Huffpost Politics
Arthur Delaney Headshot

Paul Ryan Misleads With GM Plant Closure Tale

Posted: Updated:

TAMPA, Fla. -- In his prime-time speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday evening, vice presidential hopeful Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) illustrated economic failure under President Barack Obama with an anecdote about a factory that closed before Obama took office.

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."

"Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year," Ryan continued. "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."

It's an attack Ryan has used before, and one that the Detroit News has called inaccurate: "In fact, Obama made no such promise and the plant halted production in December 2008, when President George W. Bush was in office," Detroit News reporter David Sherpardson wrote earlier this month. "Obama did speak at the plant in February 2008, and suggested that a government partnership with automakers could keep the plant open, but made no promises as Ryan suggested."

Senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod pounced on the claim in a tweet: "Again, Ryan blames Obama for a GM plant that closed under Bush. But then, they did say they wouldn't "let fact checkers get in the way."

On Monday, Romney pollster Neil Newhouse, defending the campaign's blatantly false ads claiming President Obama removed work requirements from welfare, said, "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."

UPDATE: 8/30 -- For more on the closure process, which was announced in mid-2008, see the local Gazette Xtra. More than 2,000 Janesville GM workers were laid off immediately; another 57 stayed on until April 2009 as production wound down.

Related on HuffPost:

Republican National Convention 2012
Share this
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Paul Ryan blames Obama for GM plant closed in 2008 under Bush ...

Paul Ryan So Mad Obama Didn't Save GM Plant That Closed Under ...

GM Plant Becomes Political Football

Fact-checking Ryan's claim on Obama, GM

Paul Ryan's Convention Address

Ryan criticizes Obama on '08 GM plant closure from before he took office

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results
Register To Vote