Ryan delves into Middle East policy in Virginia
August 17th, 2012
09:17 PM ET
2 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. J.V.Hodgson

    Suddenly he knows anything and everything about Middle east and Israel/ USA diplomacy needs and strategy and people like Tony Blair have spent years on ensuring israels existnce and some kind of peaceful solution. All he offer is what all Republicans do the belligerent threat of war.... and that is an automatic right to believer of Islam to defend the faith by Jihad
    Typical republican behaviour. Do not listen to or compromise with the other side just spout ideology and if you dont like it we will go to war. Romney anf ryan have no idea of the meaning of diplomacy,,, they will simply either get us into new wars and continue indefinitely existing wars. the middle class will pay both in terms of human treasure particularly and by cuts to spending for the needy or not setting taxes at levels needed to fund the wars.
    By the way you think the threat( or reality even worse) of war against Iran reduces oil prices!?
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    August 18, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  2. Marry

    "There will be no daylight between America and our friends around the world."
    Well, when a Romney travels the world, even stanch allies take of their shoes ready to throw…! What careless morons the GOP are – all in the name of profit do they chase YOUR kids off to war when there is some disagreement to teach “them” how to believe in peace through strength! Ever heard about “de-escalation” or “diplomacy” or “negotiation”? Oh, that is right; Ryan comes from a Congress with a 10% approval rating! What a primitive, stone-aged bunch the GOP has become on every topic!!

    August 18, 2012 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  3. Dalfrom CA

    So the REpugs will start another unpaid war with IRAN now if they win the election.

    August 18, 2012 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  4. tee1227

    I just don`t know how anyone can vote for Mitt and this guy all they do is lie. like this Paul Ryan Got Federal Funds To Help With Bush-Era GM Plant Closure He Blames On Obama.

    August 18, 2012 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  5. Aru

    Ryan has proven he is just a say anything liar.
    Anything he says now is meaningless.

    August 18, 2012 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  6. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Keep talkin Alfalfa. This guy has been taking on water for a week now. Mitt the twit has been sinking since his trip overseas. They are liars who are not qualified for the White house. McCain/Palin 2012.

    August 18, 2012 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  7. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    Words are wind. Bombs kill. Attack iran. Vote gopt.

    August 18, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  8. ED FL

    This clown doesn't even know what the mid east means or where it is Physically located.

    August 18, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Hey altar boy munster, it's not going to work. The AARP has your number. This is a ploy to bring up a subject that it's dead before arrival to take away all the focus on everything that is wrong with the twit bishop.
    It aisn't gonna work. We already know what a flip flopping lying fool the bishop is and nowy ou are dong the same thing. Spinning your budget with lies or half truths.
    I see that you can't get those crowds coming in like the President does. Poor altar boy.

    August 18, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  10. Indy

    "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."

    Must be all that time Mitts was hiding in France that he became such a feared leader around the world. Adversaries would think twice ? The only fear around the world is that Romney gets elected and sells out the middle class for a nickel.

    August 18, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  11. Pete

    Yah,a guy that speaks publicly of foriegn policy but when asked while in congress he said he didn't care of foriegn policy or security,he's in congress who cares.Never been out of this country,except to maybe vacation,Romney been out just to raise money,no policy experience either,two peas in a pod,two elitist losers..The president bringing back soldiers and these too want to expand defense,we have the most powerful military on earth and they want bigger,sounds like two egotistical guys who want the biggest in everything ,is that for government too,republicans are good for that too right,just ask that republican moron Bush,he knows!!!And are we going to another war with these two,if elected,nobody knows,its scarey isn't it!!!

    August 18, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  12. enuff

    Yes it is time to beat the drums of war. Is there another repoert of WMDs? And how do they propose PAYING for another war? Oh, yeah... they'll gut medicare. I forgot.

    August 18, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
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