Ryan’s speech — good or bad for the Republicans?

Those of you who watched the convention speech given by Paul Ryan, the VP nominee of the Republican Party, no doubt are aware of the good amount of controversy he stirred up by being less than entirely truthful in several of his points.  The following piece on the Fox News website (which of course is significant in and of itself) speaks to the mixed reaction to Ryan’s speech.  Read the following and offer your opinion in the survey at the end:

Paul Ryan’s speech in 3 words


Published August 30, 2012

| FoxNews.com

1. Dazzling

At least a quarter of Americans still don’t know who Paul Ryan is, and only about half who know and have an opinion of him view him favorably.

So, Ryan’s primary job tonight was to introduce himself and make himself seem likeable, and he did that well. The personal parts of the speech were very personally delivered, especially the touching parts where Ryan talked about his father and mother and their roles in his life. And at the end of the speech, when Ryan cheered the crowd to its feet, he showed an energy and enthusiasm that’s what voters want in leaders and what Republicans have been desperately lacking in this campaign.

To anyone watching Ryan’s speech who hasn’t been paying much attention to the ins and outs and accusations of the campaign, I suspect Ryan came across as a smart, passionate and all-around nice guy — the sort of guy you can imagine having a friendly chat with while watching your kids play soccer together. And for a lot of voters, what matters isn’t what candidates have done or what they promise to do —it’s personality. On this measure, Mitt Romney has been catastrophically struggling and with his speech, Ryan humanized himself and presumably by extension, the top of the ticket.

2. Deceiving

On the other hand, 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. On this measure, while it was  Romney who ran the Olympics, Ryan earned the gold.

The good news is that the Romney-Ryan campaign has likely created dozens of new jobs among the legions of additional fact checkers that media outlets are rushing to hire to sift through the mountain of cow dung that flowed from Ryan’s mouth. Said fact checkers have already condemned certain arguments that Ryan still irresponsibly repeated.

Fact: While Ryan tried to pin the downgrade of the United States’ credit rating on spending under President Obama, the credit rating was actually downgraded because Republicans threatened not to raise the debt ceiling.

Fact: While Ryan blamed President Obama for the shut down of a GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, the plant was actually closed under President George W. Bush. Ryan actually asked for federal spending to save the plant, while Romney has criticized the auto industry bailout that President Obama ultimately enacted to prevent other plants from closing.

Fact: Though Ryan insisted that President Obama wants to give all the credit for private sector success to government, that isn’t what the president said. Period.

Fact: Though Paul Ryan accused President Obama of taking $716 billion out of Medicare, the fact is that that amount was savings in Medicare reimbursement rates (which, incidentally, save Medicare recipients out-of-pocket costs, too) and Ryan himself embraced these savings in his budget plan.

Elections should be about competing based on your record in the past and your vision for the future, not competing to see who can get away with the most lies and distortions without voters noticing or bother to care. Both parties should hold themselves to that standard. Republicans should be ashamed that there was even one misrepresentation in Ryan’s speech but sadly, there were many.

3. Distracting

And then there’s what Ryan didn’t talk about.

Ryan didn’t mention his extremist stance on banning all abortions with no exception for rape or incest, a stance that is out of touch with 75% of American voters.

Ryan didn’t mention his previous plan to hand over Social Security to Wall Street.

Ryan didn’t mention his numerous votes to raise spending and balloon the deficit when George W. Bush was president.

Ryan didn’t mention how his budget would eviscerate programs that help the poor and raise taxes on 95% of Americans in order to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires even further and increase — yes, increasethe deficit.

These aspects of Ryan’s resume and ideology are sticky to say the least. He would have been wise to tackle them head on and try and explain them away in his first real introduction to voters. But instead of Ryan airing his own dirty laundry, Democrats will get the chance.

At the end of his speech, Ryan quoted his dad, who used to say to him, “”Son. You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution.”

Ryan may have helped solve some of the likeability problems facing Romney, but ultimately by trying to deceive voters about basic facts and trying to distract voters from his own record, Ryan’s speech caused a much larger problem for himself and his running mate.

4 responses to “Ryan’s speech — good or bad for the Republicans?”

  1. crawford4 says :

    Many say that Paul Ryan’s speech spoke to his character and made him seem more “likable” but i actually found him to be just the opposite. To me he seemed entitled, pretentious, and stuck up. That opinion comes from the fact that i was informed on Mr. Ryan’s social extremist record and I found it deceitful that he did not tackle those issues head on. I can see why he did it because most Americans will not take the time to look at his record but the Democrats should take that opportunity to expose Paul Ryan’s social policies.

  2. Ryan4 says :

    Paul Ryan’s speech was both beneficial and harmful for Republicans. He did accomplish what he set out to do – becoming a likable figure to draw people in, something that the Republicans needed after Romney’s struggle delivering his speech. But I, among others who were more up to date with Ryan’s beliefs, feel as if the speech made Ryan loose credibility. He purposely overlooked some of his more extreme views to drawn attraction from the lesser informed. In a way this was good for the campaign, but I personally think that by preaching a false facade, it took more away from the speech overall.

  3. Liz7 says :

    I found Paul Ryan’s speech simple to interpret and felt that, as Kohn said, Ryan was a man you could imagine having a conversation with. I think his sympathetic affect is a good balance for Romney’s somewhat stiff demeanor. However, knowing his stringently conservative views and the amount of fact checking inspired by this speech, it felt extremely deceitful. I find it unacceptable to falsify that much information on such a public forum, and it discredits the respectable parts of his discourse. Though he is certainly not the first to do it, fabrication in no way benefits his campaign, especially when the deceit has been so widely publicized. For dedicated Republican voters, I cannot imagine just this speech, despite its inaccuracies, would mar his image. But for in-between voters who are aware of the blatant lies in this speech, I think Ryan may have set himself into the image of the fraudulent politician that surrounds American government today.

  4. Nyle4 says :

    Paul Ryan’s speech was deceitful, misleading, and an unfortunate reflection on the Romney campaign. While they have been campaigning on the basis that Obama has done nothing but hurt the economy and would continue this downward spiral if the president is re-elected, they are unable to even get the facts to show what Obama has done wrong. Whether this shows laziness, incompetence, or both on part of the Romney campaign, neither are traits the American people would want in their presidential cabinate. This speech also did not help restore the American public’s faith in their government which is so desperately needed when the national economy is struggling.

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