Van Hollen: Biden must press Ryan on ‘use of facts’ in debate

{mosads}”Look, I stand behind every thing that was in my speech,” Ryan said in response to the comments later in the show. “The fact is, President Obama has failed on this economy, the fact is he has not led on this budget as all, the fact is the Senate has not passed a budget in three years, and the problem is the facts as they are today are not good for the president and his reelection prospects.”

Ryan called the allegations from Democrats “way off base” and said he and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney were “pointing out the inconvenient truths of this administration.”

“They’re talking about Janesville, Wisconsin, my home town. Nobody could accuse President Obama of shutting down the factory in Janesville, but President Obama came to the factory in Janesville and said he would lead efforts to keep it open for 100 years,” Ryan said. “That when the factory was actually shut down, he said he would lead a retooling effort for factories like Janesville to get people back to work. Nobody’s working there. It’s still shut down.”

Van Hollen suggested he would encourage Biden to press Ryan on such issues.

“I sit next to Paul Ryan every day in the Budget Committee, I know how he likes to present the arguments so I hope he can be of some use to the vice president,” Van Hollen said.

Van Hollen did concede that the vice president was occasionally gaffe-prone, but said his Senate and presidential runs had prepared him well for the debates.

“The vice president as he’s said himself occasionally misspeaks, but always tries to speak from the heart,” Van Hollen said. “I think people like that about him, he’s a genuine guy.”

The Maryland lawmaker also looked to rebut some of the damage done by his home-state governor, Martin O’Malley, who said this weekend that the country was not better off than it was four years ago — a line Republicans have seized on to hammer the president.

“There’s no doubt that we’re better off,” Van Hollen said. “Let’s think about the time the president was sworn in: we were losing 800,000 jobs per month.”

—This post was updated at 8:30 a.m.

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