Moments after Paul Ryan's speech Wednesday night, Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin got into a fiesty and heated exchange with the MSNBC panel. Walker defended Ryan's false claim that Obama failed to save a Wisconsin auto plant, and even appeared to claim that for Wisconsin workers, the Obama administration's auto bailout hasn't been a success.
The problem with Ryan blasting Obama for the closure of the Wisconsin General Motors plant is that the plant actually closed under George W. Bush.
Ryan said, "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," Ryan continued. "It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight."
In June 2008, Ryan sent a letter along with his Wisconsin colleagues Senators Russ Feingold (D) and Herb Kohl (D) protesting the closure of General Motors plant in Janesville, Wisconsin.
“We ask that you reconsider the decision to close the Janesville GM plant and request a meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss OM’s plans for the Janesville plant, including the possibility of retooling the plant for different production lines,” said the letter from the three lawmakers to GM CEO Rick Wagoner.
Ryan actually voted for a Bush-era effort to expand government loans to GM, a plan that failed to save the Janesville plant.
In 2008, Ryan supported the Bush loans that Romney infamously opposed in an editorial titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”
Scott Walker was apparently trying to assist the Romney-Ryan campaign's efforts to re-write history, but as you can guess, Rachel, Ed, Al and company didn't let him off the hook.
Maddow kept her cool as she spoke to Walker, "It is surprising to hear you run down the American auto industry at a moment that it really has come back and to see such a bright spot in the economy, you talked as if things haven't worked out in the auto industry since the bailout," she said. "It's a surprise."
Schultz wasn't having any of it, and broke in hitting back at Walker's claims. "It was not Barack Obama's economic policies that closed that GM plant," he insisted. "That plant was closed in December 2008. That's in the Washington Post right now Governor. It has nothing to do with Barack Obama's economic policy whatsoever. You can't get away from that fact."
Walker smugly repeated the tired "managed bankruptcy would have been more effective" meme and Schultz quickly snapped back that Walker could not guarantee the plant would still be operating under that strategy.
Al Sharpton tried to enter the fray, but Walker retorted, "If you want to talk over and not let me talk that's fine. Apparently that's what you do a lot of."
If there weren't so much at stake this November for so many people, this would all be quite the comedy. *Sigh.*