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.