Ryan blames Obama for scheduled defense cuts
August 22nd, 2012
01:11 AM ET
10 years ago

Ryan blames Obama for scheduled defense cuts

West Chester, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Mitt Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan blamed President Barack Obama for insisting on “irresponsible defense cuts” during last year’s budget negotiations, which the House Budget Committee chairman, himself, helped guide and pass through Congress.

“President Obama’s reckless defense cuts that are hanging over our cloud, hanging over the horizon, could put almost 44,000 jobs at stake right here in Pennsylvania. We are not going to let that happen,” Paul said Tuesday.

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If Republicans and Democrats fail to come to a budget agreement by the end of the year, significant cuts to the Department of Defense could become a reality. Beginning in 2013, the federal government would undergo a series of budget reductions to defense and non-defense programs that would total $1.2 trillion in cuts over the next decade.

The policy came about after a congressional “super committee” failed to reach a deficit-reduction plan last year. Months earlier, Congress had voted to implement the cuts if the super committee didn’t ultimately find an agreement.

Critics point to the fact that the Wisconsin congressman—along with other House Republicans—voted for the original debt ceiling deal that put sequestration on the docket. Ryan on Tuesday defended his role in the process.

“We already passed spending cuts and other wasteful parts of government to replace those irresponsible and devastating cuts that the president, through his lack of leadership, is promising will occur,” he said. “When these budget negotiations went down the pike, the president insisted that these irresponsible defense cuts be a part of this package. Then he insisted if you want to undo them, we need a trillion dollar tax increase on successful small businesses.”

In May, Ryan co-authored an op-ed with Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Buck McKeon opposing sequestration that was created under the Budget Control Act of 2011.

“This sequester was never intended to be policy. It was meant to be something both parties wished to avoid, in order to motivate members of the supercommittee to work together. Despite a good-faith effort to avoid the sequester, the supercommittee’s negotiations broke down over fundamental differences in visions for our nation’s future,” according to the op-ed published by Real Clear Politics.

Meanwhile, Obama has also called on Congress to find a way to reach a deficit-reduction deal and thus avoid sequestration. Both parties, however, disagree on how to shrink the budget shortfall. Republicans call for spending cuts and amending the tax code (though without raising taxes), while Democrats advocate a plan that would bring in more revenue through a tax hike on the very wealthy. The debate is shaping up to became an end-of-the-year showdown on Capitol Hill.

In West Chester, his second rally of the day in Pennsylvania, Ryan talked about what’s at stake if the cuts end up taking place.

“So you either lose defense jobs in Pennsylvania or put small businesses further in a competitive disadvantage to compete in the global economy and lose small business jobs. I’ve got a good idea – why don’t we take away President Obama’s job and create jobs for everybody no matter what industry they’re in,” Ryan said.

Ryan’s spokesman, Michael Steel, followed up the speech by pointing to the congressman’s controversial budget plan, which Steel said would “replace these crippling national security cuts.”

"Chairman Ryan voted for bipartisan deficit reduction, while President Obama insisted on these irresponsible cuts to our national defense,” Steel said. “Then the President went AWOL on the campaign trail, and Chairman Ryan wrote the bill to replace these crippling national security cuts with commonsense reforms. The president is entirely responsible for cuts that his own Secretary of Defense says will 'hollow out' our Armed Forces, and will cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs."

Following the speech, Obama’s campaign responded to the remarks.

"Congressman Ryan voted for and praised the Budget Control Act. Instead of making misleading attacks on the president, he should tell his fellow Congressional Republicans and Mitt Romney to drop their refusal to ask for a single penny from millionaires and billionaires, and work with the president to achieve balanced deficit reduction to avoid these cuts he voted for and is now using to score a political point," Obama campaign spokesman Danny Kanner said in a statement.

- CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Budget • Department of Defense • Paul Ryan • President Obama
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Dawn

    I love how Ryan is ignoring the fact that President Obama would not have gotten those cuts through the house without the help of some Republicans.

    August 22, 2012 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  2. Orwell sees it, again & again

    The US military budget is almost equal to all the Combined military budgets outside the US!

    When the Joint chiefs of staff recommend cutbacks, they are blocked by the republicans.

    The republicans are hypocrite sociopaths, Ryan and Robney are their flagships.

    August 22, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  3. Darrell

    I am not sure who is the worst liar, Romney or Ryan. These dudes cannot tell the truth if their lives dependent on it.

    August 22, 2012 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  4. Thomas

    From a guy who drove the winner mobile !

    This guy an't no Eisenhower.

    What went wrong with the republican party ?

    August 22, 2012 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  5. Are you kidding

    So the GOP is ok with getting rid of the protections for the poor and middle class, but God forbid we cut defense spending. America can cut spending in defense and still be the best militarily in the world. It's funny how they agreed to the sequester but now are unhappy with it. This is just like everything else in their history, if things don't go their way they simply try to change the rules that people play by. It simply boggles the mind

    With the issue of job creation didn't this congress run on the platform of Jobs in 2010 but yet they haven't created jobs. Instead they have done everything in their power to impede progress and as Mitch McConnell said, "make this president a one term president." Even Newt "worked" with Clinton.

    August 22, 2012 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  6. MAC

    If the spending cuts occured first, I would be willing to pay more taxes, but putting cuts in 7-10 years out from a budget, is nothing but a lie like the democrats did to Reagan and HW Bush. Obama wants to not slow the growth of the Defense Budget, like CLinton he wants to make it the only department with actual cuts. If you think that Obamacare is revenue neutral because Obama cut 716 billion from Medicare, you are a fool, the democrats have all intentions to put that money back in at a later date, just like the doctor fix.

    August 22, 2012 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  7. luke,az

    Romney/Ryan the Vulture/Voucher guys want to blame President Obama for anything and everything. The looming defense cuts will be attributed to the so called super committee not coming to an agreement on how to cut 1.2Trillon from the budget. By the way, Gov Romney SHOW US YOUR TAXES !!!

    August 22, 2012 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  8. AK_steve

    So the GOP refuses the compromise and then blames the president. What else is new?

    August 22, 2012 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  9. marstomr14

    God forbid we touch defense spending to help with our current deficits. And God forbid we get leadership ON BOTH SIDES that can balance a budget. If people in this country are truly tired of the finger pointing, maybe they'll actually have the courage to vote for a third party – any third party at this point. These clowns are ridiculous and yet we keep electing the same people (and same type of people).

    August 22, 2012 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  10. J.V.Hodgson

    Now let me summarise this.
    1 Debt crisis NO tax increases.
    2) Debt level increase, US credit rating falls despite the budget act sequestration. Analysts say not enough alone.
    All of the above wiht Republican votes to get there. Democratic or Obama response:-
    A) Simpson Bowles has tax increases & spending cuts (XX a lot high number ((=spending cuts)) to I (Tax increase) ratio) but big I forget Ryan votes NO
    B) Big meet OBAMA /BOEHNER, updated offer made by Obama, Boehner says he'll try gets bashed by the house and fails by teapartiers and Ryan.
    C) Ryan produces a budget that takes all the spending and entitlement cuts of Bowles Simpson, and no of the income recommendations( i. e. Reduced taxes again for millionaires and corporates) and subseqent Republicans votes against Tax breaks for small business, and an offer to consider 28% corporate tax rate for business if loopholes closed NO

    August 22, 2012 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  11. clephas

    ... the fault of the president alone? First, the original problem was the unwillingness of the GOP to compromise when it mattered, thus resulting in that ridiculous deal that is causing us all these problems now. That caused the already left-leaning Democrats to dig in their heels (though they still offered a compromise throughout the entire mess) and the president to make speeches which were further countered by speeches from Republicans, resulting in a ridiculously long debate on the matter which resulted further in a horrible deal made at the last second that didn't solve anything.

    August 22, 2012 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  12. mike

    The big lie theory in action. The pledge the republicans took not to raise even 1 penny in taxes to the top 2% has cost America a credit downgrade and a defense cut. It's their fault so they blame Obama. Just like they blame Obama for the Bush/GOP failed policies.

    August 22, 2012 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  13. J.V.Hodgson

    This is the most arrant nonsense and lie I have heard for a long time. Shall we review his votes on Debt ceiling, budget act, Bowles Simpson( including after Obama/ Boehner meet) which Boehner could not get passed in the house and Ryan was a NO voter again, and for those that resulted in no tax hikes.
    Then he comes up with a budget of virtually all spending cuts and tax breaks to the rich but a cost to the middle class.
    ObamA comes Up with AJA and stall, stall, where's the money coming FROM ( TAXES HMPPH NO, NO) we'll take it all from a passed legisaltion of PPACA, which they failed to get deemed unconstitutional in a Republican biased SCOTUS.
    Find me the economist that says that further tax reductions and the Ryan budget are deficit neutral for the next 4years and qed therefore Debt neutral. they are not his budget dont balance either.
    He continues to tout the rich getting richer works = trickle down economics and privatises medicare in effect and in effect offers the Under 55's a voucher that will be almost worthless despite thier contributions when thay retire at 65.
    If y'all gonna vote Romney Ryan sorry I wanna Emigrate US as stayin US means I get poorer.
    In the nicest possible way No thanks!! Such a result would be FUBAR; SNAFU is not even mildly appropriate.

    August 22, 2012 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  14. W.G.

    The republicans do not give a hoot about the U.S. they´re only concerned about keeping their rich Defence
    Contracter Friends rich . Why do you think "W" Bush had us in 2 wars at the same time !

    August 22, 2012 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  15. JPNAmerican

    Do Republicans this Americans have the attention span of dogs? We remember very well last years debacle where Republicans refused to negotiate losing anything they want and expected 100% of it to come from what Democrats hold dear. That is not Bipartisan.

    August 22, 2012 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  16. Mark Baker

    The real welfare problem America has is Defense Spending. Nuff said.

    August 22, 2012 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  17. Really?

    I want a new option on ballots. Non-incumbent.

    It is clear neither democrats or republicans have any idea what this country needs, or how to get it. It is clear they are only protecting themselves and their seat at any cost to us.

    Ryan wants to not raise taxes, and not cut debt.. the leaves us with a failed government. Obama/Democrats as well won't give in on their traditional sticking points enough to find a middle ground. It is all around failure.

    Before this is over we may need another civil war to get the corrupt and self-serving out of our government.

    August 22, 2012 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  18. Bob Ramos

    What I find so offensive of Ryan's talk is that he actually voted for and praised the very measures he is now crticizing Obama for. Ryan has so little regard for the public's intelligence that he actually believes we will swallow his lies.

    August 22, 2012 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  19. dahditdah

    Who dropped the ball? Who's the big-shot in the House of Representatives (Budget Committee) who failed to move anything that would have any real chance of being approved by the necessary branches of government. They advanced nothing but far-fetched political statements disguised as legislation. Ryan is little more than another hammer-head in the wrecking crew.

    August 22, 2012 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  20. Iamnotfooled

    Paul Ryan was the Chairman of the House Budget Committee. He embraced this Budget Control Act. Why is it all President Obama's fault about the defense budget now? Why did they hold the country hostage with the debt ceiling debacle that made the country lose it's credit rating? The non- defense cuts will hurt the poor and middleclass Programs and cause more unemployment and poverty, while the rich enjoy huge tax cuts.

    August 22, 2012 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  21. Bart

    Looks like Ryan wants to keep people on the Gv't payroll while increasing the deficit. He's obviously a socialist.

    August 22, 2012 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  22. NoTags

    Ryan voted for the deal before he was against it. He's as much of a 'well oiled weathervane' as is Mitt.

    August 22, 2012 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  23. Sam

    A strong national defense requires funding. However, conservatives are protecting millionaire’s tax breaks over military spending. The same people protecting millionaire tax cuts and trying to undo the sequester, also voted for it in the first place. No one should be able to get away with that kind of hypocrisy.

    As soon as it passed, Pres. Obama made it clear: “Is this the deal I would have preferred? No,”. There is a NYT article titled: Spending Cuts Seen as Step, Not as Cure on this from August 2011. To say that this is what he wanted by design is a flat out LIE

    August 22, 2012 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
  24. Daystar

    Blame the President all you want, you can not run from your past ryan.

    August 22, 2012 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  25. fekt

    tax cuts for the wealthy has done nothing for small business. you have over 10 years of proof to the contrary. the military tax cuts were added to the budget along with cuts to democratic policies in an attempt to make you all act like adults and come ton an agreement on the next budget. now you're whining about it. because whining is what you do when you can't act like an adult. a trillion dollar tax increase on small successful business and a removing the bush era tax cuts on the wealthy is not the same thing. you want people to believe it is the same thing. but it is not.

    August 22, 2012 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
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