While the Huffington Post reported Wednesday that President Barack Obama isn’t watching the happenings at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., — because he has “more important things to do” — the president’s campaign manager – Jim Messina – sure was up till the wee-hours, hanging on to every word of Paul Ryan’s speech. The 4:42 a.m. e-mail, received and shared by the Canadian Free Press reveals just how scared Obama’s handlers are of Mitt Romney’s new vice presidential running mate.
If you’ve seen any coverage of Paul Ryan’s speech in Tampa, you know that the consensus among journalists and independent observers is that it was … factually challenged.
He lied about Medicare. He lied about the Recovery Act. He lied about the deficit and debt. He even dishonestly attacked Barack Obama for the closing of a GM plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin—a plant that closed in December 2008 under George W. Bush. He also failed to offer one constructive idea about what he would do to move the country forward.
Don’t roll your eyes. We can’t just groan and shrug and remark to our like-minded friends that this is ridiculous, because this is a significant moment in this campaign.
The fact that this speech, on this huge stage, is this blatantly false represents a huge bet by the Romney campaign—they’ve decided that facts, truth and reality will not be a brake on their campaign message. And they just signaled to the extremist billionaires and corporate interests that support them that they should go ahead and spend their hundreds of millions of dollars attacking Barack Obama with whatever lies can work.
The only thing that can beat this back is you:
What a load of ambiguous and “factually” wrong clap-trap.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Not only did Messina fail to identify the “journalists and independent observers” who claimed that Ryan’s speech was “factually challenged,” he avoided explanation of precisely what Ryan “lied” about regarding “Medicare,” “the Recovery Act, and about the debt and deficit.”
As Politico’s transcript of Ryan’s speech clarifies, Ryan said that, “even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money. They needed more.”
They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.
On Aug. 20, Forbes confirmed that “of the $716 billion that the Affordable Care Act cuts from the program over the next ten years, the largest chunk—$415 billion—comes from slashing Medicare’s reimbursement rates to doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes.”
This significant reduction in fees is driving many doctors to stop accepting new Medicare patients, making it harder for seniors to gain access to needed care.
So, how was it that Ryan “lied” about the negative impact of Obamacare on Medicare?
Regarding Obama’s “Recovery Act,” Ryan said:
The first troubling sign came with the stimulus. It was President Obama’s first and best shot at fixing the economy, at a time when he got everything he wanted under one-party rule. It cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government.
According to a May 2012 report by the Congressional Budget Office, where the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation had originally estimated that the cost of Obama’s Recovery Act would increase budget deficits by $787 billion between fiscal years 2009 and 2019, the “CBO now estimates that the total impact over the 2009–2019 period will amount to about $831 billion.”
By CBO’s estimate, close to half of that impact occurred in fiscal year 2010, and more than 90 percent of ARRA’s budgetary impact was realized by the end of March 2012.
Again, how is it that Ryan “lied?”
Ryan said Obama “has added more debt than any other president before him.”
One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt.
Ryan added that the national debt now stands at $16 trillion.
According to Politifact, of the last five presidents they studied in May 2011, Obama is “the undisputed debt king.”
If Messina can come up with a president who racked up more debt than Obama, let him share the name.
As for the “$5 trillion in new debt,” of the statistics gathered from the Treasury Department by GOP.com, it was actually $5.3 trillion as of Aug. 15.
According to Brillig’s National Debt Clock, the United States hit $15,985,772,671,829.86 in debt at 12:23 p.m. on Wednesday.
As for Messina’s claim that Ryan “lied” about the timing of the GM plant closing, the truth is, Messina “lied.”
According to the Council on Foreign Relations, then candidate Obama gave his speech at the plant on Feb. 13, 2008.
And 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.
Four months later, on June 3, 2008, GM announced that plant would stop production of medium-duty trucks by the end of 2009, and stop production of large SUVs such as the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban and the GMC Yukon in 2010 or sooner, depending on market demand.
According to reports by The Gazette, while SUV production did end on December 2, 2008, medium truck production continued. The plant’s medium-duty assembly line shut down and the plant closed on April 21, 2009 – three months after Obama assumed office as president.
“Don’t roll your eyes.”
As embarrassing as they are to the Obama administration, these are the facts, and it’s because Ryan gave “this speech, on this huge stage” — and exposed those facts to America’s voters — the Obama campaign is in an utter state of panic.
Indeed. The presidential debates begin October 3.