Paul Ryan slammed President Obama on Thursday for failing to rescue an auto factory in his Wisconsin district — one that closed in 2008, under President George W. Bush.
The latest attack highlights the complicated politics of the auto rescue for Ryan, who was one of only a handful of Republicans to vote in favor of the 2008 bailout that President Bush signed as a stopgap measure to prevent the industry from going under.
“I remember President Obama visiting it when he was first running, saying he’ll keep that plant open,” Ryan said in Ohio Thursday, describing the shuttered GM factory in Janesville, Wis. “One more broken promise.”
Ryan blamed rising gas prices under Obama for the closing. He echoed the complaint in an interview with a local ABC affiliate, suggesting it showed that Obama’s auto rescue was a sham.
“It didn’t help Janesville,” he said. “They shut our plant down. It didn’t help Kenosha. I represent there; they shut down the Chrysler plant.”
The Detroit News noted that Obama said during a visit in early 2008 that government help and some restructuring could keep the plant open. But after the financial crisis and a collapse in demand for the SUVs the factory produced, it shut down in December 2008 in the waning days of Bush’s second term. It’s still owned by GM, but has been closed ever since.
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