Friday, August 17, 2012
How can you tell Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI) is lying? When he opens his mouth.
After repeated denials, Paul Ryan has admitted he requested stimulus cash even after sharply criticizing the program.
Ryan denied doing so as recently as Wednesday, when he spoke to ABC’s Cincinnati affiliate, WCPO, in Ohio.
“I never asked for stimulus,” Ryan said. “I don’t recall… so I really can’t comment on it. I opposed the stimulus because it doesn’t work, it didn’t work.”
But two years ago, during an interview on WBZ’s NewsRadio he was asked by a caller if he “accepted any money” into his district. Ryan said he did not.
“I’m not one of those people who votes for something then writes to the government to ask them to send us money. I did not request any stimulus money,” the congressman answered.
But as we’ve now learned, Ryan did write letters requesting stimulus funds.
“The Olympics may be over but Paul Ryan could have gotten a gold medal in hypocrisy,” a senior administration official told ABC’s Jake Tapper. “As someone who spends all day every day railing against government spending, but then secretly seeks millions in funds for pet projects, he is as Washington as it gets.”
In 2009, Ryan wrote to Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis asking for stimulus money to cover costs on two energy conservation projects in his home state of Wisconsin. In the letter, Ryan said the funds would help create jobs and reduce “energy consumption” in the state. At least one of the companies received the requested cash.
The letters were first obtained by The Wall Street Journal through the Freedom of Information Act back in early 2010. The Boston Globe turned them up for the first time during this campaign season Wednesday. At that point, a Ryan aide referred ABC News back to what a Ryan spokesman said when the letters first went public.
Thursday, Ryan responded to the questions himself.
“After having these letters called to my attention I checked into them, and they were treated as constituent service requests in the same way matters involving Social Security or Veterans Affairs are handled,” Ryan said in a statement. “This is why I didn’t recall the letters earlier. But they should have been handled differently, and I take responsibility for that.
“Regardless, it’s clear the Obama stimulus did nothing to stimulate the economy, and now the President is asking to do it all over again.”