Current Magazine

Romney Running Mate Paul Ryan Slammed Over Inaccuracies and ‘lies’ in RNC Speech

Posted on the 31 August 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost

Paul Ryan slammed for RNC speech lies Paul Ryan: RNC speech under fire

The background

Mitt Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan may have raised the roof at the Republican National Convention with a crowd-pleasing speech. But the vice-presidential hopeful subsequently faced a slew of criticism over apparent inaccuracies in his address.

Most attention focused on Ryan’s claim that President Obama cut $716 billion from Medicare, the government health insurance programme for over-65s. But as the BBC pointed out, several sources insisted “Mr Obama’s 2010 healthcare reform law does not cut money from Medicare, but simply reduces the growth in spending on the scheme in an effort to keep it solvent”. Ryan also neglected to mention that his own budget plans contain similar reduction proposals.

The inaccuracies

The Guardian provided a rundown of the five top inaccuracies in Ryan’s speech. In addition to the Medicare controversy, these include Ryan’s claim that Obama broke a promise to workers in Wisconsin that he would fight to keep their GM plant open. In fact, “the plant laid off most of its workforce in December 2008, before Obama took office”. And The Washington Post gave a truthfulness grade to various statements from the speech, arguing that Ryan’s “underlying claim” over Medicare cuts was correct, but that many of his other assertions were at best misleading.

Seven true statements

Gawker took a different tack from the fact-checkers scouring Ryan’s speech for inaccuracies, and instead focused on the true statements. All seven of them. These included the fact that Ryan’s mother was present at the RNC and that he still lives on the same block where he grew up.

Facts don’t matter to Ryan voters

“We all should have learned by now that people understand the facts, or what is alleged to be factual, in a way that will conform to their pre-existing worldview,” wrote Eliot Spitzer at Slate. “So the odds of convincing any significant number of voters who believe the Ryan-Romney myths that those myths are false are pretty slim.” This election, said Spitzer, will be about passion rather than logic.

Ryan speech could damage reputation

The inaccuracies in Ryan’s speech were in fact “pretty run-of-the-mill political tricks”, said Aaron Blake in The Washington Post, and both sides are guilty of bending the truth during their campaigns. However, “if Ryan becomes known for bending the truth, it could color the generally positive views of his character,” wrote Blake. “The fact is that Ryan has presented himself as a teller of tough political truths, and fact-checkers’ verdicts on his speech Wednesday night could undercut that image.”

The Obama campaign swung into action to release a video highlighting the apparent inaccuracies in Paul Ryan’s RNC speech. 

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog