(Updated with video clips of Kenosha, Wisc., town hall forum provided by Congressman Ryan's press office; links to clips after end of post)
Congressman Paul Ryan was rendered nearly speechless last night by Rachel Maddow -- due entirely to the wonders of editing.
In a segment that could serve as template for what liberals deem a robust exchange of ideas, Maddow ran clips of Ryan's constituents peppering him with questions about the GOP budget plan, while she showed hardly any of what Ryan said in response.
Here's what was asked of Ryan, and his abbreviated answers as sliced by Maddow (video after page break) --
FIRST CONSTITUENT: You want to take a publicly-administered program such as Medicare and turn it over to a private corporation. ... Tell me how my grandma's going to benefit from that, please.
RYAN: Yeah, that's, it's a fair question ...
SECOND CONSTITUENT: You're asking the elderly to take on the insurance companies when we can't take on the insurance companies.
RYAN: Yes, so, right, so ...
THIRD CONSTITUENT: Do you know anything about Medicare?
RYAN: Well I'm not on it, no, so ...
CONSTITUENT: That's what I'm driving at.
FOURTH CONSTITUENT: When I look at your budget I see you cutting the things that I agree with, entitlement programs, but I don't see you doing across-the-board cuts with the military.
FIFTH CONSTITUENT: It's not that hard to find savings and cut programs on the backs of the poor, of the underprivileged, of those without lobbyist groups and those without clout. ... I read this piece of document and I saw nothing that really speaks to helping those who are already ...
RYAN: Right ...
FIFTH CONSTITUENT: ... not able to make ends meet.
SIXTH CONSTITUENT: Do not renew the Bush tax credit for the wealthy. (applause) ... Tax corporations and oversea profits and bring the jobs home. (applause) ....
SIXTH CONSTITUENT: Place a windfall tax on oil companies and rescind the $4 billion subsidy. (applause) ... I'll debate these points any time with you. Just call me, my number's 262-(rest of number bleeped, presumably to prevent man from being inundated with calls from Maddow viewers).
RYAN: What was the last, 9-7-what ...?
Followed by Maddow saying, "Welcome home, Congressman Ryan." So nice to not hear what you have to say.
***** Video clips from the town hall forum in Kenosha --