Ryan's marathon struggle with facts began when he earned a "False" rating from PolitiFact over his assertion that President Obama was responsible through a broken promise for the closing of the General Motors assembly plant in Ryan's hometown of Janesville, WI that produced its last GM SUV - - photos, here - - while George W. Bush was president.
Ryan said Obama broke his promise to keep a Wisconsin GM plant from closing. But we don't see evidence he explicitly made such a promise -- and more importantly, the Janesville plant shut down before he took office.That was an effort to make President Obama look bad.
But Ryan's claim that he ran a sub three-hour marathon when he finished the one marathon he ran at just over four hours, records show was flat-out and unnecessary political plastic surgery to make himself look more accomplished than he really is.
Call it a dose of self-administered performance-enhancing rhetoric.
At how many campaign bean feeds and on how many first dates or in bull sessions at the gym or the deer stand has Ryan been impressing people with that story?
Here are Ryan and his campaign's word salad to distract and spin away from it?
A spokesman confirmed late Friday that the Republican vice presidential candidate has run one marathon. That was the 1990 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota, where Ryan, then 20, is listed as having finished in 4 hours, 1 minute, and 25 seconds.
Ryan had said in a radio interview last week that his personal best was "Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something."If he'd simply said, 'Hey I ran a marathon a long time ago before my back went out and came in a minute over four hours,' people would have said, 'Wow, what a fit guy. Still is. I couldn't do that.'
In a statement issued to Runner's World by a spokesman Friday night, Ryan said of his marathon experience:
"The race was more than 20 years ago, but my brother Tobin—who ran Boston last year—reminds me that he is the owner of the fastest marathon in the family and has never himself ran a sub-three. If I were to do any rounding, it would certainly be to four hours, not three. He gave me a good ribbing over this at dinner tonight."
But here in his own words is what he told Hugh Hewitt, a righty talk show host last week, and now can't back up:
How is it that Ryan has those details right right at his command about marathons - - plural - - he says he ran - - then goes on to misstate the finish time by over an hour - - - - then lowers it into a exceptional category - - sub three-hours.HH: But you did run marathons at some point?PR: Yeah, but I can’t do it anymore, because my back is just not that great.HH: I’ve just gotta ask, what’s your personal best?PR: Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something.
You could say the GM fabrication was politics as usual - - though that's awfully cynical.
But unless Ryan can produce the results of another 26-mile, 365-yard race he ran extremely fast, his marathon story reveals a character flaw.
Basically - - why do that?
"A two-hour and fifty-something" time?
What else in the Ryan bio needs a fresh fact-checking?
Cross-posted at The Political Environment.