(Photo credit: Flickr user monkeyz_uncle)

Tonight, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) blasted President Obama for failing to save a GM factory in his district. The problem with this is that the plant actually closed under George W. Bush.

In June 2008, Ryan sent a letter along with his Wisconsin colleagues Senators Russ Feingold (D) and Herb Kohl (D) protesting the closure of General Motors plant in Janesville, Wisconsin.

“We ask that you reconsider the decision to close the Janesville GM plant and request a meeting with youAi??as soon as possible to discuss OM’s plans for the Janesville plant, including the possibility of retoolingAi??the plant for different production lines,” said the letter from the three lawmakers to GM CEO Rick Wagoner.

As Talking Points Memo’s Benjy Sarlin notes, Ryan actually voted for a Bush-era effort to expand government loans to GM, a plan that failed to save the Janesville plant.

Ryan also went on to support Obama’s GM restructuring plan, which earned him the rebuke of Michelle Malkin, who grouped him with “pro-bailout, anti-free market Republicans.”

Tonight, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz aggressively questioned Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) about Ryan’s claim that the closure under Bush could be blamed on Obama. “It had nothing to do with Barack Obama’s economic policy,” said Schultz about the Janesville closure. “You can’t get away from that fact!

The Republican vice presidential nominee is playing fast and loose with the facts. He knows that this plant closed before President Obama even took office, and he also knows that he supported both Bush and Obama’s plans to assist the auto industry. This letter shows that Ryan knew the plant was failing despite Bush policies and that he recognized the need for intervention then.