Obama lied about Janesville GM auto plant, not Ryan

Left-wing partisans and media lapdoggies get really, really touchy when you spoil their pristine Obama narratives. The Obama-as-autoworkers’-savior plot line is well-worn. The White House response to counter-narratives like the shafted Delphi workers is to scream their fables louder.

Tonight, GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan noted that Obama had failed to keep his promise to autoworkers in his hometown of Janesville, Wisc. Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker also noted the failure. From Ryan’s powerful RNC speech:

President Barack Obama, came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two.  Those are very tough days.  And any fair measure of his record has to take that into account.  My own state voted for President Obama.  When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it.

Especially in Janesville where we were about to lose a major factory.  A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that G.M. plant.  Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said, “I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years.”

That’s what he said in 2008.  Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year.  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 no where in sight.  Right now, 23 million men and women are struggling to find work.  23 million people unemployed or underemployed.  Nearly one in six Americans is in poverty.   Millions of young Americans have graduated from college during the Obama presidency, ready to use their gifts and get moving in life.

Half of them can’t find the work they studied for, or any work at all.  So here’s the question, without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?

Angry libs stampeded over themselves to call Ryan a liar:

The lapdoggies piled on:

WaPo: Ryan misleads on GM plant closing in hometown

That’s a lie. Read the transcript. Listen to what Ryan said. The neutral Washington Post reporter is the misleader, not Ryan.

Conservatives on Twitter pushed back:

So, who “lied” about Janesville? Ryan’s speech accurately described the plant’s history and status. Read it again:

 Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said, “I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years.”

That’s what he said in 2008.  Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year.  It is locked up and empty to this day. 

“Locked up and empty” and hanging by a thread. And that’s exactly what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel described last fall. FACTS:

General Motors Co. has committed to reopen its idled plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., and keep its shuttered assembly plant in Janesville on standby status.

…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.

In other words, everything Paul Ryan said was true: He pointed to Obama’s own lofty promises about the plant being open for the next “100 years” if he were elected and contrasted it with the reality of a shuttered factory locked up and empty to this day. It was Obama who lied to Janesville workers. Ryan told America the truth.

National Review’s Henry Payne explains more fully how candidate Obama vowed to those workers in February 2008 that if he became president, prosperity would be theirs. That promise, like everything else with this administration, was fantastical smoke and mirrors:

“(But) I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this (General Motors) plant will be here for another hundred years,” said Barack Obama in February, 2008, promising UAW workers at GM’s giant, troubled plant in Janesville, Wisc., that he would watch over them if elected president. “When I talk about real change that will make a real difference in the lives of working families, it’s not just the poll-tested rhetoric of a political campaign. It’s the cause of my life. And you can be sure that it will be the cause of my presidency from the very first day I take office.”

It was just poll-tested rhetoric.

Before Obama was sworn in, the Janesville plant closed in late 2008, eliminating 6,000 jobs. And by his first day in office, Obama had forgotten the people of Janesville and the big SUVs they used to build. Obama not only didn’t keep his promise to the south Wisconsin town, he pursued an energy policy that rewarded politically connected green investors (see Solyndra and Fisker) while making it harder for Janesville to revive the trucks it once produced.

Janesville would be forgotten like so many Obama political promises but for one fateful turn of history: Janesville is the hometown of Paul Ryan.

…Last week, Ryan reminded America of Obama’s failed promise.

“I remember President Obama visiting it when he was first running, saying he’ll keep that plant open — one more broken promise,” Ryan said. “One of the reasons that plant got shut down is $4 gasoline. You see, this costs jobs. The president’s terrible energy policies are costing us jobs.”

Another reason was $70-an-hour UAW wage-benefit rates compared with Toyota’s $48 hourly wage. Ryan’s speech provides some insight into the conservative policy wonk’s complex political background: a popular, six-term conservative who represents blue and white collars in a politically split Wisconsin district, who lobbied for government help for Janesville, and who voted for Barack Obama’s auto bailout.

But the Janesville closing is more revealing of Obama.

His liberal media allies were quick to pounce on Ryan’s comments. “GM stopped production at its Janesville, Wisconsin production facility in 2008, when George W. Bush was still president,” barked the Daily Kos, filling in Ryan’s obvious blank (true enough, unfriendly-to-Detroit-truck mpg laws are also the legacy of George “We’re Addicted to Oil” Bush).

But the Left misses the point. Under Obamanomics, the government picks winners and losers. Obama promised Janesville would be a winner even as his economic policies guaranteed it would always be a loser. Indeed, Obama’s whole 2008 Janesville speech is a sobering road map for the job-killing policies he has put in place as president.

Were Obama serious about American manufacturing, he would allow energy companies to explore (Gulf drilling moratorium), would facilitate bringing those resources to market (blocking the Keystone pipeline), allow companies to hire employees without massive medical costs (Obamacare), encourage flexible, non-union shops (demonizing Boeing, the UAW bailout), and stop forcing companies to make products consumers don’t want (electric cars, windmills, etc.).

Then Janesville might still have promise.

Narrative debunked, again.

Related:

“Fact checker” Ezra Klein doubles down on Janesville GM auto plant lie

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