What Are They Saying About Paul Ryan's Big Speech Today?

The Atlantic Wire
What Are They Saying About Paul Ryan's Big Speech Today?
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What Are They Saying About Paul Ryan's Big Speech Today?

Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan was the main event at last night's Republican Convention in Tampa, and most observers seem to agree that it was a well-read speech ... that had a few problems with the truth. Unlike Ann Romney and Chris Christie, who generally got decent reviews (or the same reviews, anyway) from both sides of the aisle, reaction to Ryan's speech has mostly focused on the facts — many of which have been heavily disputed. Let the fact-checking/Sarah Palin comparisons begin.

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Paul Ryan and Condi Rice: A Tale of Two Speeches — Molly Ball, The Atlantic

Ryan's speech was notably heavy on the sort of tendentious distortions that his reputation might have led you to believe he disdained. ... The misdirection and red-meat-tossing seemed to be intentional -- a deliberate provocation to the priggish ranks of the pointy-headed fact-checkers, for whom the Romney campaign recently signaled its disdain. (Although it should be noted that Democrats, too, have taken issue with fact-checkers whose verdicts they dislike.) Ryan is being positioned as the Republican ticket's gleeful, unabashed attack dog, someone willing to take it to the other side without regard for the sniffing of the poo-bahs: Sarah Palin in an ill-fitting suit.

Paul Ryan: Winner — Erick Erickson, RedState

Tonight, Paul Ryan brought Rush Limbaugh’s CPAC themes full circle into the next generation with a youthful, smiling face that makes it hard for the Democrats to attack. He related to women, to moms, to small businesses, and to families. ... He appealed to independents and the base. He remains one heck of a pick for Mitt Romney. Paul Ryan is a winner.

Here’s a list of some of the whoppers that Paul Ryan served up — Dave Weigel, Slate

So I was in the cheap seats, not on carpet, when Ryan plowed through one of the more impressive strings of whoppers we've seen at this level. Ryan's been doling out chunks of this speech for weeks, which made the fibs sound even stranger.

Paul Ryan’s speech in three words — Sally Kohn, Fox News

Dazzling ... Deceiving ... Distracting ... 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.

Ryan’s speech builds trust among grassroots conservatives — Matt Kibbe, Fox News 

If any political speech at the GOP convention can bring together Tea Partiers, independents and the Republican faithful, Rep. Paul Ryan’s was it. Ryan drew a clear connection between fiscal responsibility in government and economic opportunity for the nation. It’s a connection the Tea Party has been making for more than three years, and the Republican Party is finally catching on.

Paul Ryan Fails -- The Truth — Jonathan Bernstein, The Washington Post

But really, the proper response to a speech like this isn’t to carefully analyze the logic, or to find instances of hypocracy; it’s to call the speaker out for telling flat-out lies to the American people. Paul Ryan has had what I’ve long thought was an undeserved good reputation among many in the press and in Washington. It shouldn’t survive tonight’s speech. 

Paul Ryan’s socialist strawman — Matt Miller, The Washington Post

Just reflecting on those facts versus the fictional dystopia Ryan wants as his foil shows once more how far removed Republican rhetoric is from anything resembling reality.

Republican National Convention Day 2: Winners and Losers — Chris Cillizza, The Washington Post

Ryan’s speech was the best written of any we’ve heard so far at the convention. It was packed with great lines, most of which – particularly in the second half of his speech – Ryan delivered well.

Paul Ryan's RNC acceptance speech stands out on a slow night — Lane Filler, Newsday

All in all, a very mediocre (at times even painful) night, with only Ryan and Rice standing out. Neither are great speakers, but both struck a real chord with this crowd. To be honest, the response still was not the frenzied tumult a real political star gets, even for those two, but it was pretty good.

CNN Correspondents Praise Ryan's Speech, Acknowledge 'Seven or Eight' Factual Errors — Louis Peitzman, Gawker

"A powerful speech" with only "seven or eight" facts to dispute? Sounds like a winner. Erin Burnett agreed — "There will be issues with some of the facts. But it motivated people." And in the end, isn't "precise, clear, and passionate" more important than truthful?

Paul Ryan no Sarah Palin. Dan Quayle, maybe — Mark Brown, Chicago Sun-Times

My first impression: He looks like he’d make a very good congressman. Lucky for the Republicans they’ve got a responsible adult on the ticket in Romney. ... Paul Ryan is no Sarah Palin either, and I mean that in a good way. More like a smart Dan Quayle, with a cowlick.

Paul Ryan’s brazen lies — Joan Walsh, Salon

Interestingly, for all his lies, Ryan didn’t repeat the Romney camp’s false claim that Obama did away with the welfare system’s work requirements. Maybe he ran out of time.

Ryan and Rice: The Most Reaganesque Addresses in a Long Time? -- Jim Geraghty, National Review

Conversational, direct, funny, detailed… this was Reaganesque, guys. I was a kid when Reagan was president, so I got lulled into a false sense of what American presidents were – I thought they were all that good. This felt like that.

Reaganesque at the Republican Convention — Charels Kesler, National Review

Paul Ryan’s performance was brilliant. To my mind it seemed Reaganesque, humorously and expertly flaying the Obama administration not merely for failing to deliver on its economic promises but for daring to conceive of Hope and Change as a replacement for America’s founding principles

Ryan takes factual shortcuts in speech — Ricard Alonso-Zaldivar and Jack Gillum, Associated Press

Paul Ryan took some factual shortcuts Wednesday night when he attacked President Barack Obama's policies on Medicare, the economic stimulus and the budget deficit.

Paul Ryan’s Large Lies and One Big Truth — Jonathan Chait, New York

I have the equivalent of a master’s degree in Ryan lie-ology. I’ve heard many of his lurid fantasies innumerable times and I haven’t got it in me to go through it all again — his deep dishonesty largely reflects the fundamental gap between the radicalism of his agenda and his need for public acceptance. I’ll merely point out that, even if all the smaller component dishonesties of Ryan’s speech were true, the larger points they undergirded were false as well.

Paul Ryan’s Hypocritical Attack on Barack Obama — Josh Barro, Bloomberg

The central attack in the speech is one that I agree with: The Obama administration is out of ideas and adrift on economic policies. “They have run out of ideas. Their moment came and went. Fear and division is all they’ve got left.” But the speech did not make the case that Romney and Ryan would succeed where Obama has failed.

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