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Ryan: Obama not solely to blame for auto plant failure

NBC's Brian Williams spoke with Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. When asked about Republican platforms on abortion and whether or not there should be exceptions for rape or incest, Ryan said most women are asking about economic growth and the education of their children.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Paul Ryan acknowledged that more factors than just President Obama contributed to the closing of a General Motors plant in his hometown at the height of the auto industry's troubles in 2008.

Despite appearing to assign the president sole blame for the decision to place a Janesville, Wis., GM plant on standby during his speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention, Ryan made some clarifications, while still chiding Obama for making a promise to help keep the plant open.

“The point about the plant in my hometown, President Obama came there and campaigned in the plant in 2008. And he said this plant will be here for another 100 years," Ryan said in an interview with NBC's Brian Williams. "He got elected. He put his policies in place. The plant's empty. Nobody works there anymore."

Paul Ryan may have gotten a rock star reception on Wednesday at the Republican National Convention, but the White House pushed back aggressively about the veracity of his entire speech. NBC's Chuck Todd reports.

Ryan left the door open that other factors may have contributed to the factory, which produced SUVs, closing down. 

“Well, I think really what got the plant was $4 gas," Ryan said. "A lack of an energy policy, and that-- that pre-dates the Obama years. We need a better energy policy in this country.”

The seven-term Wisconsin congressman then returned to his role of campaign attack dog Thursday night when asked about the auto bailout, which President Obama pushed for and Mitt Romney opposed.

“We had a political bankruptcy and what happened is the Obama administration put themselves in the position of picking winners and losers," he said, "and I don’t think that was one in keeping with the rule of law."

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan addresses the 2012 RNC.