Paul Ryan returns to Colorado as group questions whether he climbed nearly forty 14ers
The organization's press release says:
We're calling for Ryan to release photos, summit logs, and any other evidence he has to back up his claim that he climbed forty of our state's highest mountains -- or come clean with Colorado that he's lying about his "peak bagger" record too.
Joanne Schwartz, the group's executive director, tells us, "It has been his intro to his speeches here in Colorado and how he's trying to appeal to Coloradans. If he's going to try to appeal to Coloradans with these particular activities, he really needs to make sure he's telling the truth."
"With so many recent lies about policy, it continues to raise questions about what else he might be lying about," she says, noting misleading statements Ryan made in his RNC speech related to Medicare, the 2011 battle over the debt ceiling and the closing of a General Motors assembly plant (which he used as an example of Obama's failures, even though it closed before the president took office).
"I think a lot of us who have climbed fourteeners have memories of how difficult it was, taking pictures at the top of the mountain, sharing that with friends," says Schwartz. "I think it's an appealing way to get people to think about how their outdoor activities might apply to politics and policy."
She says her group will keep pushing Ryan to offer proof and will encourage others to send photos, which ProgressNow will continue to promote through social media.
Update, 10:08 a.m. September 6: After we posted this morning, a Romney campaign official sent us a link to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog post published yesterday, in which the reporter who originally wrote the story clarifies what Ryan said in the 2009 interview about climbing Colorado's 14ers. That reporter offers a more detailed transcript of that portion of the interview and says essentially the same thing that the Romney official told the Atlantic -- all of which we noted in our original post above. The official's comment reads:
In the interview, Ryan did not claim to have climbed close to forty different "fourteeners," as has been reported by some. (Colorado has more than fifty 14,000-foot peaks).
He said he made close to forty climbs (climbing some peaks more than once).
More from our Politics archive: "Photos: Craig Romney targets Colorado Latinos as dad Mitt prepares for debates"