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Romney campaign defends Ryan’s line about GM plant: ‘The facts are clear’

TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney’s campaign is pushing back against charges from Democrats that Paul Ryan lied about the closure of an auto factory during his convention address Wednesday night.

The Obama campaign says the Wisconsin congressman was peddling “breathtaking falsehoods” when he linked President Obama to the failure of a GM factory in his district.   

They note that the plant stopped production in December 2008, when George W. Bush was still in the White House, and say Obama enacted a successful bailout of GM and Chrysler that Ryan and Mitt Romney opposed.

But the GOP on Thursday said Obama sent a press release in October 2008 pledging to reopen the plant by retooling it. The fact that the plant remains on standby is a violation of that pledge, they said.

“It’s President Obama who needs to explain his words. The facts are clear: when the GM plant went on standby the president told the people of Wisconsin he would ‘lead an effort to retool’ it and restart production. But when the bailout’s winners and losers were decided, Janesville ended up losing,” Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck said. “The people of Wisconsin, like so many Americans, are still waiting for the president’s imaginary recovery.”

Republicans say that Ryan never alleged the plant was closed under Obama even though, in the speech, he said, “that plant didn't last another year."

Republican cite media reports from 2008 as evidence that Obama pledged to reopen the plant. 

"As president, I will lead an effort to retool plants like the GM facility in Janesville so we can build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs in Wisconsin and all across America," Obama said at the time, according to The Associated Press.