Joan Walsh was one of the many great writers out there who called Paul Ryan out for his lie-filled Republican National Convention speech this Wednesday evening and she appeared on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, along with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to discuss that very speech. As she noted in her conversation with Matthews in the clip above, it's important that the media quits with making excuses for these politicians and pretending this is just political rhetoric. When they're lying to the public, a lie needs to be called what it is, a lie.
And when it comes to lying, Ryan's speech wasn't just brazen with how easily disprovable the lies were in his speech, but for the sheer number as well. His speech was filed with them from beginning to end to an extent that should be shocking for anyone paying an ounce of attention to what's going on and the extreme disconnect between Ryan's rhetoric and how he's governed and what he's unwilling to take responsibility for, yet heap onto President Obama.
You can read more on Joan's response to Ryan's speech here: Paul Ryan’s brazen lies:
Paul Ryan gave a feisty anti-Obama speech that will have fact-checkers working for days. His most brazen lie accused President Obama of “raiding” Medicare by taking the exact same $716 billion that Ryan and the House GOP notoriously voted to slash. It was stunning.
But that’s not all. He attacked Obama for failing to keep open a Janesville GM plant that closed under Bush in 2008. He hit him for a credit-rating downgrade that S&P essentially blamed on GOP intransigence. He claimed that all taxpayers got from the 2009 stimulus was “more debt,” when most got a tax cut (and the stimulus is known to have saved between 1.4 and 3.3 million jobs). He derided the president for walking away from the Simpson Bowles commission deficit-cutting recommendations when Ryan himself, a commission member, voted against those recommendations.
He blamed Obama for a deficit mostly created by programs he himself voted for – from two wars, tax cuts, new Medicare benefits and TARP.
And of course, he riffed on the tired central lie of the GOP convention: that the president said “government gets the credit” for small businesses, not the business owners themselves.
Other than that, it was a great speech.
Interestingly, for all his lies, Ryan didn’t repeat the Romney camp’s false claim that Obama did away with the welfare system’s work requirements. Maybe he ran out of time.
Ryan got off a few good zingers: “College grads shouldn’t have to live out their 20s in childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters.” He didn’t mention that he opposed legislation to keep student loan rates from doubling. His remarks about his childhood were slightly moving. He talked about losing his father at 16, and he called his mother, who went back to school and to work after that, his role model. But he never mentioned the Social Security death benefits that let him go to an out-of-state school. Occasionally he seemed to be going after swing voters, rather than his hard-right base, taking a more in sorrow than anger tone about Obama’s failings. Then he’d mix things up with nastiness and lies. Read on...
Addendum (Nicole): The Week notes fifteen ways the media avoids calling Paul Ryan a liar.