PORTLAND, Ore. — A conservative superPAC is taking part of Paul Ryan’s convention speech that brought him under fire for inaccurately blaming President Obama for a GM plant’s closing and using his words in a new ad attacking Obama and backing up the GOP ticket.
Ryan came under scrutiny after his Republican National Convention speech implied it was Obama’s fault that a GM plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wis., closed down, although it shut its doors before the president came into office.
The ad from the American Future Fund, named “Janesville,” will run in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids in the battleground state of Iowa with a $150,000 buy.
The ad starts begins with ”His words gave us hope” written across the screen and then goes to Obama’s 2008 speech at the plant 10 months before it shut down during the Bush administration.
“I believe that if our government is there to support you and give you the assistance you need to retool and make this transition that this plant will be here for another 100 years,” then-candidate Obama said.
The ad then moves to Ryan’s convention speech in Tampa:
“Well as it turned out that plant didn’t last for another year,” Ryan said, referring to the president’s trip to the plant, but not mentioning it closed down under a different administration. “It is locked up and empty to this day and that’s how it is in so many towns where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in site.”
The Ryan footage continues: “We have suffered no shortage of words in the White House, what is missing is leadership in the White House.”
In interviews since his speech, Ryan has insisted he wasn’t being misleading because the president promised to give the aid they needed to “retool” the plant and it never re-opened.
“Americans have suffered President Obama’s empty rhetoric and broken promises long enough. Obama’s truth is hurting America. Enough talk, Mr. President, it’s time for new leadership,” American Future Fund founder Nick Ryan said in a statement echoing some of the language used in the ad.
The Obama campaign responded that the ad is based on a premise that has been disproven, and pointed to the success of president’s plan to bail out GM and Chrysler.
“This is an attack that’s been repeatedly debunked,” Obama campaign spokesman Danny Kanner said. “Here are the facts: President Obama bet on the American worker and now GM and Chrysler are in existence, creating jobs, and posting some of their most profitable quarters in history. If Mitt Romney had had his way, we would have ‘let Detroit go bankrupt,’ and the American auto industry and the more than 1 million jobs it supports would cease to exist.”
Romney doubled down on his GM position this weekend, saying the company “should have gone into bankruptcy earlier.”
“I said, ‘Let them go into bankruptcy. Help them come out. But let them go in,’” Romney said Sunday on “Meet the Press.” “And I don’t think most Americans know that GM went bankrupt. That they did go bankrupt. The president put them into bankruptcy. And he finally did what I also thought was the right thing to do, but I thought it from the very beginning.”