“If Paul Ryan was Pinocchio his nose would be back in Janesville right now” — that was the response to vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s Republican National Convention speech tonight from Obama for America spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
The rapid response from the Obama campaign and liberal pundits was to attack Ryan as a good speaker with false lines. MSNBC’s Al Sharpton, for instance, called Ryan “an eloquent person who does not tell the truth.”
Obama campaign manager David Axelrod also made the dishonesty argument. “Ryan, who wants to turn Medicare into a voucher program and tried to raid it to pay for tax cuts for wealthy, masquerades as it’s protector,” he tweeted.
The MSNBC panel faulted Ryan for his comments about a GM plant in his hometown that closed in 2008:
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. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.”
The panelists said that was a dishonest remark, because the GM plant closed while President George W. Bush was in the White House.
“All the people who said that the bailout was good in places like Janesville and Kenosha (Wis.), it wasn’t,” Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., said, when asked about Ryan’s comment, before observing that many other dealerships were forced into closure by the Obama auto bailout. “If [the bailout] was effective . . . it would have brought [that plant] back,” Walker said.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews faulted Ryan for a general narrowness of vision in his speech. “I don’t think Ryan spoke to the whole country tonight,” Matthews said.