The Corner

Messina: In Debate, Ryan Either Will Be Extremist or Liar

In the wake of President Obama’s disastrous debate performance last week, his campaign has been frantically trying to change the story from “Obama lost the debate” to “Mitt Romney lied through his teeth during the debate.” During a conference call with reporters, for instance, David Axelrod said, “I think the question for you, for the American people is  really one of character and whether or not a candidacy that’s so fundamentally rooted in hiding the truth and the facts from the American people in deception is the basis of trust on which you would assign the presidency to a person.” 

But the Obama campaign is taking no chances before tonight’s vice presidential debate: in a conference call with reporters today, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina already began spinning, suggesting that Paul Ryan was likely to lie during the debate.

“Joe Biden, as he always does, will speak the truth,” Messina said of the debate. “We now know that Mitt Romney will say anything to win, even if it’s not true, just like he did in Massachusetts and in the board room. Mitt Romney’s been running for years on positions he described as ‘severely conservative,’ that’s his quote, but now is cynically and dishonestly hiding his real positions because he knows it will jeopardize a win on Election Day.” 

“The question now,” Messina added, “is whether Congressman Ryan will adopt the same dishonest strategy or if he’ll stand by the very extreme positions he’s taken as the intellectual leader of the Republican party, positions like vouchers on Medicare, his extreme budget that cuts the deficit on the backs of the middle class and the poor, whether he wants to redefine rape as he proposed in Congress. The question now is whether he’ll continue those same policies or whether he’ll try to gray them over as Romney’s trying.”

“Unfortunately as we’ve already seen in everything from his fact-free convention speech to his exaggerated marathon time, Ryan isn’t afraid to skirt the truth, ” Messina said. “That’s what we expect to see tonight.”

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...


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