Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos on Monday kicked off the program by tagging Paul Ryan as "the former prom king that once drove the Weinermobile." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The ex-Democratic operative turned TV host also authoritatively declared that "the White House is actually pretty pleased by the choice of Paul Ryan because they do see him as a target." (What else would they say? Would the campaign admit to being scared of the Republican?)
Reporter David Muir continued the false narrative about the Ryan plan: "Ryan is known in the political world for his controversial budget plan that would call for steep cuts and the Obama campaign said it would change Medicare as we know it." On Sunday, GMA's Bianna Golodryga warned of "budget slasher" Paul Ryan.
In fact, Ryan's proposal would increase spending from $3.6 trillion to $4.9 trillion. As the MRC's Rich Noyes pointed out, the cuts "are merely reductions from the much-higher spending anticipated by President Obama’s budget."
Stephanopoulos on Monday did concede that the pick "electrified" the ticket.
Jake Tapper previewed liberal, pro-abortion attacks on Ryan: "He is a Catholic and he opposes abortion being legal even in cases of rape and incest and you're going to see that factoid."
The shots at Ryan as a former prom king and someone who drove the Weinermobile were in reference to the Representative's early years. In a separate segment, ABC's Jon Karl provided a positive, less hyperbolic explanation: "He played football, volleyball, was class president and prom king. When he was just 16, his dad died."
Karl added, "In college, he drove a Wienermobile, selling turkey sausages and lunchables."
A transcript of the August 13 David Muir segment:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: High stakes. The campaign now in top gear as Mitt Romney's new running mate Paul Ryan electrifies the trail. The Congressman already hitting hard at the President as we hear from the former prom king that once drove the Weinermobile. And new details emerge about his secretive selection to the ticket.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Little summer surprise. Race for the White House, it got a real jolt early Saturday morning when Mitt Romney announced his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin. You know, the two gave their first joint interview on 60 Minutes and today, Ryan is actually going to be going head-to-head with President Obama in Iowa.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's get right to the campaign trail. Turbo charged now that Mitt Romney picked a running mate Paul Ryan. The 42-year-old congressman is married. He has got three kids. Also a fitness fanatic. Loves that P90X workout. There you see him with Tony Horton. We have got all the angles of the campaign covered with our election team this morning. There's David Muir, Jon Karl, Jake Tapper. But we're going to begin with an inside look at the secretive way Romney made his vice presidential pick. ABC's David Muir has all the details from St. Augustine, Florida. Good morning, David.
DAVID MUIR: Turbo charged, that perfect world. In fact, the headlines this morning about this pick: Bold choice. Others saying Romney rolling with dice with this. But, if this campaign was looking for a brand-new burst of energy it's exactly what they got as they try and carve out brand new battleground lines in this race for president. Paul Ryan choking up overnight, greeted by a crowd of 10,000 strong in his home state of Wisconsin.
PAUL RYAN: It's good to be home.
MUIR: Ryan is known in the political world for his controversial budget plan that would call for steep cuts and the Obama campaign said it would change Medicare as we know it. But Mitt Romney and his running mate seemed ready for the incoming fire on 60 Minutes
MITT ROMNEY: There's only one president that I know of in history that robbed Medicare $716 billion to pay for a new, risky program of his own that we call Obamacare.
MUIR: Ryan pointing out his own mother is on Medicare in Florida.
PAUL RYAN: Our point is we need to preserve their benefits.
MUIR: Romney says it's now two on two after choosing his running mate and Ryan is wasting no time taking on the president.
RYAN: They are not working. They are failing us. He can't run on that. So, now he's turning hope and change to attack and blame and we're not going to fall for it!
MUIR: When asked on 60 Minutes about releasing only two years of his tax return, Ryan shifting again to the President.
RYAN: What I hear from people around this country, they are not asking where are the tax returns, they are asking where the jobs are. Where is the economic growth?
MUIR: And the first time, President Obama weighing in on the new Republican ticket.
BARACK OBAMA: I want to congratulate- [Boos] No, no, no. Look, I want to congratulate Congressman Ryan.
MUIR: The President calling him decent, a family man. Then, he started winging.
OBAMA: He's an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney's vision, but it's a vision that I fundamentally disagree with. They tried to sell us this trickle down fairy dust before and guess what? It did not work.
MUIR: What did work was the Romney campaign plan to keep the VP choice a secret. Reporters staked out at Ryan's home as speculation grew he would be Romney's choice, he was dropped off at home by an aide on the eve of the big announcement. Ryan telling a member of our team there, he lost his keys.
RYAN: I left my keys in the truck.
MUIR: But we now know he made a mad dash to the woods behind his home, the same woods he played in as a child. His aide waiting for him in a truck on the other side of the neighborhood.
RYAN: I know those woods like the back of my hands. So, it wasn't too hard to walk through them.
MUIR: Waiting for Paul Ryan in that truck, they drove him to Illinois. He then flew to North Carolina, members of the Romney team waiting for him there. They had takeout from Applebees, before driving him to Norfolk, Virginia the next morning to talk up onto that national stage. Amy, who knew we should have Applebee's? We could have figured out this thing out.