(Click the image for an expanded view)An interesting claim, it surely is. Like wildfire through the internet, this "hope it sticks" talking point was being spread. It spread so fast that the Washington Post issued a fact check about it (albeit, from the same guy that said Obama's ads about Mitt Romney's alleged outsourcing were 100% false) at 10:52pm, and the panel at CNN jumped on it quickly. In an analysis here (http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/30/opinion/opinion-roundup-ryan/index.html?hpt=hp_t2), democratic strategist Hilary Rosen writes:
- "He told a story he knows to be untrue about a GM plant closing after the president had promised to keep it open, yet the plant actually closed when George W. Bush was president."
Of course, I checked the article in the Washington Post. It calls out Ryan and claims that the plant was closed in December of 2008, before Obama took office.
Well, shoot... they got us! Our golden boy Vice President nominee is a liar.
But then this article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel came up: http://www.jsonline.com/business/130171578.html.
It's dated September 19th, 2011 and it claims in its third paragraph:
- "Since they were shut down in 2009, both the Janesville and Tennessee plants have been on standby status, meaning they were not producing vehicles, but they were not completely shut down."
The article goes on and specifically discusses the Janesville plant:
- "The Janesville plant stopped production of SUVs in 2008 and was idled in 2009 after it completed production of medium-duty trucks... Remaining on standby means not much has changed in Janesville. Community leaders say they would be ready if the GM plant reopened, but no one seems to be counting on that."
So what did we learn? Well, it appears, based on the MJS article, the plant was shut down in 2009 as Ryan said, in spite of Cutter's and Rosen's claims. According to this article, it seems that the gun was jumped in looking for a hole in Ryan's claim, and this could come back to bite those who leaped at the opportunity. But I'll leave it up to you to decide how to take it. And oh yeah, since I'm sure this issue will be addressed; if you want to debate the semantics of Ryan's claim of being "closed" versus "shut down," good luck. I suggest you also ask the opinions of the thousands of GM employees who were laid off because of this plant's shutdown.
Please share your opinions below. Thank you.