Condi Rice, unlike Ryan, tries honesty

Two speeches at Wednesday’s Republican National Convention demonstrated a strategic divide as the party seeks to regain control of the White House.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice of Birmingham was a superb spokesperson for the Republican Party.
She highlighted the philosophical differences between the parties, which are significant. She pressed the view that corporations, free of government oversight, will improve the U.S. economy. She emphasized concerns about the deficit while calling for strong support of the military.
She pointed out the contrasts between President Barack Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and explained why she preferred Romney.While her interpretation of the Obama presidency is subject to debate, Rice did not use falsehoods to build her case.
Vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan did.
Ryan has an excellent stage presence. He is relaxed and articulate. He deftly weaves humor and policy.
Part of his job was to attack Obama. Rice had already shown that such an attack could be made with integrity.
Instead of trusting that voters can understand the actual differences between Obama’s and Romney’s visions, Ryan created a fictional Obama and attacked it, instead.
Ryan began with a sad story about the closing of a GM plant in his hometown, a plant he said Obama failed to save. But GM announced its plan to close the plant in early 2008 and halted production in December 2008, all before Obama took office. Obama managed to save a now-profitable GM with a bailout opposed by both Ryan and Romney.
Ryan — who plans to replace the Medicare system with a voucher system using private insurance — then claimed Obama is cutting $716 billion from the program. While it is true that Obama implemented cost controls and cut subsidies for insurers, saving $716 billion, the implication that he cut benefits is false. Ryan’s proposed budget cuts the same amount from Medicare without the cost controls, necessarily reducing benefits for seniors.
Ryan then accused Obama of failing to act on a bipartisan debt commission report. What he failed to say was that the report did not achieve support from a majority of the commission, mainly because Ryan — a commission member — opposed it.
Republicans and Democrats have different visions and propose different strategies. Ryan and Romney would do well to adopt Rice’s approach of honestly highlighting those differences, rather than relying on false claims.


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Filed under Election 2012, Paul Ryan

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