Politics

New Obama video drafts media against Paul Ryan

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama has drafted a corps of media people into his latest attack video against Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP’s vice presidential candidate.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and John King, National Journal’s Ron Fournier and Fox’s Chris Wallace are pressed into service in the Aug. 30 video that bombards Ryan’s speech with adjectives, such as “false… misleading… wrong… wrong.”

The 129-second video also deploys regular GOP critics such as MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, CNN’s Gloria Borger and talk show host Michael Smerconish.

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David Gergen plays a supporting role, even though the video does not include any of his statements.

The involuntary enlistment of the media people in the anti-Ryan attack video comes after CBS’ Bob Schieffer complained in July about his inclusion in a “very tough ad” run by Mitt Romney.

“Obviously, I have no connected with the Romney campaign. This was done without our permission. It comes as a total surprise to me… that’s where we are in politics,” Schieffer said, shortly he lobbed a softball question to progressive columnist Frank Rich on his Sunday talk show.

The video was followed by a barrage of tweets and emails from Obama’s supporters throughout the morning that sought to dirty up Ryan’s relatively favorable poll ratings.

Ryan “lied about Medicare. He lied about the Recovery Act. He lied about the deficit and debt,” said a morning fundraising email from Obama campaign manager Jim Messina.

“Ryan lied about Medicare, the Recovery Act, the debt, the deficit, what happened in his hometown,” said a morning tweet from Brad Woodhouse, the spokesman for the Democratic National Committee.

“Paul Ryan’s speech was long on distortions and short on solutions,” said a 11:37 a.m tweet from the Obama campaign.

Obama’s new video doesn’t parse Ryan’s nuanced statements, but instead juxtaposes his speech with media statements that may or may not be related to Ryan’s statements.

For example, the video shows Ryan declaring that “candidate Obama said, ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years.’ As it tuned out, that plant didn’t last another year.”

The plant was an auto factory operated by General Motors, which had been slated in 2008 for closure in 2009.

The video declares the statement “misleading,” and then shows a quote from CNN’s King saying, “that plant was shut down under the [George W.] Bush administration.” In fact, the factory continued to produce autos until April 2009.

The video did not address Ryan’s argument that Obama over-promised and failed to deliver an economic recovery.

“When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory,” Ryan told his convention audience.

“A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM 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 hundred 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,” said Ryan.

“That’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.”

Similarly, the video shows Ryan blasting Obama’s $831 billion 2009 stimulus “as case of political patronage, corporate welfare and cronyism at their worst.” (RYAN: Obama presidency ‘like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind’)

The video labels Ryan’s statement as “wrong,” and then appends a non sequitur from Smerconish, who correctly said that Ryan’s office asked for some of the stimulus money to be sent to two companies in his district, which also includes the closed GM factory.

The short video ends with a kicker volunteered by MSNBC’s Matthews, which declared that Ryan’s peroration “was a very constricted, a very negative, a very nasty speech.”

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