Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan LIED and LIED and LIED yesterday when he said that President Barack Obama “broke his promise” by failing to keep a General Motors plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, open.
During a campaign rally in North Canton, Ohio, Ryan recounted the decision to shutter the Janesville Assembly plant “in 2009” (lie #1) where “a lot of my high school buddies worked.”
“I remember President Obama visiting it when he was first running, saying he’ll keep that plant open,” Ryan said in lie #2. “One more broken promise.”
Then in lie #3, Ryan blamed Obama’s “terrible” energy policies for the plant’s closure.
“One of the reasons that plant got shut down was $4 gasoline. You see, this costs jobs. The president’s terrible energy policies are costing us jobs.”
In fact, the plant halted production in December 2008 when President George W. Bush, a Republican who was ranked as the fifth-worst president in U.S. history by Siena Research Institute of Siena College in 2010, was still in office (in fact, he’d been in office for nearly eight years by then).
Here’s the chronology:
January 20, 2001: George W. Bush took the oath of office as the 43rd President of the United States. He is re-elected in 2004 to serve through Jan. 20, 2009.
February 2008: Sen. Barack Obama campaigns for president at the Janesville Assembly plant.
June 3, 2008: GM announces it will close the Janesville Assembly plant in 2010, citing high gas prices and a sluggish economy. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan writes a letter urging GM to keep the plant open.
June 20, 2008: GM announces additional layoffs at the Janesville Assembly plant.
June 28, 2008: Gas prices peak at $4.12 per gallon in the U.S., a record that still stands.
September 15, 2008: Financial services firm Lehman Brothers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.
October 23, 2008: GM announces it will move up the closure of the Janesville Assembly plant from 2010 to Dec. 23, 2008. Merry Christmas!
December 23, 2008: last SUV rolled off the line at the GM Janesville Assembly plant.
January 20, 2009: President George W. Bush leaves office after eight years. Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.
August 16, 2012: GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan makes a series of false statements about the Janesville Assembly plant closure.
Then-Sen. Obama did speak at the Janesville plant in February 2008. At the time, he suggested that a government partnership with automakers could keep the plant open, but made no promises to keep it open.
“I believe 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,” Obama said, some eleven months before taking office.