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August 30th, 2012
09:22 AM ET

Romney campaign's Fehrnstrom says Ryan didn't say GM plant closed under Obama, responds to uproar over 'Etch A Sketch' comments

Mitt Romney is set to take another big step forward tonight on the road to the White House. He'll accept his party's nomination at the Republican National Convention as the event wraps up in Tampa. But last night, it was all about Rep. Paul Ryan. Romney's running mate took direct aim at President Obama, making his case for the GOP ticket.

This morning on "Starting Point," Romney Senior Advisor Eric Fehrnstrom addresses the may questions this morning about the factual accuracy of some of Ryan's claims in his speech.

Ryan says that "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."

Berman points out that the decision to close the GM plant Janesville, WI, was made in June of 2008 when President Bush was in office. Berman asks Fehrnstrom if what Ryan says is misleading.

"Well, no he didn’t talk about Obama closing the plant," Fehrnstrom says. "He said candidate Obama went there in 2008 and what he said was with government assistance, we can keep this plant open for another 100 years. Here we are four years into his administration. That plant is still closed. I think it's a symbol of a recovery that hasn't materialized for the people of Janesville, Wisconsin, just as it hasn't materialized for Americans everywhere."

Berman pushed back on Fehrnstrom, saying that Ryan left the impression President Obama shut down the plant.

"I encourage people to go back and look at what candidate Obama said in 2008," Fehrnstrom adds. "What he said was with his recovery program, with government assistance, we can keep that plant open for 100 years. Four years later, it's still shuttered. I think it's a symbol of a broken economy under this president."

Berman also asks Fehrnstrom about his thoughts on the uproar on his “Etch A Sketch” comment he made in March on Starting Point, pointing out that other prominent Republicans are still talking about Romney having the chance to reintroduce himself to the American public.

Fehrnstrom says, “the point I was making back then is that the campaign in the general election is going to be different than the primary campaign in this sense. In the primary campaign we had eight opponents. We were talking about the legislative record of some of those opponents like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Today we’re in a different situation. It’s a one-on-one contest with President Obama. And I think what we’re looking forward to is the opportunity to debate the President in October three times and I think what people will see in that setting is a person in Mitt Romney who is extraordinarily qualified to lead at a time of crisis in this country. He has a plan to put America back to work. And we can compare that to the failures of the Obama administration over the last four years in creating jobs and getting this economy in order.”

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. paralegal training

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    October 20, 2012 at 5:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Chris

    Fact is Romney s going to be prosecuted by New York State For Tax Evasion, Don't worry Mittens Mob bosses run their Corporations from Prison all the time , with the Help of your new VP MANUEL Penja-tration, you should do fine. Hope you love toilet punch. Just another Nail in the coffin of your chances of being the President. Good night Mittens said the boys in Cell Block 2012

    September 5, 2012 at 2:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Bob

    The other big lie is "Obama did nothing on the Simpsons/Bowl plan". Actually getting a bipartisan commission together is the President's job. He did that. But it was up to the Congress to vote on the plan and they hit a deadlock. And the biggest obstacle was none other than Paul Ryan himself. He in particular accepted no compromise. Like a little brat who can't get their way, he just stamped his feet and held his breath and decided to ruin the country rather than come to a reasonable compromise. So the automatic cuts which were designed BY BOTH PARTIES to ensure compromise kick in because the Ryan and his Tea Party cronies hate Obama more than they love the country.

    September 3, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. blessedgeek

    We cannot have yet another pair of President/Vice-President who are too skillful in pushing the blame to someone else while destroying the economy and environment hoping the next generation would fix it. And when the next generation does fix it, come on to say it's not good enuf.

    September 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Hadenuffyet

    WHAT plan, Mitt , haven't heard one yet.

    September 1, 2012 at 3:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. non_grata

    The candidate Obama kept his promise and aided GM. It was GM's decision to shutter their plant.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Mike in SA

    Ryan didn't stretch the truth at all. Democrats just have very short memories. Obama got exactly what he wanted regarding the auto industry. He wanted bailout funds, he got bailout funds...before he was even in office. Lest you forget, let me refresh those memories.

    In Fall 2008 Congress provided the Big Three automakers a $25 billion loan to avoid bankruptcy. By December 2008 Bush agreed to another emergency bailout of $17.4 billion, a plan which the President-elect Obama endorsed whole-heartedly.

    Yes, President Obama got what he wanted and the plant still closed and after 4 years of failed economic policy it continues to remain closed.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • King

      Seems like you still didn't do any real research, so lets help you out there Mike. Obama did NOt allow any plants to close, GM did, after they received the bailout money. They figured that they could survive long enough for the economy to get better so that people would start buying cars again. GM is not back on top because of that plan, and four years later a lot of people still have jobs and others were able to get new jobs thanks to obama. Now ask romney how many jobs he saved at Bain......go ahead, I'll wait.

      September 3, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. GaryB

    After I did some fact-checking on Ryan's speech, I was surprised his pants didn't burst out in flames.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. john2655

    Paul Ryan for president. I think that what Romney said when he introduced Ryan to the public. Jan brewer said Obama would be the best president in 2012 last night . Am I missing something here or are these people speaking the truth.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Peter M

    Erin Burnett is the only objective journalist at CNN.

    August 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Horace Grant

    Paul Ryan stretched the truth; like most right-wing Republicans; and, that's the bottom line!

    August 30, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • SMS

      So, you think that stretching the truth is limited to R's? That must be a resutl of the blinders D's all wear...

      August 30, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • King

        Right.....blinders.......tell me again how Bush got elected in 2000....and while you're at it, remind me where we found all of those WMDs they said they found over there that led us into a useless war.

        September 3, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • InVT

      No, Horace, he outright lied. Again and again.
      At least he didn't say "I don't need a birth certificate because I'm white" like Romney did.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Mark Newsom

    I wonder if Berman is capable of non-bias reporting? I doubt it. His personal bias was all out there this morning. Its getting harder and harder to find reporters that put their bias and agenda aside to simply be great reporters. CNN has a few but I didn't see it this morning.

    August 30, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • SC

      I don't think it's bias to disect what these politicians say to the American public and point out their lies. They will do the same at the DNC. I am an independent voter, not an Obama supporter.

      August 30, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • whatdidhesay?

      You need to only watch Fox News, ALWAYS, FAIR AND BALANCED!

      August 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • King

        Haha that made me spit out my coffee laughing!

        September 3, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |

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