Ryan ramps up foreign policy attack on Obama
September 12th, 2012
01:48 PM ET
6 years ago

Ryan ramps up foreign policy attack on Obama

De Pere, Wisconsin (CNN) – Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan, speaking at a campaign event in Wisconsin, condemned the deadly attacks on U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya on Tuesday while also accusing President Barack Obama of projecting weakness abroad.

The Republican opened his De Pere town hall on Wednesday with a mention of the "disturbing" news out of the Middle East. It was his first solo question-and-answer session with voters since becoming Mitt Romney's running mate.

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He said Americans are "shocked and saddened" by the killing of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, at the U.S. mission in Libya.

Ryan called for a moment of silence, and then issued an oblique criticism of the Obama administration.

"In the face of such a tragedy, we are reminded that the world needs American leadership," he said. "And the best guarantee of peace is American strength."

It was a noticeably softer statement than the one released by the Romney campaign late Tuesday, which accused the President of sympathizing with the Cairo and Benghazi mobs who have taken to the streets to protest a crude film mocking the prophet Mohammed.

Ryan also avoided mentioning Obama by name.

Moments later, though, Ryan spoke with a sharper tone when asked how a Romney-Ryan administration would differ from Obama's in the foreign policy arena.

Ryan said it's "important that a president speak with a singular voice representing our principles and our values. We don't want people around the world wondering what our values are."

He added, "If you show weakness, if you show moral equivocation then foreign policy adventurism among our adversaries will increase. We do not want a world climate where our adversaries are so tempted to test us and our allies are worried about trusting us and that is unfortunately the path that we are on right now, and I'm really worried about that."

Ryan also went out of his way to condemn the "devastating" sequestration cuts to the defense budget.

He was referring the $500 billion in Pentagon cuts that would be triggered if a Congressional committee fails to come up with a deficit reduction deal by Jan. 2.

The Wisconsin congressman did not mention that he voted for the 2011 budget deal that put those automatic cuts in motion.

Filed under: 2012 • Foreign Policy • Paul Ryan
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Jay T

    Since Ryan said, ""In the face of such a tragedy, we are reminded that the world needs American leadership," he said. "And the best guarantee of peace is American strength." , why is he and Romney not behind Obama.?

    September 12, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. Maxx

    Keep making stuff up, Paul, it makes you look so unqualified. Are you talking about the defense cuts you voted for?

    September 12, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Thomas

    Lyin' Ryan at it again. He'll soon be recognized as the world-wide symbol of hypocrisy. When you look up "hypocrisy" in Webster's it will show a photo of Ryan.

    September 12, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. BigTBone

    Wow dude, just wow. Why don't you run your azz over there and deal with them personally, tough guy?

    You'll be there in no time with your record marathon speed. STFU and let the adults handle the big issues. Don't you have TWO campaigns to run?

    September 12, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. Bill

    Your campaign is toast.

    September 12, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. John

    Ryan and the GOP have never met a international crisis that couldn't be solved by the American military. McCain would attach Iran, Romeny says Russia is the greatest threat to the USA. Republicans are stuck in a time warp. They think that copying Reagan's foreign policy thirty years after the fact is good government.

    September 12, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. sonny chapman

    Romney/Ryan- Fearless Warriors !

    September 12, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. Not Supporting Romeny Now

    At a time when we should all stand together as Americans, this idiot wants to divide us even more. Ok – the circus was fun for a while, but we are talking serious business here and Romney and Ryan need to shut up and let the REAL POTUS and his Administration take care of business.

    I know, I know – the Obama haters will be out in true form, but I don't care. This borders on treason as far as I am concerned. No way will I be voting Republican now!

    September 12, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Hey, Paul. How about you resign from your House Seat and enlist so you can go and fight against an unknown enemy. I give you a week before you get kicked out of boot camp.

    September 12, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Indy

    If this wasn't so serious it would be hilarious to watch the Rookies,Romney and Ryan getting this so very wrong and they must be feeling their support dwindling to turn this into a hateful divisive political stunt

    September 12, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. Joan

    The Republicans might want to be more careful how they are handling the terrible tragedy in Libya. It appears that they are trying to use it to score political points and that comes off as very uncaring, self-serving and not very presidential. They could actually make the whole situation worse. So can the media if they don't handle it properly. Trying to score political gain out of a tragedy or using it to fill air time is not very professional. Everyone is watching.

    September 12, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. Leo

    Does hypocrisy mean anything Mr. Ryan? You condemn the President for the very Pentagon cuts YOU VOTED FOR!

    September 12, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. Howard

    America is supposed to be a FREE country, where ALL people have the FREEDOM to speak and express themsellves. We should be inviting the rest of the world to share in our freedoms ... but, weak fools, think we should allow Muslim thugs, kill, harm, terrorize and intimidate film makers (Theo Van Gogh), authors (Solomon Rushti), cartoonists (Kurt Westergarrd), as well as the countless people who choose a different religion, or disagree with these monsters in any other way. Unfortunately, idiots, blame the victims ... instead of the perpetrators.

    September 12, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. incredulous

    Ryan, with no foreign policy experience whatsoever, spouting meaningless drivel. Sad.

    September 12, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Nicholas

    If only politicians from both sides could have the courage to admit their mistakes publicly. It makes me feel as a young American voter that both parties are disingenuous and prey on uninformed voters.

    September 12, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. V

    If Ryan is so worried about the defense cuts, he should not have voted for the deal in the first place. Just like his big brother Romney, flip flopping all over the place. He must have been paying attention to those Bass he's been catching by hand. That's exactly what fish do once caught and on shore – flip flop around until they can't anymore. Well Mr. Ryan – you can't anymore because the American voters are watching, listening and keeping score!

    September 12, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. kakaraka

    So he voted for the automatic defense cut bill and voted for the spending bill that would prevent this and now criticizing the President for what he built himself? This guy is a total disgrace to the republican party.

    September 12, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. RealityBites

    Leading from behind in Libya, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Israel and America with nice pre-written speeches.
    Worse president ever.., statistically speaking.

    September 12, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. B.

    It is becoming increasingly obvious that the only thing that the Republicans have left to work with is attacks, with no substantive details that describe positive policy on anything.

    It is degrading rapidly now for them as they get caught in their own deceptions daily.

    Romney was a very poor choice to begin with and Ryan is just compounding the mess with his lies about his own record.
    The Republicans deserve what they get now by supporting these two charlatans.

    September 12, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Jane

    Big talk from someone who's entire 'foreign policy' experience consists of voting for the illegal war to revenge W's daddy in Iraq.

    September 12, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. BlkPwr817

    Horrible attacks on the American Embassies this morning, no doubt. But the GOP policy has always been bomb & attack whoever doesn't agree with us. He claims that this attack is a weakness on foreign policy which would only mean that the 9/11 attacks were a greater sign of weakness right? There's nothing you can do to guarantee peace in this world. And fighting more wars wont help it either...

    September 12, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    The irony and stupidity of some on the rist is astounding.

    They're the first to stand up and scream for a call to arms ! Let go to war !

    And 15 Trillion in debt ( 10 thanks to W, at least 2-3 of it from Iraq/Afghanistan ) the think war cost no money. Or lives.

    With conservatives we'll SURELY go broke,because they'll have us fighting Iran,China, Russia and all takers they don't like.

    Do any of them ever stop to hear themselves ?

    September 12, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  23. Phi Thomas

    Please tell these guys to shut up. How long did it take the president to get Bin laden ? How long did it to take Bush ? This president is tougher than any war dodger the republicans want to put in the oval office

    September 12, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. Independent Voter

    R&R campaign sounds more and more desperate each day.

    September 12, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. demwit

    Obama and Hillary did a WONDERFUL job in Libya! In and out at just the right time.
    I know.., because I read it right here on CNN!!

    September 12, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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