At the April 29 Rose Garden press conference, Ryan asked President Bush the following question about the economy:
I talked to [Rep.] James Clyburn [D-S.C.] before this press conference. He said, "As a man thinketh, so are we." And Americans believe we are in a recession. What will it take for you to say those words, that we are in a recession?
Of course the following day, data from the federal government show the U.S. economy in slow economic growth, but far from the six months of negative growth needed for a recession. No matter to Ryan, who today went from applying the "as a man thinketh" logic to a 5-year old liberal media meme about the war in Iraq. Appearing shortly after 11:30 a.m. EDT on MSNBC to discuss the 2008 presidential race, Ryan parroted liberal talking points on the Iraq war:
People still are concerned about this war. As we're standing today, the fifth anniversary of" Mission Accomplished." You know, it was basically, that was basically about this administration thinking that we were going to get in and get out at that time. But five years later and over 4,000 U.S. soldiers' lives lost, people are still very concerned, and McCain is talking about keeping troops in Iraq and people want to see an end to this war.
Of course the "Mission Accomplished" banner referred to the mission of the USS Abraham Lincoln, the aircraft carrier from which President Bush delivered his May 1, 2003 address. What's more, the president noted in his speech a distinction between winning the war by toppling the Saddam Hussein regime, and the longer process of securing a democratic Iraq.
While that distinction is largely glossed over in the mainstream, some media outlets are taking care to excerpt from the actual May 1, 2003 speech. From a CBSNews.com/AP article (emphasis mine)
The president himself never said "mission accomplished," but that often gets lost in the feelings over the continuing war, reports CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante.
There were intimations within Mr. Bush's speech, not excerpted and repeated as often, that the administration knew it was not about to wash its hands of Iraq any time soon. "The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort," Mr. Bush said. "Our coalition will stay until our work is done. Then we will leave, and we will leave behind a free Iraq."