Did Paul Ryan “borrow” story about his daughter from Kurt Cobain?

Reddit community member robcross1977 noted something odd about Paul Ryan’s story last night about how he became pro-life.

Here’s Paul Ryan during last night’s debate on how he became pro-life, and how his daughter got the nickname “Bean”:

You know, I think about 10 1/2 years ago, my wife Janna and I went to Mercy Hospital in Janesville where I was born, for our seven week ultrasound for our firstborn child, and we saw that heartbeat. A little baby was in the shape of a bean. And to this day, we have nicknamed our firstborn child Liza, “Bean.” Now I believe that life begins at conception.

And here’s Kurt Cobain’s and Courtney Love’s daughter Frances Bean Cobain on how she got the name “Bean” twenty years ago:

Frances Bean Cobain was born at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and was immediately anointed the world’s newest rock princess. Her parents were two of the biggest rock stars on the planet and her godfather is R.E.M frontman Michael Stipe. Kurt Cobain named his daughter after Frances McKee, the guitarist for The Vaselines, and gave her the middle named Bean because he thought she resembled a kidney bean on the ultrasound. Unfortunately, Frances never really got to know her father; he shot himself to death when she was just 20 months old.

Ryan is reportedly a Nirvana fan, the band that Kurt Cobain started and starred in. We’re to believe this is just a coincidence? Maybe.  Or maybe Paul Ryan plagiarized the story about his daughter?

What’s more likely is that Ryan named his daughter Bean because Cobain named his daughter Bean. But that wouldn’t have made a very good right-wingy story, for Ryan to explain that he named his kid after a grunge rock star who killed himself. Or even to say that the name was inspired by Cobain. So, better to borrow Cobain’s story and not even mention it.

Keep in mind that while it’s entirely possible that Paul Ryan had his “Bean” experience without knowing of Cobain’s, Ryan has a history of making up personal stories to embellish his image.  There was the time he claimed he climbed 40 of the Rocky Mountains.  Or the time he claimed to have run a marathon under three hours.  From an interview Paul Ryan did with conservative blogger Hugh Hewitt:

Yeah, fast is one way of putting it.

And who can forget Ryan’s claim to have 6% body fat.  Or Ryan’s claim to have six studies proving that Mitt Romney’s tax cuts for the wealthy won’t break the bank (most of the “studies” were in fact blog posts).

When you consider the source, it’s a valid question to ask whether anything Paul Ryan says is credible.

So, even Paul Ryan’s most intimate part of the debate, talking about his Catholicism and abortion beliefs, might be phony.

PS Not to mention, so was Paul Ryan pro-choice before he “saw” his daughter as a bean?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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