Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan speaks to the delegation… (Olivier Douliery / MCT )
TAMPA, Fla. – Democrats came out swinging Thursday with a fact-check rebuttal of Paul Ryan’s prime-time convention speech, saying he “lied,” and pre-butted Mitt Romney's expected address.
"There's no delicate way to say this: Paul Ryan lied," said Stephanie Cutter, the deputy campaign manager for President Obama's campaign from the party's war room a few blocks from the convention hall.
Romney's address to the Republican National Convention, she said, will be an "Etch-A-Sketch of epic proportions" as the Republican presidential nominee's positions on various issues have shifted.
Thursday's lineup on the convention stage is the crescendo of the gathering here, as the former Massachusetts governor caps his hard-fought battle to win the nomination.
The stage was set for this moment by Ryan, the vice presidential pick, in a Wednesday night address that was widely seen as a high point in a sometimes sputtering convention truncated by Hurricane Isaac.
PHOTOS: Paul Ryan's past
Ryan's high-octane turn energized the crowd – presenting an image of a youthful and passionate policy wonk who wowed convention-goers with his optimistic "we can do this" approach to fixing the nation's economic problems.
But several of Ryan's key points hewed along the edges of factuality, and fact-checkers have been quick to pounce.
Claims that Obama is taking $716 billion from Medicarehave been rebutted as reductions to healthcare providers, rather than cuts to senior beneficiaries – and Ryan's own proposed federal budget counts on similar Medicare savings to reduce the deficit.
Ryan criticized Obama for not embracing the findings of the president's bipartisan fiscal commission on deficit reduction, but the Wisconsin Republican congressman voted against the recommendations as a member of the commission.
The promise of 12 million new jobs Ryan pledged under a Romney-Ryan administration is about what the Labor Department has tallied for the last decade and projected for the next.
Yet even in their full-throttled critique of Ryan, Democrats acknowledged the political potency of the new GOP star.
"He played the role of the vice presidential attack dog," said Cutter. "He did it well."
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