GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan brought the delegation at the Republican National Convention in Tampa to life last night, getting a rise out of the crowd in his speech with attacks on President Obama and Democrats, references to his personal soundtrack — heavy on the classic rock — and a finale that smacked of a high school football team's war chant: "We can do this. Let's get this done."
Ryan's speech got strong reactions, as well as some pushback from fact-checkers:
- Analyst Cokie Roberts called his remarks "terrific," according to ABC senior political editor Rick Klein.
- Ryan didn't have to cajole the audience to their feet; Politico's Jonathan Martin told NPR's Morning Edition that Ryan's speech was really a re-energized start to an otherwise sluggish convention thus far.
- But Washington Post fact-checkers called Ryan out on misleading information about the closure of a GM plant.
- Ryan offered the "best defense" of Romney's Mormonism that NBC political analyst Chuck Todd has heard thus far. (NPR's It's All Politics blog notes that Mike Huckabee also addressed Romney's religion, giving him an "evangelical embrace.")
- The VP nominee's line about 20-something college graduates living in their childhood bedrooms likely played well, The Fix noted.
- But Ryan's line about Obama "funnelling" $716 million out of Medicare "at the expense of the elderly" was "mostly false," according to fact-checkers at PolitiFact.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was the other star of the convention's second night, with many pundits predicting that she's setting herself up for a major political campaign in 2016 or 2020. Her line about growing up in the Jim Crow South believing that she could be president was especially poignant.
In non-speech convention news, delegates strategized yesterday about how the GOP could make inroads with different voting blocs:
Elsewhere around the convention Wednesday: