Vice President Joe Biden on Friday slammed Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan for inaccurately stating in his convention speech that a General Motors plant in Ryan’s hometown closed on President Obama’s watch.
“What [Ryan] didn’t tell you is the plant in Janesville actually closed when President Bush was still in office,” Biden said, eliciting boos from a pro-Obama crowd in Lordstown, Ohio. “He didn’t tell you that! And what they didn’t say is, but for the sacrifices you made, and the courage of the president, all those GM plants would have closed.”
Lordstown is home to a major GM assembly plant, the area’s largest employer.
On Wednesday night, Ryan, a House member from Wisconsin, told the Republican National Convention in Tampa that a GM plant in Janesville closed after Obama pledged to keep it open. “A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant,” Ryan said, and quoted Obama saying during a 2008 campaign appearance at the facility that if elected, “this plant will be here for another hundred years.”
“That’s what he said in 2008,” Ryan said. “Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year.”
Several fact-checking websites have pointed out that the plant actually closed while George W. Bush was still president.
In his remarks, Biden also reminded the crowd that Obama led the government reorganization of the auto industry after it nearly went bankrupt during the recession. Republican nominee Mitt Romney at the time argued against government intervention.
“What they didn’t say is because of the auto rescue, there are 4,500 of you working here today. And GM is adding two shifts,” Biden said, adding, in a reference to a now famous headline on an op-ed written by Romney, “And what they didn’t acknowledge is Governor Romney’s position was, ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.’ ”
Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck said in response: “The vice president can’t answer for this administration’s unfulfilled promises and failed record. The president inherited a troubled economy, but he’s not made it better – he’s made it worse, with fewer jobs and lower incomes for middle-class families. Like many towns across America, Janesville, Wisconsin is still waiting for the recovery the president promised.”