tv Martin Bashir MSNBC September 3, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
now, it's the president's turn. >> it was a rerun. it could have been an nick at nite. we've seen it before. you might as well have watched it on a black and white tv some rabbit ears. >> i will work with my energy and soul to restore that america. >> extremism in the defense of liberty is no bias. >> whole thing sounds so darn democratic. >> we had the lead. we let people down. >> these guys are bush on steroids. >> college football's in the air. >> made it worse. >> he made it worse. >> he just made it worse. >> how do you answer the president's argument that the economy is getting better if you ourself are saying it's getting better? >> of course it's getting better.
i'm not familiar with what i said, but i stand by whatever it was, whatever i said. >> entering the home stretch of the presidential race and there is first lady, michelle obama. at and on the stage of the democratic national convention in charlotte, preparing for the speech that she will deliver tomorrow. delegates have been gathering in large numbers already outside the actual convention hall, but there she is, being given directions as to where to speak and a microphone and obviously the telepromter stands as well. and her husband, the president, well, he was out in ohio where he wished a happy labor day to auto workers in toledo and everyone working hard each and other day as he pushed his role in securing the auto bailout that kept the assembly lines running. >> ohio, we're not about to take
a knee and do nothing. we're not going to let detroit go bankrupt or lordstown or toledo. i stood with american workers, american -- i'll make that bet any day of the week and because of that bet, three years later, that bet is paying off for america! >> the toledo rally is part of the president's pregame tour gearing up for the democratic national convention starting tomorrow in charlotte, north carolina. first lady, live there on the stage. ca carrying out her walk through. over the weekend, his travels took him to the battleground of colorado where the president offered his take on last week's republican convention. >> it was a rerun. it could have been on nick at nite. we've seen it before. you might as well have watched it on a black an white tv with
some rabbit ears. those ideas don't work. they didn't work then. they won't work now. >> good one, mr. president, but don't be silly. mitt romney's not living in mayberry, no, he's up in one of his quantity towns of wolfeboro, new hampshire. able to enjoy a day of carefree boating on the marina courtesy of the dividends he's been living off for years. oh, but mr. romney did put voice to dictaphone to release this statement. quote, labor day is a chance to celebrate the strong american work ethic, but for far too many american, today is another day of worrying when their next paycheck will come. he said as he prepared to blast off on his ski boat, worrying only if the wind might mess with his hair style. now, despite mr. romney's knack
for questionable optics, this race enters the furious full sprint all tied up with a new reuters poll sending the president dead even with mr. romney, 45-45. by the way, if you're still thinking about this election in the quaint terms of election day, the president was quick to remind voters they don't have to wait that long. >> and the good news is starting on october 2nd, ohio gets a say because you get to vote early. you know, i could see folks like forgetting to vote. having too much fun. in iowa, you don't have to wait until november 6th to vote, you can be among the very first to vote in this election starting september 27th. they why you're so important because you're going to have to set an example. >> that's right. voters start filing their ballots in just a matter of weeks. we're joined now by a man who always sets a good example from the dnc in charlotte, the historian, host of "hardball," chris matthews, who has a new
documentary about president obama airing tonight at 10:00 p.m. you have an adoring crowd behind you. can you cope with that at this moment? >> it's a good crowd. >> thank you. let's talk about optics. the president and vice president were out talking to groups of workers this labor day. mitt romney was boating on the lake with a statement on those worried about their paychecks. >> there was no bounce today in the polls. the gallup poll in tampa, no result. he's still one point behind the president. consistently, one point behind him. i don't know what to make of it. but he's not bouncing. it shows there's something resistant to maybe he doesn't seem to be the kind of person that cares about you, the voter. i hear that's one theory as to why he's not catching on. >> but it's a theory, chris, that seems to have been brought
home today on this very labor day with the president and vice president out with workers speaking to them while mitt romney is on a presumably, an expensive boat. >> i'm going to open my show with it, but there's a tremendous difference between the crowd that we've got here even in the rain, the rain is hitting pretty hard right now. this is a labor day rally crowd. this is a picnic crowd. everybody here is having fun. i got the feeling at the republican convention in tampa that it was a business convention. down to business. very determined. almost grim. in fact, it was governor christie, the keynoter, who said the audience was flat. so, there's a real exuberance here. even in the rain. >> absolutely. thank you for copping with that noise and the rain. majority leader eric cantor tweeted this labor day, today,
we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success. now, i'm sorry, is it now management day or venture capitalist day? am i mistaken? i thought today was about workers. what happened? >> jerry lewis day anymore. it's not for the labor guys. they do sort of miss the mark, don't they? the the republicans on the reason we have this day. it's to celebrate the working man and woman in the country who may not be an entrepreneur, but who shows up for work and does their job and works hard at it. >> the week at the republican convention, i almost got the impression that public service was something that was either ignored or to be decried. everyone got on to the stage and repeatedly talked about how they were born in poverty and built a fantastic business and yet i think of people like my own wife, who's a qualified nurse and others who serve in public sector jobs, they seem to be
sbe entirely ignored last week. >> their use of the word, success, did not include great music teacher, great journalists. it didn't include great painters. people who made a lot of money in business. that's their definition of success. make a lot of money in business. i i think it's a narrow notion of human existence. here at the democratic convention, i think you're going to see a lot of teachers who are proud of what they do. all kinds of professionals are proud of what they do. airplane pilots and flight attendants who we work with all the time. people will fix our appliances, plumbing, electricity. they don't make a ton of money, but they're very proud of their craft. i think that's something you miss with the republicans, that's really part of human life and society life. >> indeed. now, you have this brand new
documentary, "barack obama making history." it's airing tonight. i want to take a peek and ask you about it. >> stimulus and the $80 billion auto rescue that followed burned through much of the political capital obama had hoped to cash for health care reform. a key promise he'd made to the american people. >> madam speaker, the president of the united states. >> obama decided this was an issue he needed to take on early in his presidency or forfeit it entirely. >> chris, picking up your co commentary there, how much of this fight is still about the president's decision on health care reform? >> well, i think the republicans think it's a bad thing. even though it's something that american presidents have really argued for since the days of teddy roosevelt. certainly all progressives, all of them including harry truman and kennedy and johnsens and
going back to both roosevelts. it's something that's always been on the progressive agenda and never been realized. of course conservatives are opposed to it. they were opposed to social security and medicare and medicaid and unemployment composition and child labor laws and minimum wage. i was just reading this book about the young winston churchill in the early part of last century. the politics haven't changed. they haven't changed. it's the same old arguments. predictable opposition to social progress. >> indeed. >> it shouldn't be noteworthy at all and i think this convention, by the way, i want to say, i think i can do a better job than this administration in explaining what's been going on since 2009. in 2009, we were at the edge of a precipice facining an abis. we had an unemployment rate spiking past 10%. >> 800,000 jobs lost a month. >> right. and all of a sudden, we're back
from that abyss. well beyond it and we have an unemployment rate way down. we're of course better off than we were in 2009. i think the democrats are crazy to set the mark at november 2008. they didn't have any influence over policy until 2009. that's where you put the mark. that's where you draw the line in before and after. that's logical. not partisan. >> i wouldn't mind asking republicans which country other than this one, they'd prefer to be in. the united kingdom, ireland, spain, italy? those are the places where republican policies have been applied and they are back in recession. >> i know. because draconian cuts and tax cuts for the very rich don't work. we've had the bush tax cuts since 2001. we got them. they've never been interrupted
and yet, we haven't had any results from them, so not sure these answers are proven at all. in fact, they're probably disproven as you say. >> we're so glad we've begun our broadcast with you. >> 10:00 tonight. >> absolutely and you can see more with chris on "hardball" after this broadcast at 5:00, where he welcomes an all-star cast and of course, don't miss the premier chris just told us about it. that's tonight, 10:00 p.m. eastern right here on msnbc. next, are we better off than we were four years ago? mr. romney may very well believe we are. stay with us. >> that choice was not the choice of our party, but americans come together after elections. we're good and generous people and united by so much more than what divides us. >> you said quote the single most important thing we want to achieve is for president obama to be a one term president. how do you respond? >> well, that is true.
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are you better off now than you were four years ago? the question one democrats will be answering all week. but we did seem to take some of the president's surrogates more than a couple of attempts before they got the right answer. >> can you honestly say that people are better off today than they were four years ago? >> no, but that's not the question of this election. >> folks, let me make something clear. say to the press. america is better off today than they left us when they left.
>> third time's the charm, i suppose, but it's true. recovery has taken hold and you only need to look back at the headlines from this month four years ago to recognize just how far this nation has come. >> the company has planned to take the big lenders over. the government is loaning aig $85 billion to prevent the world's largest insurance company from going under. >> lehman brothers has filed for bankruptcy and bank of america is taking over merrill lynch. >> its deposits have been bought out by jpmorgan chase. >> citigroup is going to buy the banking operations of wachovia. >> joining us now in columbia, south carolina, hogan giddily, and in charlotte, site of the democratic convention, julian
epstein and professor michael eric dyson. good afternoon. hog hogan, let me show you a chart of the five worst one-day drops in the history of the dow jones industrial average. four of the top five worst days on wall street occur between september and december 2008. the fifth incidentally was the day trading reopened after 9/11. four years ago this month, john mccain suspended his campaign to head to washington. mitt romney today is enjoying a boat ride at his lake house. so doesn't that indicate that things are better? >> things are obviously worse. and i think the democrats are in a box. >> hogan, sorry, let's stop. we can't continue with obviously worse because at that point, the dow was around 6500. today, it's in excess of 1300, so you're saying that things are obviously worse. >> well, unemployment's obviously higher. i mean, the deficit's obviously higher -- >> okay, stop, hogan.
hogan -- >> martin, i'll get to -- >> the employment -- let me just deal with the unemployment figure. 800,000 jobs lost per month at that point. now, there have been 4 million, 4.5 million jobs over 29 months. so again, worse job creation now than then? worse dow jones than then? >> right. look, here's the deal. the dow jones is obviously important and it affects everybody in this country. as a 30,000 foot view here, americans understand simplistic, direct, campaign slogans. a chicken in every pot. i feel your pain. read my lips no new taxes. hope and change. those tr types of things people rally toward. giving me dow jones numbers is not really going to affect the american populace in my opinion. you've got to get out there and explain, this country, we were
promised something under president obama. it wasn't achieved. i can make it better. that's what mitt romney's trying to do. we can debate the merit of that. >> i understand, hogan. with so many -- there were so many lives off of last week that it's kind of difficult to get to the facts. professor dyson, the day before the market hit bottom in march 2009, we were looking at a dow below 6500. are things better with regard to the stock market? >> not only that, but the fact is, we were shedding 800,000 jobs and now, we've added 27, 28 months straight of economic growth, but especially of adding jobs to this economy so that you know, here's the situation. the republicans seem to adore history except when it works against them. not enough books on thomas jefferson, the founding fathers, so they want to go back 200 years, but not four years. they've e vis rated and evaporated the legacy of george
w. bush who had us in such a deep trench that the obama administration hooked up its levee, put that truck on the tren fs and has it on a much smoother path. and now, they want to argue about the speed and velocity when they're out of the mud. if you want to talk about word pictures versus the the empirical data, i think republicans on either front have to acknowledge this economy is far stronger and it is heading in the right direction. no one can deny what president obama has been up against. plus, the fact he has had a congress that has refused to stand by him and do the bidding of the american public. not partisan politics. democratic versus republican, but to get this economy for all americans working. they have been the obstructionists to undermine this country and they need to be called out. >> julian, why don't democrats just ask republicans to name a
coun country they think is doing better than the united states post recession right now. why don't democrats just do that? i'd love to find the country they think is doing better. >> europe is trying republican style austerity. specific, hogan didn't want to get specific. when obama came into office, the gdp was at negative nine. when obama came into office, we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. we're now gaining on average, 200,000 jobs a month. when obama came into office, we were at negative six stock market. now up 13. the auto industries were on their death bed. now, they're thriving and the rescue money, the match up used to get them off their death bed, has been almost entirely paid back to the taxpayers. >> very quickly, if that's all true, why are the polls neck and
neck? >> because i think we're living in an antiincumbency era. middle income wages have been stagnant and the economy has grown at historic lows and that's been going on since the year 2000. we've seen these elections in 2006, 2008, 2010. the fact obama is doing so well, if i have one complaint about the obama administration, they have turned this country around. >> gentlemen, thank you very much. next, are the cheers getting to paul ryan? or has he always had trouble with the truth? stay with us. >> you heard congressman ryan wednesday night blame the closing of a gm plant in his hometown of janesville on the president. folks, i don't need your booing. i need you voting.
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>> governor romney had nothing to say about afghanistan. >> didn't mention afghanistan, the troop, didn't even thank the troops for their service. >> folks, i don't need your booing. i need your voting. >> i wish president obama had succeeded because i want america to succeed. >> [ bleep ]. >> when governor romney finally had a chance to reveal the secret sauce -- >> what's the secret sauce? >> thousand island dressing. >> it could have been on nick at nite. mikt as well have watched it on a black and white tv with rabbit ears. >> yes, a fist full of awesome. >> a lot bigger event next week. >> as a stand-up comedian for 30 years, he did a bit with an empty chair. >> are we better off today than we were four years ago? >> apparently, up until around november of 2008, americans
lived in a utopian ideal. >> republicans don't have to accept evolution, economic, climatetology. >> i need them to admit the historical evidence of george bush. >> these guys are bush on steroids. like he's some vague -- that rap duo. >> let me make something clear. america is better off today than they left us when they left. >> let's get right to our panel now. we're joined by karen finney, melissa perry, host of melissa harris perry and jonathan capehart. melissa, if i might gbegin with you, bill clinton takes the stage at the dnc on wednesday and we read today he's been advising the president's campaign, telling him not to go
at mitt romney for flip-fl flip-flopping, but his right wing ideology. do you agree? >> bill clinton is a two-term president. in fact, the only living two-term democratic president, so undoubtedly, you know, this campaign ought to take the former president's advice and i think where i agree with president clinton on this is simply that americans seem to care less about the idea of whether or not a candidate is inconsistent than to add sort of where they stand now. i think they run into a little bit of trouble though with framing mitt romney as sort of just far to the right wing. i think what they have to do is frame the whole party that way because romney really does have a record that is a flip-flop record. he governed as a relative moderate in massachusetts. >> indeed. now, karen, bill clinton hasn't always had the greatest relationship with the president, but have they patched things up enough so that the president can draw on mr. clinton as a resource and not sideline him
say the way al gore did in 2000? >> absolutely. remember that when you're the president, the only person in the world that has an idea of what you're going through is another president and particularly as a democratic president facing a really tough republican congress. so i think there's more, you kind of come to understand each other a little better and i think that's that's you've seen evolve. again, i think they understand each other in a way that you know, come on, back in a campaign when your adversary, it's supposed to be that way. but now, absolutely, he is one of the most effective surrogates that we have. here in north carolina, we're seeing the clinton ads run quite a bit. >> jonathan, the vice president speaks on thursday. but he was just in paul ryan's backyard and talked about his claim that the president walked away from his own debt commission. >> what he didn't tell you is he sat on that commission.
no, no, no. he sat on that commission. and where he and his house republicans friends that he leads, had they voted with the commission, it would have been voted on, but he voted no. he would not let it go to the floor. >> jonathan, is this what we're going to hear from the vice president on thursday? and also, perhaps he's really looking forward to his debate with paul ryan come october 11th. >> yeah, i think we can expect to hear that from vice president biden because the vp nominee and number two on the the ticket is supposed to be the attack dog of the other side and when it comes to paul ryan, you've got a sitting member of congress running against a former sitting member of the senate, so joe biden has a unique understanding of what paul ryan has up to. being a member of congress. and so, i think we're going to
see that both throughout the campaign trail and throughout the debates. >> melissa, a new article says joe biden's heart is the democrat's killer act. would it be a good idea for democrats to use it more often. there's some conflict about joe biden among some democrats. >> sure, he has this tendency to put his foot in his mouth. here's what joe biden brings. the whole issue of the vp candidate, being the attack dog was taken away from the role joe biden could do in the last election. he was running against sarah palin, she's a mom, a woman. a historic figure in her own rig right. in many, many cases, joe biden had to pull punches. he does not when it comes to paul ryan. he can go in as joe likes to go in. as the sitting vice president,
not candidate, he has the position of a certain kind of authority. he was there when the tough calls were made on foreign policies. he's been there when the tough calls have been made on domestic policy and so he has what it takes to speak to these issues. >> do you agree this time around, biden would be so gracious in the debate and will be leashed as the joe biden you know? >> i think so and i can't wait. i cannot wait for that. seriously. think about what an outstanding job he did in the debate with sarah palin. there was a lot of anxiety and he was pitch perfect. i think it will be a little bit of a different tone, but a great debate. >> likening that debate to a boxing fight. thank you. and coming up on "hardball", chris matthews has a fantastic lineup of guests from the
convention including barney frank and reverend jesse jackson. keep it here. next, the big ten acc challenge. live from the tar heel state. stay with us. >> america is better off today than they left us. >> i got a little bump esticker. osama bin laden is dead and general motors is alive. ♪ [ acoustic guitar: upbeat ] [ dog ] we found it together. on a walk, walk, walk. love to walk. yeah, we found that wonderful thing. and you smiled. and threw it. and i decided i would never, ever leave it anywhere. because that wonderful, bouncy, roll-around thing... had made you play. and that... had made you smile. [ announcer ] beneful. play. it's good for you.
labor day marks the unofficial end of summer and return of football, so mitt romney thought he'd try to work some clever pig skin jargon in. >> 23 million people are out of work or stopped looking for work or underemployed. if you have a coach that's 0-23 million, you say it's time to get a new coach. >> today in ohio, the president
sacked ta claim with some jarring hits of his own against coach romney. >> and i've got one piece of advice for you about the romney ryan game plan, ohio. punt it away. it won't work. it won't win the game. you don't need that coach. that's a losing season. >> with that in mind, let's go to the acc and big ten scoreboards. in north carolina, the president is ahead 47-43% and in virginia, he enjoys a five-point lead over romney. in paul ryan's home state of wisconsin, the president leads romney by five points. brad woodhouse is communications director for the dnc.
being week assuming we woebt see oprah winfrey talking to an empty chair. what can voters expect to hear from democrats in charlotte? >> well, look, i'll tell you what. what they'll hear is a president and party talking about policies that are move the country forward. i mean, we'll talk about a balanced approach to create jobs and return security to the middle class. you know, you'll hear on friday morning, no one will guess what the president's rationale is for a second term like they did at the end of mitt romney's speech. >> but on friday morning, there's a jobs report coming. are you concerned at all that that may to some extent steel the thunder of the president's speech? >> well, look, we're always concerned about the jobs reports. not because of report's political impact, but we want to see jobs continue to grow. we have had 29 consecutive months of private sector job growth. no one thinks it's enough or
fast enough, but look, if you want to go back to a situation where we lost 3.5 million jobs in the last six months of the bush administration, you should vote for mitt romney because that's the policies he'll take us back to. >> now, you know and i know that last week during the republican convention, there was the delivery of something like a library of lies. how many of those lies do you expect the president and other speakers, the first lady, vice president, to refute and address head on in charlotte? >> i do think we'll refute those lies, but we're not going to spend every minute replaying their convention. we couldn't get a positive word in. we really are going to talk about two competing visions for the future. i mean, it wasn't just that they lied about the president's record. they took their policies and locked them up in the same vault that mitt romney has his tax returns in. they didn't talk about in their convention, the fact they want to voucherize medicare, the fact
the tax cuts waiting for the wealthy. >> didn't even mention afghanistan. >> look, they predicted an 11-point bounce out of tampa. i think because it was so vacuous with respect to issues and policy, they didn't get any bounce out of tampa. it was a wasted opportunity. >> so, brad, are we better off today than we were four years ago? >> yes, we are, martin. absolutely. no ifs, ands or buts about it. when the president came into office, 3.5 jobs had been lost in the last sixth months of bush administration. you can't stack those next to each other and come up with any conclusion but that we're on the right path, but we were literally a plane heading towards you know, the ground. the the president got the the stick. he got it back to level and now,
he has it coming up again. we need to go up faster and we would if republicans would work with this president or if they had worked with this president on the balanced approach and let me add this. paul ryan will continue this mess they're saying about you know, people aren't better off than four years ago. paul ryan is part of the problem. he was one of the leaders that handed up the crap burger the president had when he came into office. he voted for all of those policies -- >> sorry, brad, what was the analogy? >> the crap burger that the president got when he came into office. the last person anyone needs to listen to about the tdirection this country needs to take is wall ryan. >> paul ryan, tflipper of crap burgers. next, how moved were americans by mitt romney's speech? not so much. stay with us.
gop convention is in the books and the democrats start their big party tuesday in charlotte. and they do so knowing they are in a very tight race. a new reuters poll reveals a statistical tie between president obama and mitt romney at 45%. dm good afternoon, gentlemen and this week's cover story, what obama knows now, was written after michael interviewed the president on board air force one. so, michael, when you int interviewed the president, he said this. this isn't a matter of whose more patriotic. it's a hard headed assessment of what makes our economy grow and the facts are on my side in this argument. if the facts are on the president's side, mike, why is the race so close? >> well, what the president was saying there was that during times of economic hardship, good
policy and the proper policy response doesn't always win the day. it's a theme that's been with the president since he got into politics. remember in 2008, he made that comment about how people cling to guns and religion and animosity towards people who are other during a campaign fund-raiser. what he was talking about there was ha the passions cause the electorate to act in irrational ways. something that has fundamental, he thinks he's got the rationality on his side in this campaign. you hear it today. a number of times. the president's spokesman people are saying we're going to bring honesty so this to this convention. i think you're going to continue to hear it especially since romney in recent weeks is really dependent on really distorting reality to deliver his message. >> that was a very polite way of saying lying. the reaction to romney's convention speech was less than euphoric. only 38% say they liked romney's
speech. that is the worst number since gallup started tracking this back in 1996. why do you think romney was so poorly received? >> i think there's clearly a challenge romney has in having to try and you know, compete with the the president. especially on this likability issue. where i think one of the things, if you were watching the pool feed or cspan or something, you might have seen a lot of these humanizing stories. none of that stuff was in the prime time 10:00 hour and i think they really struggled with some of that. plus, you had this clint eastwood side show. it went kind of late. >> i'm sorry, i have to challenge you on that. this was mitt romney's convention. i mean, the man's been the ceo. the man touts his business activities and yet, what did viewers see when they turned on at 10:00 p.m. but a sham bolick
by a directed connecter? >> i think that was not what they expected. i think they expected him to speak for about three minutes. went on for about 12 or 13 and wauf that, it pushed the entire event back and some people probably didn't even get to hear mitt romney speak. i think he delivered a fine speech. it was just about what he usually does. maybe short of some substantive issue, but more like a state of the union. hit on some of the points he wanted to get at, but clearly, he's probably not going to see much of a bounce out of that because this democratic convention is butting up right after it. >> michael, isn't the real problem here that although mitt romney has been running for president for over six years, the reality is that his personality, his character, has been defined by democrats and not by himself? >> i think you could say that true, but the real problem for romney, we have a very stable, fixed electorate. the republicans and mitt
romney's campaign were saying this is like 1980. this is going to be a wave year like the last few, that after the debates, you're going to have the dependents break toward the challenger. there's a lot of historical data to back that up. but this is a much more stable race that looks like it may turn into a base turnout election, which plays to barack obama's strong side. my expectation is coming out of the democratic convention, you're not going top t have mucf a bump, but the net winner will probably be the democrats. >> thank you so much, gentlemen. and we'll be right back to clear the air. an intense burning sensation like somebody had set it on fire. and the doctor said, cindie, you have shingles. he said, you had chickenpox when you were a little girl... i said, yes, i did. i don't think anybody ever thinks they're going to get shingles. but it happened to me. for more of the inside story, visit shinglesinfo.com
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>> i hurt, i just run ten miles or less. >> but you did run marathons at some point? just got to ask, what's your personal best? >> under three. high twos. two hours and 60 something. >> although mr. ryan has tried to dismiss these comments as a s simple lapse in memory, they do serve as a window into the man's personality. first, notice that mr. ryan makes reference to marathons in the plural as opposed to the single. i hurt a disc in my back, so i don't run marathons anymore. fact, mr. ryan has only ever completed one. then, notice the specificity of his statement. he is remarkably defentive when it comes to the time he claims to have achieved. in fact, mr. romney uses three clauses to make the one point. under three. i think. high twos.
i had a two hour and fifty-something. in fact, he did no such thing. mr. ryan attempted his single attempt in four hour, one minute and 25 seconds. that's more than an hour slower than his very specific claim. so what does one conclude? is mr. ryan a compulsive liar? given his lies about the closure of a gm plant in janesville, his lies about medicare, the deficit and the downgrading of our credit rating also suggest that mr. ryan has real problems telling the truth. but this wasn't how it was supposed to be. when mitt romney selected paul ryan as his running mate, there was widespread relief from republicans that this man was the complete opposite of sarah palin. while she was said to be vacuous, ill informed and superficial, mr. ryan was described add a policy wonk, a man who obsessed over the details. but here's the truth. sarah palin had a much stronger grip on reality than paul ryan.