Poll: Ryan Rocks the Forum, But Did He Make the Sale?

Energizing Speech Marred by Factual Issues

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TAMPA, Fla. -- Republican VP pick Paul Ryan took to the stage last night for his big moment in the national spotlight. How did he do?

Not surprisingly, Republicans loved it. In the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the crowd responded with an energy that had somewhat gone untapped by the other speakers. While Ann Romney and Chris Christie received their due, to that point only former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice garnered anything approaching the applause heaped upon Ryan.

It's not hard to see why. Young, attractive and well-spoken, Ryan got off a number of good lines.

"We have suffered no shortage of words in the White House," he said, an echo to candidate Obama's 2008 "Just words" speech. "What is missing is leadership in the White House," he added, emphasizing last night's talking point that America "can't lead from behind."

He even managed a cross-generation appeal to parents and their millennial children.

"College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life," he said.

So, marketing success, right?

Well, Democrats and progressives -- not surprisingly -- weren't sold.

Sally Kohn, the resident progressive at Fox News, conceded that the speech was "dazzling," but also called it distracting and, worse, said that it "was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech."

Politifact only tracked three key issues in Ryan's speech, and none of them earned the "Pants on Fire" rating, so stating that it "set the world record" might be a bit of a stretch. But no matter where you come down politically, there was one thing Ryan got wrong that isn't in dispute: the closure of a GM plant that Ryan said was shuttered despite Obama's promises to save it. It turns out that the plant closure was announced in December 2008, prior to Obama taking office (Obama did promise to keep plants like it "viable").

So, what did you think?

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