Red, White and Blue

Fact-checking Paul Ryan's statement about GM plant closing in 2008

CREATED Aug 30, 2012 - UPDATED: Aug 30, 2012

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JANESVILLE- During Paul Ryan's speech at the RNC Wednesday night, he cited the closing of the GM plant in Janesville as an example of the nation's failure to recover from the recession.

"Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: 'I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.'  That's what he said in 2008.  Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year.  It is locked up and empty to this day. And that's how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight," said Ryan.

While many loved Paul Ryan's enthusiasm, some are taking issue with what Ryan said about the GM plant closing.

Roxann Bessel-Slowey worked at GM for more than 24 years, and was at Obama's Janesville campaign speech in February 2008.

"No promises like that were ever made.  It was basically, if the government could help us with some way to convince GM to stay, they would," said Bessel-Slowey.

Back in 2008, Obama said, "I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years."

David Krapf worked at GM supplier company.

"For Paul Ryan to mislead people, he made promises that he didn't keep, it's not true," said Krapf.

Ryan was cautious with his words, and did not accuse Obama of breaking a promise.

"As stated, that would be correct.  He stated in 2008, GM was no longer at the plant, as of December 2008," explained Janesville City Manager Eric Levitt.

That was before Obama took office, but 57 employees of Izuzu stayed on until June 2009.

The plant is technically on "stand-by" mode, which means while they are not making any cars there, they could reopen.  But experts told TODAY'S TMJ4 that no one expects that to happen any time soon.