Paul Ryan: Fact Check Fury Could Threaten Political Brand


Ryan also blamed the president's economic policies for Standard & Poor's Aug. 5, 2011, decision to cut the long-term U.S. credit rating. But S&P's initial explanation disputes that, blaming the summer's debt-ceiling brinksmanship -- which took place mostly in Congress, with Ryan playing a vocal role -- and the resulting economic uncertainty for driving their decision.

In his convention speech, Ryan claimed that President Obama, when confronted with the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction committee's "urgent report," "thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did absolutely nothing." But Ryan omitted a crucial point: The Simpson-Bowles recommendations never made it to the Senate because a seven-member panel, with Ryan leading the way, voted against sending them there.

Asked by Matt Lauer on the "Today" show Tuesday if he "owed it to people [at the Republican convention] to say that as well," Ryan demurred, pointing instead to an "alternative" measure he submitted in the House, which passed on party lines and were ignored by the Senate.

But even as the fact-checkers piled on after Ryan's speech, the candidate seemed unfazed. Speaking to "Good Morning America's" George Stephanopoulos Tuesday, he showed no signs of backing off his Medicare claims.

"If you're taking $716 billion from Medicare to finance Obamacare, that really is a raid of Medicare for Obamacare," he said. "Our plan to save Medicare does not affect or change the benefits for anybody who is in or near retirement."

He'd repeat the claim on a third morning show, just minutes later.

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