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Paul Ryan Accepts VP Nomination; Politics of Health Care; Chipotle and Penny Pinching; Isaac Forcing More Rescues, Evacuations; Interview with Congressman Chris Van Hollen

Aired August 30, 2012 - 09:00   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Soledad. Good morning.

Happening now in the NEWSROOM, direct attack. VP pick Paul Ryan going for Obama's policy jugular. Medicare, stimulus, and occasionally throwing out a punchline about his running mate.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I hope it's not a deal breaker, Mitt. But my playlist, it starts with AC/DC and ends with Zeppelin.


COSTELLO: But this morning, serious questions about some of the claims in Ryan's speech. We're fact checking in 40 minutes.

Rescued. The Mississippi Delta acting as the stage for dramatic life-saving rescues. Plucked from flooded parishes, the National Guard on alert this morning.

Book of raid. The Navy SEAL behind the book breaking his silence. The bin Laden mission and what he claims really happened that night. The support and the outrage as "No Easy Day" sees no easy day.

Plus, this.

The Boss of baseball, Bruce, hitting the fields from coast-to- coast. Grab your peanuts and crackerjacks. Bruce takes you to his land of hopes and dreams.

NEWSROOM begins right now.

And good morning. Thank you so much for being with us. I'm Carol Costello. We begin with the Republican Party's biggest night in four years. Just hours from now, Mitt Romney will accept the presidential nomination and deliver the most important speech of his life. Setting the stage, Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan. And he may be a hard act to follow. Last night, he energized the crowd, promising to deliver a new America and exorcise the demons of a failed presidency.

A head's up. We're going to take a break from the usual short excerpts and run longer chunks of sound to give you a better sense of exactly what Paul Ryan said.


RYAN: Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that we -- that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close. It began with a financial crisis. It ends with a job crisis. It began with a housing crisis they alone didn't cause. And it ends with a housing crisis they didn't correct.


It began with a perfect AAA credit rating for the United States. It ends with a downgraded America.


It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that's left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already past, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday's wind.


College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters, and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.


I am honored by the support of this convention for vice president of the United States.


I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity, and I know we can do this.


I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us with opportunity for the young and security for the old. And I know that we are ready. Our nominee is sure ready. His whole life -- his whole life prepared him for this moment, to meet the serious challenges in a serious way, without excuses and idle words.

After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney.



COSTELLO: OK. So there were plenty of applause lines. Lots of enthusiasm from the party faithful. But did Paul Ryan do enough to mobilize middle America, independent voters? Well, consider this. After the speech, CNN senior political analyst David Gergen called Ryan, quote, "The new Reagan."

Joining me now, CNN political analyst Roland Martin, he leans left. And with him, our Republican guy, Will Crain, he's a contributor to CNN as well and an analyst for theblaze.

Welcome to you both.


WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning to you.


COSTELLO: You're on the wrong side. Will, let's start with you, because David Gergen calls Paul Ryan the new Reagan. Really?

CAIN: You know what? I don't agree with David Gergen. Here's the deal. I really like Paul Ryan. I think Paul Ryan is great in policy proposals. I think Paul Ryan is great in forwarding, you know, ideas full of integrity that aren't necessarily politically popular. Paul Ryan to me is the definition of a leader.

But when you say he is the next Ronald Reagan, you're talking about somebody who is dripping in charisma and delivers an awesome speech. And I'm going to tell you something. As much as I like Paul Ryan, I just can't quite go that far. It wasn't -- it wasn't exactly the most compelling speech I've ever heard. Good. Let's put -- good. Not great.

MARTIN: Carol, let me go ahead and say it. Stop it. I hate these comparisons. Remember when Grant Hill was the next Michael Jordan?


MARTIN: He wasn't, all right? That's what people said early on. Let Congressman Paul Ryan be Congressman Paul Ryan. There's no need to try to say, oh, he is the next Ronald Reagan, who is the next President Bill Clinton. Because when you begin to make those comparisons, you're going to have people say, well, wait a minute, wasn't Reagan early on pro-choice but then he changed his position? Romney's -- I mean Ryan is not that way? Forget that nonsense. Let Congressman Ryan be Congressman Ryan. Stop with all of these old school comparisons.

COSTELLO: Oh, but they're so much fun. Perhaps the most emotional --

MARTIN: No, they're not.

COSTELLO: I know. I'm just kidding. Come on. Come on. Get a sense of humor.

MARTIN: People who can't get out of the past.

COSTELLO: OK. So the most emotional moment of the night may have been when Paul Ryan praised his mother. Let's take a listen to that.


RYAN: And to this day, my mom is my role model.



COSTELLO: OK. So he appeared to wipe away tears. It was a hit. The audience stood up.

MARTIN: Carol.


CAIN: Let me tell you, before you throw cold water on this, let me --

MARTIN: Actually I'm not.

CAIN: OK. Good. Let me say this, Carol. You know, my dad was a lawyer. I went to law school because my dad was a lawyer. But my dad died when I was young as well. And I watched my mom do exactly what Paul Ryan talked about his mom doing. Start over. Reinvent a life. I think there's a lot of people who saw that moment, who can identify with it.

And then to see his mom, you know, so sweetly and meekly kind of deflect the attention and stand up. Look, it was genuine. And it was without a doubt, I think you described it, Carol, the most emotional moment of the night, hands down.

MARTIN: Carol, I play golf. That's called a gimme. I don't care who you are. You can give a speech anywhere in America. It could be at Koanas (ph) Club, it could at your old high school, it could be at the GOP or Democratic convention. If you praise mama and daddy, it will always shut the house down.


MARTIN: So you never lose with that, just like I'll tell every candidate or anybody, if you have a wife, or husband, give them a shout-out first or you're going to catch a lot of hell later.

COSTELLO: I know but --

MARTIN: So mama always will get you applause.

COSTELLO: Absolutely. And you know a lot of candidates do that. And you're right. It evokes emotions in people. But just once I'd like to say --

MARTIN: Always.

COSTELLO: I'd like to hear a candidate say, I had a terrible relationship with my parents.


MARTIN: Well, guess what?

CAIN: Right. Right.

MARTIN: And then they'll say, and then they'll say, but I still want my mom to stand up. And they're all going to cheer.


COSTELLO: Will Cain, Roland Martin, thanks so much.

Clearly, Paul Ryan was swinging for the fences -- bye.

Clearly, Ryan was swinging for the fences and he did hit some homeruns. But Ryan also committed at least one glaring error by leaving out some important context. Listen to his comments about a General Motors factory closing in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin.


RYAN: 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.


COSTELLO: OK. So here's the context. General Motors actually announced it would close that plant long before Candidate Obama took office. The verdict by CNN fact check, Ryan's claim was technically true but incomplete.

Our friends at PolitiFact go even farther. They say Ryan's claims are false.

Here's another Ryan talking point that's drawing fire. His claims President Obama is gutting Medicare to pay for his health care reforms. We're going to check the facts in this claim from last night's speech.


RYAN: You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with the new law and new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the players in Washington still didn't have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So they just took it all away from Medicare. $716 billion funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.

(CROWD BOOS) RYAN: An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed all to pay for a new entitlement we didn't even ask for.


RYAN: The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare. And we're going to stop it.



COSTELLO: We are going to continue to hear that throughout the campaign. And we just want to check whether it's true or false.

CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here to give us the real story.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. The implication is that Obama funneled -- from Medicare, raided Medicare in order to pay for Obamacare, the $716 billion that we've heard so much.

So let's hear again from PolitiFact, which is a nonpartisan fact- checking organization. So here's what they have to say. Says neither Obama nor his health care law literally cut funding from the Medicare program's budget. Rather the health care law instituted a number of changes to try to bring down future health care costs." And that's important, to try to bring down future health care costs in the program. "They were mainly aimed at insurance companies and hospitals, not beneficiaries."

And says something similar, that these were -- this was limiting the rate of growth of Medicare in the future, and that beneficiaries won't feel the impact of this. They will still go to the doctor the same as they always did, they would still go to the hospital the same way they always did.

COSTELLO: So the money would be cut from the providers, not the beneficiaries. And what about this money paying for Obamacare?

COHEN: Well, yes. There's no question but that the savings, as the Democrats call it, or the cuts as the Republicans call it, that that did help pay for Obamacare. I mean Obamacare was paid for in a number of different ways. This is one of them.

COSTELLO: Elizabeth Cohen, thanks so much.

Programming reminder for you. CNN's primetime convention coverage continues tonight at 7:00 Eastern with Wolf Blitzer. At 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will deliver that speech of his life, his acceptance speech. Piers Morgan wraps up the convention's last full day.

We're now getting a closer look at the former Navy SEAL who's giving a first-hand account of the Osama bin Laden raid in his brand new book. This book is called "No Easy Day." And it's written under a phony name, Mark Owen.

The Pentagon originally didn't want CNN to reveal the author's true identity for fear he and others in SEAL Team 6 would be targets for terrorists. But now the Pentagon says those SEALS have had time to protect themselves. So let's show you the real author, Matt Bissonnette, in his interview with CBS.


MATT BISSONNETTE, AKA "MARK OWEN", FORMER NAVY SEAL: My worry from the beginning is, you know, it's a political season. This book is not political whatsoever. It doesn't bad mouth the either party. And we specifically chose September 11th to keep it out of the politics.

You know, if these crazies on either side of the aisle want to make it political, shame on them. This is a book about September 11th. And it needs to rest on September 11th. Not be brought into the political arena because this has nothing to do with politics.


COSTELLO: The publisher actually moved the release date up to September 4th because of overwhelming excitement. It's already number one on Amazon, the book. The Defense Department is reviewing the book to make sure classified information was not leaked and say Bissonnette could still face criminal charges.

In just about 20 minutes, one of the people to get an inside look at the compound where bin Laden was killed will join us to talk about this new book. CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen. He is an expert on this raid. He's been to Pakistan. He's talked to intelligence officials. And he has read this new book, "No Easy Day." We'll get his take.

The restaurant chain Chipotle has been keeping your pennies, literally.

Maribel Aber is at the New York Stock Exchange. Really?

MARIBEL ABER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carol. Yes. Chipotle actually has been keeping your change. And we're only talking about pennies, as you said there. But still, Carol, it's the principle.

So, here are the details on this. At certain high volume locations like New York and New Jersey, chipotle was rounding your receipt to the nearest nickel, either up or down. So sometimes it's in your favor. But sometimes it's not.

So here is an actual example of a customer receipt reported in New Jersey, sorry, "Star Ledger". The customer bought $8.64 worth of food. The tax was 60 cents. It should have come to $9.24, but it didn't. This customer was charged $9.25, an extra penny there.

So, Carol, why do this, well, a Chipotle spokesperson says it's all about keeping the lines moving. If you have been to a Chipotle, cashiers are digging for pennies and it can slow things down for them.

But the restaurant says they're changing their policy. It says as of this month, it's no longer rounding up. It will only round down. So you can keep those extra pennies.

COSTELLO: What about those little pennies they usually have in there? You add a penny or wouldn't that be simpler. Is this legal to charge a customer -- even if it is just a penny, they are charging you more for your food than they should.

ABER: Well, according to "The Star Ledger," New Jersey consumers must be provided with clear and accurate information about prices they are charged. And Chipotle confirms it had a conversation with the state's Department of Consumer Affairs about the rounding practice. And the restaurant has now started including a line about rounding on its receipts. Even if you get some extra pennies, they are letting you know about it.

But, you know, Carol, I did reach out to one lawyer and talked to him about this. And he said if it's disclosed before people buy, then it's probably fine. But if it's not, it's a potential class action waiting to happen, Carol.

COSTELLO: Ouch. So it's a good thing they changed their policy.

Maribel, thank you so much.

All around New Orleans, dramatic life saving rescues by water and by air. Plus, more flooding and more evacuations.


COSTELLO: To the other story grabbing the nation's attention, Isaac. Isaac is now a tropical storm. It's still moving at that agonizingly slow pace.

Several levees have been overtopped. New evacuations have been ordered. Dramatic rescues still happening, more than 200 in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. It's one of the hardest-hit areas. And things there keep getting worse.


BILLY NUNGESSER, PRES., PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LOUISIANA (via telephone): Just as we speak, I got word that another levee in south Plaquemines on the west bank has been overtopped. And this will be the third area of the west bank that is now underwater, to ad to the east bank troubles where we have been rescuing people all day.


COSTELLO: New Orleans and the surrounding areas hit hard too. Here is CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano.


ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Carol, here along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, for the most part the levees and the floodgates and the pumping stations worked. The station you see behind me, the water you see behind me, was not here when we started our coverage a few days ago. It's much, much higher.

And the pumps, these pipes, continue to pump out water. Each pipe, over 8,000 gallons a second. During the height of the storm, they had all of them going at one time. So that gets the rain water out of New Orleans. These flood gates, each one of which weighs about 20 tons, and they were dropped right before the storm came in, that keeps the water from coming in of Lake Pontchartrain.

Now, this situation doesn't exist across the entire lake. West and north of here, in an area called LaPlace, they have a serious situation. They have huge flooding from this lake and a storm surge off the lake. Hundreds of people need to be rescued, dramatic video coming in from CNN.

Actually, first, let's show you the video we shot yesterday off I-10. Tractor-trailers nearly completely submerged there.

Now at the town, which we couldn't get to, rescue efforts underway. Here is video from the Coast Guard. They were plucking people off rooftops last night. This couple and their two dogs managed to survive. And here's what they had to say about their harrowing experience.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he had a harder time because he had the bigger dog, which I'm sure she --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It gives you more of an appreciation for what these guys do. I can tell you that.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God in a helicopter.


MARCIANO: So the Coast Guard will be back to work today. It's a multiagency effort. The sheriff tells me this is the worst flooding he's seen in LaPlace in his lifetime. Last time it flooded there was Gustav, and it took a week and a half for the floodwaters to recede.

So, it will be an ongoing rescue effort today and a long time before they dry out -- Carol.


COSTELLO: Thanks, Rob. You can get the latest information on Isaac at And please share your videos and photos with CNN iReport,

It's a busy day for a pair of astronauts. Take a look at these live pictures. A morning spacewalk going on right now at the International Space Station. Chances are your job doesn't give you the views that are out of this world for those astronauts. We'll show you more later.


COSTELLO: Now is your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. The question for you this morning, why is race an issue in campaign 2012?

The Republican Party is eager to show America its diversity. Their convention lineup featured rising stars of all races. Yet if you ask the Democrats, Republicans are guilty of race-baiting in election 2012.

Case in point: this Romney ad saying that President Obama is trying to gut welfare reform.


NARRATOR: On July 12th, President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements. Under Obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work and you wouldn't have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check.


COSTELLO: CNN fact checked that ad. It's untrue.

Nevertheless, Romney aides say they will continue running it because it's effective. Republicans say it's an example of big government helping those who really should be helping themselves.

Democrats say it's racist.


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: This stuff about getting rid of the work requirement for welfare is dishonest. Everyone has pointed out it's dishonest. And you are playing that little ethnic card there. You can play your games and giggle about it. But the fact is your side is playing that card.

You start talking about work requirements you know what game you're playing, and everybody knows it's a race card.


COSTELLO: Republicans accuse Democrats of having their own problem with race baiting. Remember when Vice President Joe Biden made this comment in front of a black audience in Virginia?


JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look at what they value and look at their budget and what they are proposing. Romney wants to let the -- he said in the first 100 days, he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street. They're going to put y'all back in chains.


COSTELLO: It is a shame we are still fighting about race in 2012. And it's not likely to end soon. Just yesterday, Republican star Mia Love, who's an African-American, her Wikipedia page was allegedly hacked with racist and sexist rants.

Political analyst Larry Sabato tells us some America is polarized around racial lines with minorities favoring President Obama and whites favoring Romney, expect both sides to continue to encourage the polarization.

So the talk back question for you, why is race an issue in the 2012 campaign?, Your comments later this hour.

We're getting a look at the former SEAL who wrote all about the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound. So what are we learning from his tell-all book?

You won't believe it. We'll tell you. We'll share, next.


COSTELLO: And good morning. Welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for joining us. I'm Carol Costello. Stories we're watching right now in THE NEWSROOM:

The trading day just starting on Wall Street. Stocks poised for a lower open as investors react to disappointing economic news with initial jobless claims staying about the same.

Ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange this morning, the management of WageWorks, a leading provider of flex spending accounts.

Two International Space Station crew members now walking in space. These are live pictures of that spacewalk. Astronauts Suni Williams and Japanese astronaut have begun a 6 1/2 hour mission to replace a camera and electronics outside the space station.

Tropical storm Isaac moving slowly across Louisiana. The storm now centered 110 miles northwest of New Orleans where more rescues are underway. Nearly 1 million people in five states without power due to Isaac.

2012 could be the worst year ever for the West Nile virus outbreaks in the United States since the disease first appeared in 1999. That is according to the CDC, which reports 66 deaths so far, with nearly 1,600 more people infected. Almost half of this year's cases are in Texas, with all of the lower 48 states now reporting West Nile activity.

A new book detailing SEAL Team 6's raid that killed Osama bin Laden is the new number one on Amazon. So much hype, the publisher moved the release date from September 11th up to September 4th. The book is called "No Easy Day" and was written by one of the SEALs involved in the raid under the phony name Mark Owen.

But we're going to tell you his real name, under the guidance of the Pentagon. His name is Matt Bissonnette. In an interview with CBS News, Bissonnette talked about the training leading up to the raid.


MATT BISSONNETTE AKA "MARK OWEN", FORMER NAVY SEAL: This is nothing new to us. The part that was new was all the VIPs sitting there watching. You know, one of the things that I liked after the fact was I remember Admiral Mullin coming by and talking to each of us and Admiral Olson as well.

I thought that was cool. They shook each of our hands and said, are you guys ready? Can you guys pull this off? And I'm pretty sure to a man we said, yes, absolutely.


COSTELLO: The Defense Department is reviewing the book. It says Bissonnette could still face criminal charges.

CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen is in Washington. He's an expert on the raid, on Osama bin Laden's compound, and he has read this book -- this new book.

Welcome, Peter.


COSTELLO: So what Bissonnette was talking about in that last bit of sound we heard, apparently the SEALs had this big fake compound they practiced in. What did he say about that in his book?

BERGEN: Well, he said something in his book that we kind of knew about this compound. It was reported in the "New Yorker" piece by Nick Schmidle which was a very good account of the raid. It was in my book, "Manhunt."

What happened was that early in April, Bissonnette and others were summoned to North Carolina for what was supposedly a training exercise. And Bissonnette quickly realized it was a dream team of the SEAL Team 6 that were there. Clearly something was up. Very quickly it became apparent that the target was bin Laden and in Pakistan.

They built an exact replica of the compound, Carol. Using shipping containers, plywood, and chain link fences in the piney forest of North Carolina. They practiced there for some period of time. And then in fact they moved to Nevada, which has the thought was the weather was going to be a little bit more similar to what it would be in central Pakistan at that time of year. And they did a much more full rehearsal of the raid there.

Bissonnette doesn't get into that particular detail. That may well be because he is concerned about he and his lawyers concerned about a possible infractions that the Department of Defense as you know, carol, has said that they are going to take a look at the book. I'm not an expert in national security law. It didn't -- it seems to me that Bissonnette was pretty careful about not letting tactics and procedures be part of the book.

COSTELLO: Well, well, let me ask you about a few more details. Some of the details leaked out are quite fascinating.

So they practiced in this fake Osama bin Laden compound. They don't really know exactly what the inside of the compound looks like, though. So they carry out this raid. And how did the shooting of Osama bin Laden go down, according to Bissonnette?

BERGEN: Well, I would say that it isn't -- I mean, I have read the passage pretty carefully. He's not a direct eyewitness to what happened. You know, bear in mind, Carol, first of all, it's the middle of the night. There's no moon and there's no electricity. And there has been a firefight about 15 minutes earlier. So, you know, people's recollections of these events are not perfect. And Bissonnette's is one.

But he suggests that the point man who was leading the assault on the third floor of bin Laden's bedroom shot at bin Laden as he poked his head out the door of his bedroom. And when they reached into the bedroom, they found that bin Laden was already dead and they shot him a couple of times more to finish him off that.

That does differ from the previous account, which is that bin Laden was shot in his bedroom with one shot to his left eye and one shot to his chest. You know, somewhere in between there might be the actual complete version of events.

I think there will be other witnesses that will come forward at a certain point. We have already had one account only a little over a year after bin Laden was killed. And my guess is --

COSTELLO: Let me ask you about those accounts, Peter. Because there are so many books out about this raid. And there's going to be a movie coming out in December about this raid.


COSTELLO: So which book should people buy and believe?

BERGEN: Well, I think Bissonnette is accurate. I mean, I've just done an extensive review in the "Washington Post", it fits with everything I have reported on this, Carol. I have spoken to dozens of people with first-hand knowledge of the operation. I got inside the compound with bin laden was killed, the only outside observer to do so. I spoke to Pakistani officials who investigated the aftermath of the raid. And basically my book and Bissonnette's book are quite similar in many respects.

My book, of course, is also focused on the president and his team and their decision making, and also the intelligence picture. Bissonnette's view is very much on the ground, and he was there. And I -- you know, I think it's well told. And I think it's accurate.

COSTELLO: Peter Bergen, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

BERGEN: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Republicans are talking a lot about the need for change at their convention. So are they getting the message out? We'll hear from a Democrat about that convention. In fact, he's there.


COSTELLO: Paul Ryan spent the night chastising the Obama administration. Actually, it was the topic Wednesday at the Republican National Convention.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: These past four years, we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House. What is missing is leadership in the White House.



COSTELLO: Last night, GOP headliners telling a receptive crowd Mr. Obama is a disappointment, divisive and out of ideas. The theme, we can change it.


SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R), OHIO: The experts tell us that if we don't change our policies, we're going back into recession next year.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: And this is America's future if we don't do something to change the course this president seems perfectly content to leave us on.

RYAN: Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?



COSTELLO: If the change line reminds you of Obama's 2008 campaign slogan, change we can believe in, that's no accident. Republicans say it was a change for the worst.

Joining me now from Tampa is Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.

Welcome, Congressman.

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Carol, great to be with you.

COSTELLO: Thanks for being with us. If you talk to Republicans, Paul Ryan was a hit. One of our analysts, David Gergen, called Ryan the new Reagan. Are Democrats worried?

VAN HOLLEN: No, we're not worried. This was a very disappointing speech, because Republicans have claimed that they want to have a serious conversation about the issues. And last night proved that they're not serious at all.

That speech that Paul Ryan delivered contained so much misinformation in distortion that it's kept the fact checkers up all night. And I'd be happy to go through some of them, because they go to the core of these issues.

COSTELLO: I know the most glaring one was probably the General Motors plant in Wisconsin closing. It actually closed under the bush administration, not the Obama administration. But still, Paul Ryan's theme of people wanting a change in the White House, and Mr. Obama's policies not working, and the economy still moving at a sluggish pace. That resonated with the audience.

VAN HOLLEN: Well, the reality is that Paul Ryan and these Republicans voted for all of the policies that got us into the mess to begin with, and that when the president took office, he immediately took action. He took an economy that was in freefall. We are now in 29 months of positive private sector job growth. We need to do more.

And the Republicans in the House of Representatives are sitting on the president's jobs bill. They haven't voted on it since last September.

Then they say they want to talk seriously about budget issues. Paul Ryan last night criticized the president for not adopting the recommendations of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission. Problem is, Paul Ryan was on the commission. He voted no. He didn't like their recommendations.

But then it gets worse, Carol. Because the president then submitted a budget that does adopt the framework of Simpson-Bowles. You don't have to take my word for it. One of the co-chairmen, Erskine Bowles, said that three weeks ago. He said that the president's budget plan is much closer to the bipartisan principles of Simpson-Bowles than the Romney-Ryan plan.

And the whole reason that Romney and Ryan oppose the president's plan is because it contains this balanced approach, rather than their approach, which provides another round of big tax cuts for people like Mitt Romney.

COSTELLO: Republicans say that Paul Ryan is actually pushing Romney's policies, not his own. So that really doesn't matter.

VAN HOLLEN: Well, both of them are opposed to the Simpson-Bowles approach, which is a balanced approach, that says we need to tackle our long-term deficit through a combination of cuts, and the president has put forward many deep cuts. But also through more revenue from the folks at the very top of the income ladder, because if you don't ask one more penny from them, then you have to hit everybody else harder, the seniors on Medicare and the students.

And Romney and Ryan have been very clear -- they do not support one more penny of revenue from the very wealthy.

Romney was asked that question during the debates whether he'd take $10 of cuts to $1 of revenue. No deal. He takes a very inflexible approach. It's all about this trickledown economics theory that more tax cuts for the wealthy people like Mitt Romney will somehow lift us all up.

But we know that that theory crashed at the end of the Bush administration. I mean the facts are in.

COSTELLO: Well, I wanted to ask you about something else. Congressman Ryan and a host of others portrayed Mr. Obama as divisive, how can you argue that when just yesterday the President accused Governor Romney of not caring about young people and their health care?

VAN HOLLEN: You have to look at the impact of the policies on people. So Mitt Romney is proposing to repeal Obamacare. One of the things Obamacare does is make sure that young people --

COSTELLO: But that doesn't mean -- that doesn't mean, Congressman, that Mitt Romney doesn't care about young people and their health care.

VAN HOLLEN: Well the -- well he is taking away a very important health benefit and protection for young people. You can decide to characterize what that means in terms of his feelings. But the impact on young people is that they're not going to get health insurance coverage.

So if they're stuck in a car accident now, since they are not covered under their family's policy, it could bankrupt the family. So I think that that tells a lot about what Mitt Romney cares about and what he doesn't. And -- and that's what these budgets are about. There are a lot of numbers. But at their core, they tell you what your priorities are. What you care about, what you don't.

COSTELLO: Chris Van Hollen, Congressman from Maryland.

Here is a programming reminder for you. CNN's primetime convention coverage continues tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern with wolf Blitzer and three hours later at 10:00 Eastern Time, the Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney delivers his acceptance speech.


COSTELLO: In today's "Health for Her", researchers have linked a lack of sleep to more aggressive breast cancers. The study reported in science daily reported on more than 400 post menopausal breast cancer patients. Besides having more aggressive cancers, the patients with less sleep had a greater chance of cancer recurrence. Researchers were unable to find a similar link in premenopausal women.


COSTELLO: Paul Ryan rocks the Republican National Convention with a speech that drew cheers from the crowd but also raised eyebrows with some of its claims. So right now we're pulling out the truth meter on the vice presidential nominee's primetime address.

First, listen to Ryan's claims about then-Senator Obama's comments about the General Motor plant in Wisconsin.


PAUL RYAN (R-WI), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said "I believe that if our government is there to support you this plant will be there another 100 years." That's what he said in 2008.

Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year. And is locked up and empty to this day.


COSTELLO: Bill Adair is the editor of the nonpartisan He is in Tampa. So Bill are Ryan's comments about this GM plant accurate?

BILL ADAIR, EDITOR, POLITIFACT.COM: Well, we were specifically looking at a claim that he has made that President Obama broke his promise to keep that plant open. He made that point a little more sharply about ten days ago in a campaign speech he gave in which he actually said that Obama broke his promise. I think he made that same point last night.

We rated that false. It's really not accurate to say Obama broke his promise because the GM plant actually closed down in December 2008, before Obama took office so it's not like you say that Obama should have kept that plant open it was -- you know it closed under President Bush before Obama took office.

So a false on the truth-o-meter for that one.

COSTELLO: Ok let's head on to the next claim. Listen to what Ryan said about Mitt Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts.


RYAN: Mitt has not only succeeded but he succeeded where others could not. He turned around the Olympics at a time when a great institution was collapsing under the weight of bad management, overspending and corruption. It sounds kind of familiar, doesn't it?

He was a Republican governor of state where almost nine in ten legislators are Democrats. And yet he balanced the budget without raising taxes. Unemployment went down, household incomes went up and Massachusetts under Governor Mitt Romney saw its credit rating upgraded.


COSTELLO: So that sounds fantastic but is it true?

ADAIR: Well, we rated the last three pieces of that where he talked about employment going down, the credit rating going up and incomes going up. And the reason we rated it half-true on our truth- o-meter is first in the case of the income, yes, it went up, but not if you control for inflation. If you control for inflation it actually went down.

The others measurement, he's right about the numbers but it's important when you talk to economist to recognize that a governor has a relatively limited effect on an economy both good and bad. And so yes, it's true the credit rating went up and yes it's true that the -- and yes it's true on the other point but Romney's impact on those were -- was not that great. So over all, half true on the truth-o-meter for that one.

COSTELLO: All right, Bill Adair, thanks so much. if you want to know more.

CNN's prime time coverage continues tonight at 7:00 Eastern with Wolf Blitzer. We'll be back.


COSTELLO: We asked to you "Talk Back" on one of the big stories of the day. The question, why is race an issue in Campaign 2012?

This from Gilda, "Because Obama and the black community made this an issue. He is not qualified to be President and it's not because he is black. He is as much white as he is black."

This from Ryan, "If your party has to go out of its way to convince America that it's open to people of another race or culture, then that, in itself, speaks volumes."

This from Randall, "Race an issue because it used to always work as a default argument when everything else failed. More whites are on welfare than blacks. So, no sale."

This from another Chris, "Because we are still a very racist nation, ask any person of color."

This from Walter. "Race is an issue, the whites feel that Romney will show them favoritism. The blacks and others feel Obama will show them favoritism."

Keep the conversation going, More comments in the next hour of NEWSROOM.