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Sahil Kapur

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Articles by Sahil

The media's backlash against Paul Ryan and the factually unsound premises of his Wednesday convention speech continued well into Thursday, and turned what the GOP hoped would be glowing headlines into a less lustrous mix of fawning and criticism.

"There are some things that I think were factually questionable," said Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Thursday, adding himself to the list of unexpected journalists to question the accuracy of the would-be vice president's arguments.

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"I marked at least seven or eight points I'm sure the fact checkers will have some opportunities to dispute if they want to go forward," said CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer on air after Paul Ryan's speech Wednesday night. "I'm sure they will."

The vice presidential nominee's address to the Republican convention received rave reviews from conservatives who ate up his denunciation of President Obama. The media highlighted their adulation in early stories about the speech.

But the Wisconsin congressman's speech strained facts on multiple occasions. And that has rankled more than just the usual suspects. Several mainstream outlets that have praised him in the past pointedly went after his misleading portrayals of critical issues at stake in this election.

The Associated Press took on Ryan's misleading assertions in an article headlined, "FACT CHECK: Ryan takes factual shortcuts in speech," which included a point-by-point refutation of various claims he made.



The AP article took on his claims about Medicare, the stimulus package, an auto plant in his home state and the Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission, among others.

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A former Clinton administration official -- who famously opposed the 1996 welfare reform law and publicly split with his longtime friend Bill Clinton -- is adding himself to the list of experts who decry Mitt Romney's attacks on President Obama's welfare policy as false.

"The Romney attack is a complete invention," Peter Edelman, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and former Assistant Secretary for Bill Clinton's Department of Health and Human Services, told TPM. He labeled it a "distortion" based on a "complete fabrication" in service of "pure politics."

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Two Republican governors are backing away from their expressed interest in welfare reform waivers now that Mitt Romney has made the issue a centerpiece of his campaign against President Obama.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval were among five governors who sought flexibility for the states on alternative ways to achieve the law's goal of moving recipients from welfare to work. In July, the Obama administration offered states the opportunity to receive a waiver from the 1996 law's work participation requirements under the condition that more recipients find jobs. If not, they said, the waivers will be denied or rescinded.

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Mitt Romney is advancing a new -- mostly ahistorical -- reason voters should throw President Obama out of office: A Democratic Congress gave Obama everything he wanted and he still failed to turn the economy around.

"I do believe that people of this country are looking for someone who can get the country growing again with more jobs and more take-home pay, and I think they realize this president had four years to do that," Romney told Politico in an interview published Monday. "He got every piece of legislation he wanted passed, and it didn't work. I think they want someone who has a different record, and I do."

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In a leaked party platform circulating on the eve of their convention, Republicans reveal in candid detail how they intend to remake Medicare.



The platform, snagged by Politico on Friday afternoon after the Republican National Committee accidentally posted it to its website before taking it down, is scheduled to be approved at the convention early this week.

The text details the privatization policy that GOP lawmakers have supported for years, and that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are selling as necessary to "save" Medicare. But in an unusual twist, it addresses the specific aspect of the proposal that makes it a departure from what Americans know as "Medicare."

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Determined to preempt Democratic attacks on their Medicare plan, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have launched an offensive to portray themselves as the protectors of the seniors program while attacking President Obama for having "robbed" Medicare to pay for 'Obamacare.'

The charge is problematic because Ryan's budget included the same $716 billion in provider pay cuts, although Romney and Ryan now say they'll rescind the savings. But it's ironic for another reason: the Romney-Ryan plan would convert Medicare into a program that's remarkably similar to the Affordable Care Act.

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The Obama campaign is responding to attacks from Mitt Romney with a TV ad that cites AARP as evidence that the Affordable Care Act won't harm seniors despite its payment cuts to Medicare providers.

Republicans on the House Ways & Means Committee on Friday returned fire by seeking to discredit AARP, accusing the influential seniors' group of sacrificing the well-being of its elderly members in order to boost its profits.

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Rep. Paul Ryan has cited Rage Against The Machine as one of his favorite bands, but its guitarist Tom Morello doesn't love him back.

"Paul Ryan's love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades," opens Tom Morello in a scathing Rolling Stone op-ed lashing the VP nominee.

"He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage," wrote Morello, an activist for progressive causes.

He added: "Don't mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta 'rage' in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he's not raging against is the privileged elite he's groveling in front of for campaign contributions."

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