Vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has been forced to admit that he lied in an interview with conservative columnist Hugh Hewitt when he said that he once completed a marathon in under three hours. According to Huffington Post, Ryan’s campaign has admitted to Runner’s World magazine that the congressman’s claim to have finished a marathon in “two hours and fifty-something” minutes was a fabrication.
In a prepared statement, Ryan blamed a faulty memory of the event. He claimed to have been corrected by his brother, rather than by reporters from Runner’s World, who began asking questions about Ryan’s claim when they could not find any record of Ryan running a three-hour marathon in Wisconsin or anywhere else.
“The race was more than 20 years ago, but my brother Tobin—who ran Boston last year—reminds me that he is the owner of the fastest marathon in the family and has never himself ran a sub-three,” he said. “If I were to do any rounding, it would certainly be to four hours, not three. He gave me a good ribbing over this at dinner tonight.”
The only record of Ryan running a marathon is from the “Grandma’s Marathon” in Duluth, Minnesota in 1990, in which a Paul D. Ryan (Rep. Ryan’s middle name is “Davis.”) finished the race in just over 4 hours.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote that while the falsehood might seem trivial, “I remember the 2000 campaign, when Al Gore was constantly hounded by claims of fibbing on trivial issues — claims that, by the way, were all, as far as I could tell, fabricated. These alleged fibs supposedly showed some deep defect in his character. So if Ryan is making false claims about his physical prowess, this is absolutely fair game.”