GM Janesville: Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers

by Henry Payne

The Associated Press — part of Obama’s media secret service detail — rushed into action Thursday night at the first sign of Paul Ryan drawing blood from their leader. Under the guise of “fact-checking,” AP took a number of editorial swings in order to protect The One.

Some factual punches landed, but the AP’s incorrect telling of Obama’s promise to keep GM’s Janesville plant open continues a false media narrative. AP opined that “Ryan said Obama misled people in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wis., by making them think a General Motors plant there threatened with closure could be saved. “

In fact, claims the AP, “the plant halted production in December 2008, weeks before Obama took office and well before he enacted a more robust auto industry bailout that rescued GM and Chrysler and allowed the majority of their plants — though not the Janesville facility — to stay in operation. Ryan himself voted for an auto bailout under President George W. Bush that was designed to help GM, but he was a vocal critic of the one pushed through by Obama that has been widely credited with revitalizing both GM and Chrysler.”

Whew! Four more years! The White House press office could not have put it better.

But in fact, the facts are these as I reported two weeks ago:

“(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. ” . . . 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.

The now-vice presidential nominee’s ears likely burned in 2008 because he was on the front lines trying to save a light truck plant in his backyard – even as a presidential nominee notorious for his public contempt for GM’s truck products parachuted into his district to pose as a savior. 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.”

(Obama’s) 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. . . . 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.).

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