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Paul "Pinnochio" Ryan?

   CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. -- Paul Ryan's speech before the Republican National Convention drew cheers from the delegates and strong media reviews -- until the fact-checkers got involved.

   Then it got nasty, and for good reason. the GOP vice presidential candidate stretched the truth, or tore it into bits and pieces, more than once.

    Here's a quick look at some of Ryan's statements and how they compare to the truth.

    -- Ryan lamented the closing of a GM plant in Janesville, Wisc., his hometown, quoting Barack Obama as saying in early 2008 that if government supported the plant, "this plant will be here another hundred years." Ryan followed up by saying: "Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year."

   The clear implication is that Obama failed to prevent the plant's closing. But the Business Journal in Milwaukee reported that the plant closed on Dec. 23, 2008 -- nearly a month before Obama became president.

   -- Ryan said Obama funneled $716 billion out of Medicare "at the expense of the elderly." In fact, those cuts -- included in the Obama health law -- are cuts in future government payments to insurers and Medicare providers, not seniors. What's more, the very same cuts are included in the budget Ryan drew up in hopes of balancing the budget in 30 years.

   -- Ryan lambasted Obama for ignoring the budget recommendation from the deficit commission he set up, saying: "He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report.  He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing." What Ryan didn't mention, though, was that he was on the 18-member commission, which needed 14 votes to bring its report up for a vote in Congress. Only 11 members supported it -- and Ryan himself opposed it, saying he "could not support the plan in its entirety."

   There's more, and a Buffalo News story in Friday's paper will go into deeper depth on Ryan's statements, which are prompting vicious media comments today.

   The speech "contained several false claims and misleading statements," said FactCheck.org.

   "To anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech," wrote Sally Kohn, a contributor to Fox News.

-- Jerry Zremski

 

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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