Scott Walker Schools Piers Morgan Trying to Fact-Check Ryan Speech

CNN's Piers Morgan fell on his face Thursday trying to fact-check Paul Ryan's RNC speech from the previous night. He was proven wrong not only by CNN's own report, but also by his guest Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Challenging Ryan's point that a GM plant closed under Obama after he said it would stay open for years if it cooperated with the government, Morgan said the plant "closed down under George Bush, in December of that year," in agreement with the Obama campaign.

Governor Walker's answer was in line with CNN's official fact-check, "It actually closed down in 2009." The following timeline was included in CNN's fact-check report:


December 23, 2008: SUV production ends, and more than 2,000 GM workers are laid off, according to the Gazette. Medium truck production continues.

April 23, 2009: The plant's medium-duty assembly line, which produced an Isuzu line, closes, ending vehicle production at the plant and resulting in the loss of 57 production jobs, according to the Gazette.


Morgan then pushed that "Is there anything Barack Obama, in all honesty, could have done to stop that plant closing?" Walker answered that "He shouldn't have made that promise." While it can be debate whether Obama's words actually constituted a "promise," he was wrong in that the auto bailout, as well as his administration's policies, failed to keep the plant open, which remains on "standby" to this day.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on August 30 during CNN's Republican National Convention coverage at 8:54 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

PIERS MORGAN: But there were a lot of question marks, I think, raised, about some of what he was saying, notably the GM plant story, which by any real criteria was disingenuous, to put it mildly. Would you accept that?

Gov. SCOTT WALKER (R-Wisc.): No, not at all. Actually, I grew up in Delavan down the way from Janesville. I know how important that plant was. He said – and it's true, in February of 2008 as a candidate, Barack Obama came back and said this plant will not close down.

MORGAN: It's been – unfortunately, it closed down under George Bush, in December of that year.

WALKER: Announced that it closed down. It actually closed down in 2009, it doesn't matter what date it is, it's the prom – but the promise –

MORGAN: Let me ask you a question.

WALKER: Yeah.

MORGAN: Is there anything Barack Obama, in all honesty, could have done to stop that plant closing?

WALKER: He shouldn't have made that promise.

MORGAN: Well he didn't really make a promise, he said if you work with my government. He wasn't in government.

WALKER: Well he made the point – no, no, he made the promise that government would not let it shut down. He made a promise to people that whether it was in 2008, 2009, whenever it might be, that if you let government run things the way he envisioned, plants like that would not close. It's still closed today. The plant GM – the GM plant in Janesville's closed. The plant in Kenosha for Chrysler's closed. Those are the broken promises, in many ways, that Barack Obama has made and that's why, in our state, we're part of that mix of folks out there, the 23 million that are either unemployed or underemployed, and I think people understand what's the trouble. Tonight what they're going to hear about is what Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are going to do to fix it.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014