Obama said in his Janesville speech:"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." Which sure sounds like a promise to us.

Obama said in his press release: "As president, I will lead an effort to retool plants like the GM facility in Janesville so we can build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs in Wisconsin and all across America." Which also sounds like a promise.

So CNN is going out of its way to try to nitpick here.

Now, compare Ryan’s Wednesday night statement with the one he gave on August 16. On Wednesday, Ryan said nothing of Obama making a promise, but rather quoted him.

The quote is truncated (in Ryan’s prepared remarks released to the media, an ellipsis replaces the missing words, "give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition") but essentially is correct.

The only thing Ryan appears to have gotten technically wrong in Wednesday’s version was saying that the plant didn’t last another year. It did last another year — more like 14 months — if the Isuzu line and its 57 workers count.

So, though Ryan might have been incorrect in the August 16 telling, he cleaned it up for Wednesday’s convention. Obama said what Ryan said he said.

What a stunning admission. But this didn’t warrant being mentioned until very far down in their long article.

But to fairly evaluate Obama’s statement, at least two pieces of context — missing from Ryan’s account — would be useful: First, that Obama wasn’t telling this plant that he’d save it from a pending closure. He wasn’t addressing a plant that he knew to be closing, because the closure announcement didn’t come until four months after his speech.

This is simply untrue. The Obama press release which was reported by the Associated Press on February 10, 2010 said: "Reports that the GM plant I visited in Janesville may shut down sooner than expected are a painful reminder of the tough economic times facing working families across this country."

So, once again, the news media’s fact checkers can’t even get the most basic facts correct.

Second, although the plant’s last bit of production stopped early in Obama’s presidency and the plant remains closed, the closure was planned before Obama became president.

So what? Nobody ever said otherwise. The point is Obama promised to change GM’s plans by giving them stimulus money from his ‘green energy’ stimulus.

Verdict: True, but incomplete.

Imagine how it must have choked the people at CNN to write this.

And, of course, there is nothing incomplete about it.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, August 30th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “CNN: Ryan Was Right About Obama’s GM Vow”

  1. canary

    I tease people so you got an Obama car.

    This leads to “huh?” “excuse me?” and get’s the discussion rolling.

    I will never buy a Ford anything. They suck.

    Nissan is still has non-union workers and they make good cars. I have a relative that works for them, and he says the unions come all the time, but he said they watch other auto companies that do this end up losing jobs and are sent over seas too. He has great job and benefits too.

    Also, he told me Japan pressures U.S. Nissan owners to provide better health benefits and safety.


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