Ryan delves into Middle East policy in Virginia
August 17th, 2012
09:17 PM ET
6 years ago

Ryan delves into Middle East policy in Virginia

(CNN) – Mitt Romney's newly minted running mate Rep. Paul Ryan waded into Middle East policy for the first time on Friday in Virginia, affirming the Republican ticket's support for Israel following reports that Iran's president called the United States' ally a "cancerous tumor."

"Let me be really clear. Under President Romney, our adversaries will think twice about challenging America and our allies because we believe in peace through strength," said Ryan. "There will be no daylight between America and our friends around the world."

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The presumptive Republican presidential nominee also responded to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's statement at a fund-raiser in New York state.

"You might not have seen the news today, but Ahmadinejad of Iran made another series of vile statements about Israel and excising Israel from the body of humanity and so forth," said Romney in Southampton. "You recognize how critical it is to have leadership that describes precisely what it believes, describes what action it is willing to take and stands for something."

Romney added, "We simply cannot allow the horrors of history to go forgotten. And America must lead, as Lech Walesa said, as Bibi Netanyahu is doing in his nation, as America must do."

Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman from Wisconsin, became Romney's running mate six days ago and since then, he's spent three of those days in Virginia campaigning in the critical battleground state.

In the Northern Virginia suburb of Springfield, Ryan continued to defend his stance on Medicare and called out President Barack Obama for using the entitlement program "like a piggy bank."

"We want this debate on Medicare. We want this debate, we need this debate and we are going to win this debate," he said, repeating a refrain attacking Obama for reducing the Medicare budget by $716 billion to pay for his signature health care initiative, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"There's only one on Medicare, only one person who treated Medicare like a piggy bank and that's President Obama who took $716 billion dollars from that program to create Obamacare," added Ryan, pointing to the president's signature health care initiative, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The Republican criticism of apparently references a July report by the Congressional Budget Office which said a repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would result in a $716 billion increase in Medicare costs through 2022. But the report also says that Medicare will not lose $716 billion should Obamacare stay in place, as Romney claimed in his ad.

Republicans and Democrats have been battling to win the message war over the airwaves and on the campaign trail since Romney's vice presidential announcement of Ryan, who is the author of the Republican budget proposal that includes reforms to partially privatize Medicare.

Underscoring Virginia's importance, Ryan was introduced as Romney's running mate in Norfolk, Virginia on Saturday, August 11. Romney and Ryan campaigned together last weekend but Ryan has spent the week campaigning on his own in battleground states of Iowa, Ohio and Virginia.

In Northern Virginia Friday, Ryan shared the stage with former four-term Democratic Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama - a 2008 Obama campaign co-chair who this year switched to the Republican Party and has become an outspoken Romney surrogate - as well as state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican is running for Virginia governor in 2013.

The Romney campaign awkwardly stepped into the heated 2013 governor's race when Romney endorsed Cuccinelli's rival, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, during a campaign stop with Ryan last weekend. Romney later walked back his apparent endorsement, and an aide said the presidential candidate "wants to see a Republican as governor of Virginia, he has not endorsed in the primary."

At West Springfield High School, an audience member interrupted Ryan at the beginning of his remarks.

The person, who was to the right of the stage below a huge Romney-Ryan sign, shouted a question asking why the seven term congressman lied about accepting stimulus funds from the Obama administration.

Ryan acknowledged the heckler but didn't say anything as the demonstrator proceeded to rip up a Romney-Ryan campaign sign. At one point the heckler gave a thumbs down sign, and as he was drowned out by event supporters chanting "USA," Ryan weighed in with a thumbs up before the man left the room.

Ryan, who was a harsh critic of the Obama administration's 2009 stimulus package, originally denied requesting stimulus funds, but has since said that his office supported stimulus grant requests on behalf of nonprofit groups in his Wisconsin congressional district.

Since Romney's announcement of Ryan as his vice presidential pick last Saturday, Ryan has been heckled twice by audience members at campaign events. In Ryan's first solo speaking debut as the vice presidential candidate, which took place the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, several fair attendees heckled him and even tried to get onto the stage.

This was Ryan's second campaign event in Virginia Friday, following a visit to a high school in Henrico County - a key battleground that went for Obama by only 679 votes in 2008. Ryan's afternoon event took place in Fairfax county - where Obama won 60% of the vote in 2008.

Virginia, once thought to be a Republican stronghold, has become a battleground state in the current election. In 2008, Obama bested Sen. John McCain in Virginia by 6 points in the general election but the race remains close this time around.

According to a Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News survey released earlier this month, 49% of likely voters in Virginia said they supported the president, while 45% favored Romney. The president's four point advantage was within the survey's sampling error.

Filed under: 2012 • Paul Ryan • Virginia
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. beau

    The Ryan choice is EXCELLENT
    Ryan has the courage to challenge Big socialist government programs like Social Security and Medicare.
    Politicians have been deathly afraid to challenge senior citizens on Social Security and Medicare because they are such a powerful voting block
    But Senior Citizens have been feeding at the government trough for too long.
    It's time Seniors learned that nothing is "Free" and that WELFARE FOR THE ELDERLY is no different from welfare for the poor.
    American seniors are just going to have to learn to save their money and rely on themselves in their old age.
    It's time to end the two biggest socialist programs in the federal government....MEDICARE and SOCIAL SECURITY.
    And the Romney/Ryan team is the ones to do it.
    You are going to pay your way now old people, no more free lunch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

    August 17, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    And to prove it, they'll go to war with Iran to protect Israel.

    No thanks.

    August 17, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  3. n

    Another chicken hawk . . . : (

    August 17, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  4. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    The GOP solution: Start a war with Iran (totally unfunded of course). Then get the poor people to fight/die in the war while giving the rich people "no bid contracts". Thus killing two GOP birds with one stone. Then use Iran's oil to pay for the war. And when the war is over, Iran will sell us cheap oil!! Just like Iraq!!!!! Oh wait..........never mind.

    August 17, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  5. ron

    "Let me be really clear. Under President Romney, our adversaries will think twice about challenging America and our allies because we believe in peace through strength,"
    REALLY? Are his sons suddenly going to enlist in the US military and go to war?? That's a cool idea, but I'd think you are LYING again!

    August 17, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  6. Jerubbaal

    Back to the Bush/Cheney foreign policy I see. Now I know why he voted for 2 unfunded wars and is willing to outsource US foreign policy to Bibi. It's not there kids who are going to die fighting another country's war but ours. It's always easier being the chickenhawk when you don't have any skin in the game.

    August 17, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  7. Jeettu

    All these statements come from those who have made no foreign policy decision in their lives and have no idea as to what it takes to win in the international arena. Ryan wants us to believe that by saying words he can win in foreign policy when he has no experience or concept of it is absolutely mind boggling. He has no idea that words in the international arena don’t mean much. This is their way to entice the Jews in this country and make them vote for them when in reality they know that Obama administration’s policy towards Iran is the same as that of Romney as is evidenced by Romney’s speech in Israel.

    On the top of all this, both Romney and Ryan are lying to the American people about the President taking away $716 billion from Medicare. He has not taken even a single penny from it. Rather, he has insisted that no current benefits be decreased and cost decreased. The amount of $716 billion is the savings by reducing waste and holding the providers and insurers more responsible and cost reducing measures adoption. In contrast, Romney/Ryan plan would increase the out-of-pocket cost to the retirees by $6,400 per person now and in the future it will curtail Medicare for those 55 and below at present and eventually Medicare will end leaving people themselves to take care of themselves in old age when they cannot afford.

    Now, you make an informed decision by finding out the truth away from all the republican propaganda, hype and lies and then decide what is best for you and your elders and youngers. Then vote democratic in November elections to ensure that our future is protected.

    August 17, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |

    From Draft Dodging to War Mongering Mitt Romney is George W. Bush

    Mitt Romney was in favour of the war in Vietnam, but was too chicken
    tofight in it. He had his little pro war sign, and was happy to
    seeother people be sent and get killed, but wouldn't go himself

    like father like son

    while the middle and lower class of America sent their sons and daughters off to war during the past 10 years NOT EVEN ONE of these 5 Romney son’s (all who were of military service age) served their nation during that time frame. No, not even one!

    Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and now Romney along with the rest of the CHICKENHAWKS never have a problem sending other people's children to war.

    Will any of Mitt's 5 sons be involved in this future "war"?

    August 17, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  9. Mike in Texas

    Ryan and Romney are mental midgets when it comes to Foreign Policy. Every minute they spend on talking about is a gain for Obama. Only the Obama haters will give the edge to these guys.

    August 17, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  10. redleg56

    You mean the same Mitt Romney who made it clear that he would not hunt down Osama bin Laden? The same Romney who hid behind his church to avoid Vietnam? And form the same Ryan who could have served in some capacity against Saddam, the Warsaw Pact or al Qaeda - and CHOSE not to? Before God and man I call you both out as cowards and liars. I await your seconds if you any remnants of either manhood or honor.

    August 17, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  11. Thomas

    Thats all we need , a young inexperianced vice president with no foreign policy background acting like a hawk .

    Please Congressman . Remember how you followed GW Bush into a very costly war based on bad intelligence !

    August 17, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  12. Matt

    The 'through strength' statement of Mitt's is a Reagan line. Reagan condemned israel doing a pre-emptive bombing in '81. So did Thatcher. Really disgusting to have such submissive Gentiles, neither Zionist by creed, getting so far in U.S. politics.

    August 17, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  13. ObamaCares

    Watch out Americans, we're in for another war with these people in charge.

    August 17, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |

    Republicans have no credability on any issue especially Medicare which they are trying to defund with their voucher scam .the republican bs party needs to be destroyed in Nov along with the tax cheat romney and the 60,000 bribe he took in wis that he had to return to the casino scamer because of a federal investagation in wisconsin.

    August 17, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  15. hkjbvffghj

    ryan can screw up anything anyplace and will ryan should go back to kindergarden

    August 17, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  16. Just who are our friends?

    So far the only country that Mitt and Ryan have called a "friend" is Isreal. China is an enemy, Russia is an enemy, Iran is an enemy, Cuba is an enemy. They would like to be friends with England, but they keep insulting the conservative government. They like Poland and can't believe that a Union Worker actually became President there. So many countries to hate and only one to protect.

    August 17, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  17. Larry L

    Ahhh.... another "chicken-hawk" who has no fear of a war with Iran because he will not serve – nor will his family. Romney also talks big about our military might yet he dodged the draft with his "mission" – living large in France while our Soldiers died in Vietnam. None of Romney's sons will serve but he's "ready for war". He won't even show us his taxes but wants us to give him our children for a war we are not prepared to fight – after the last Republican's screw-up. No deal.

    August 17, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  18. Larry L

    It seems Romney choose somebody with the same preference for lying when the truth would be easier. He also appears to be a chicken-hawk ready for a war he won't fight. He won't let Americans see his taxes... This professional politician is just another lap-dog for the rich – who plans to kill Medicare.

    August 17, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  19. vic , nashville ,tn

    In 2002 October 8 Paul Ryan said Saddam Hussein have WMD , Did we find WMD in Iraq No

    August 17, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  20. SafeJourney

    If Mitt and Ryan are elected, they will guarantee America will be in another war.

    August 17, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  21. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    Yes.....lets go to war in Iran now, dig billion or trillion dollar hole,tank the economy even WORSE and then blame it on the next Democratic president.

    I mean thats what republicans do right ?

    I mean Obama did start TWO billion dollar plus wars, cut taxes for the WEALTHIEST and start a unpaid medicare program right ?

    I'll be waiting for some of you bright and smart conservatives to weigh in.......

    August 17, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  22. Ryan/Romney Kill Medicare Team 2012

    Bless Paul Ryan little Ayn Rand heart. Ryan talking tough but didn't enlist to fight in no wars. Ayn Rand didn't believe in fighting wars also. Paul Ryan = The Omen

    August 17, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  23. stephen

    Republicans have conspired to obstruct everything Obama and the Dems were trying to do to help this country recover from the recession. Obama has been non partisan. Republicans drew a line in the sand. The facts very easily show this. Obama isnt the one lying. Mitt Romney and Paul and Reince Priebus and Rush Limbaugh and every turd on Fox News are the ones doing the lying. Obama has not illegally bypassed congress. You really are showing how uneducated you are pertaining to how our govt works. Grow up and Wake up. You are spreading false information

    August 17, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  24. jaimie

    Romney and Ryan........... Laurel and Hardy of the 21st century

    August 17, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  25. pocahonus

    well look at who's doing the finger pointing? or is it a stick in the mud?

    August 18, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
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