Senate Dem leader mocks Ryan on marathon time math

September 10, 2012 - 3:51 PM
Ryan Marathin Time

FILE - In this July 31, 2012 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Reid mocked Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. for misstating his marathon time, saying the vice presidential candidate's math doesn't add up on running or budgets. Reid, who has run 15 marathons and several half marathons, opened the Senate session on Monday with criticism of Ryan, who had to correct his initial claim of running a marathon in “two hour and fifty-something” after records showed it was just over four hours. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Democratic leader mocked Republican Paul Ryan for misstating his marathon time, saying the vice presidential candidate's math doesn't add up on running or budgets.

Sen. Harry Reid, who has run 15 marathons and several half marathons, opened the Senate session on Monday with criticism of Ryan, who had to correct his initial claim of running a marathon in "two hour and fifty-something" after records showed it was just over four hours.

Reid suggested that if he took his time in the 1972 Boston Marathon — three hours, 16 minutes — and adjusted based on Ryan's approach, he would have turned in a stellar performance.

"I'd like to take a minute and apply the Ryan math to my marathon times," the Nevada senator said. "Using the Ryan math, my time would not have been a world's record, but within minutes of a world record. I could have made the Olympic team. Using Ryan math, I would have been superb. Well, Ryan math doesn't work in marathons because you know what ... you can always check someone's math and his math doesn't work for running a marathon or anything else."

Last month, Ryan told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he had run a marathon in "under three (hours), high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something."

Runner's World fact checked the time and found it was more than four hours. Ryan issued a correction.

"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," Ryan said in a statement. "If I were to do any rounding, it would certainly be to four hours, not three."

Reid said the math from Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, doesn't work for taxes or Medicare, the health care program for seniors.

"It doesn't work with anything that he's suggested or opined about. No more than his little assertion that I guess he thought no one would check it out," Reid said.

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Ryan, dismissed Reid's criticism.

"President Obama should tell his friends in Congress to focus their attention on creating jobs and stopping his devastating defense cuts," Buck said Monday.