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. awaker

    I'm surprised he had any time to write a bill since all his focus is on rape.

    August 22, 2012 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  2. Geoff

    Paul Ryan is the petulant little child here. The entire GOP is composed of whining babies who want to keep eating cake and not have to eat their vegetables. Grow up for a change and put your country first for a change! How hard is it to understand that you don't bring money in by cutting the revenue streams. Duh! How stupid they are, or maybe they think we are! Tea party people may as well burn the Stars and Stripes. They are un-American and resemble the Taliban and al Qaida more than they do patriots.

    August 22, 2012 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  3. jacksays

    well this is easy enough to circumvent, Mr. Ryan: bi partisan compromise and cooperation between the parties instead of the Republican party simply saying 'no'.

    Personally, i think ALL of congress needs tossed out, term limits put in place, and a whole new congress elected "of the People, by the People and for the People".

    People... seems to be the thing missing from our current congress.

    August 22, 2012 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  4. Sarah

    Now Ryan is blaming Obama for a plan that Ryan and other House Republicans put through? Oh, brother.

    August 22, 2012 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  5. ghost

    Typical repug's. Do something and then try to blame the President for that action. So what's new. OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    August 22, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  6. Michael

    Ryan/Romney have no credibility. They contradict themselves almost daily.

    Neither Ryan nor Romney have any foreign policy experience to stand behind so I do not believe any thing they say on this issue or any other for that matter.

    August 22, 2012 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  7. Don

    Mini Mitt!!! How can we take you seriously any more? It is your GOP that walks out of negotiations. Remember?

    August 22, 2012 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  8. runner305

    Yet another Romney-Ryan deception. Should I even be surprised at this point?! Obama 2012!

    August 22, 2012 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  9. Super Gus

    It's Harry Reid's fault.

    August 22, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  10. Ronnie

    Yet another idiotic comment from Ryan...
    Where was he when 300,000 teaching jobs were cut ????
    Where was he when thousands of fire fighting jobs were cut ???
    Where was he when the house approved sequestration ???

    August 22, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  11. Marry

    ….Paul Ryan blamed President Barack Obama for insisting on “irresponsible defense cuts” during last year’s budget negotiations…
    A little info on that?
    The 2009 U.S military budget accounts for approximately 40% of global arms spending. The 2012 budget is 6-7 times larger than the $ 106 billions of the military budget of China, and is more than the next twenty largest military spenders combined. The US and its close allies are responsible for two-thirds to three-quarters of the world’s military spending (of which, in turn, the U.S. is responsible for the majority. Military spending in the US makes up over 20% of the US federal spending.
    So this is not enough? How high does Paul Ryan want “defense spending” to go? Would it not be nice to have jobs that DO something to benefit the people directly? Like infrastructure? Education? Healthcare? Or perhaps… Oh, never mind!

    August 22, 2012 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  12. Lip Service - nothing more

    OK republicans; so you have claimed for the past four years that Obama is a big waster and spender. Now, you claim he's cutting back on something you cannot deny is very expensive to run, and you still complaining. Yet you have absolutely NO plan yourselves. So which one is it; Is Obama a big spender? or Cutting spending? Make up yor minds.

    It is August 22 and we have not heard from Romney nor Ryan about their grandious plan to "take America back". Again, it is your job to to convince me to vote for you, NOT to prove me how horrible Obama has been; I've been listening to that for four almost four years. WHAT IS YOUR PLAN?

    P.S. Your name calling will not answer my questions. I will still ask them until November, which I suspect I will not get an EDUCATED answer.

    August 22, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |

    hullo there, ithink that they should hold this matter with care despite their opposition sides to ressolve it.

    August 22, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  14. johnmenacherjr

    Oh for gods sake Obama has been blamed for everything in creation! From plagues to plaque. Get over it and get on with things besides the usual doom and gloom!. I dont think I have EVER seen soo many faces plastered on TV in my life and I though our recall was bad. Things are what they are and not as we have seen them portrayed. My life although difficult is actually pretty good no matter what the GOP says. And just remember unless you are a magician in woll underwear you cant run anything without a income so we need to pay using taxes even on the preciuos dancing horse. 32 times bills have been entered for getting rid of Obama care and still not one jobs bill hows that going GOP stoodges?

    August 22, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  15. Please Grow Up

    I believe the congressman appears to have such thick hair because he is an expert at splitting same.

    August 22, 2012 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  16. Tom

    We don't need 11 super carriers.
    Start cutting

    August 22, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  17. Bren

    Paul Ryan missed the opportunity to highlight another very important issue....Obama's plans to increase the costs of the military's health care plans. You know, the question that Obama dodged and refused to answer-when he was asked about it during a radio interview in Virginia!!

    August 22, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  18. yeah right

    This is funny, they are the one that wanted the cuts in order for them to raise the debt ceiling. Only under this President. No other President in America History had to face such a stupid congress.

    August 22, 2012 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  19. Steve

    Seems to me both parties dropped the ball on budget cuts but only the President is responsible. Come on Paul, people have memories as well as brains. We are not as stupid as you believe us to be.

    August 22, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  20. carly

    Ryan is a right wing loser. His old world view will just keep increasing the deficit. Defense cuts must be on the table if we are ever going to reduce the deficit.

    August 22, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  21. Papersbrim

    Ryan right there with Akins so out of touch lets give more tax cuts to the rich so they can bank more cash send it over seas and laugh at you with Ryan behind your back! Thanks but no thanks Paul Ryan not my vote!

    August 22, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  22. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    I love the hypocrisy card played here. These so-called deficit hawks attack the welfare state, except in the obvious cases where the welfare state benefits their well-heeled constituents. Don't you dare raise taxes a penny on the super rich and don't you dare even think about cutting a dime from defense. Is there a bigger corporate welfare program than the incredibly bloated defense budget? Under the hypocritical oath taken by the Ryans of the world, the welfare state is purely about food stamps, unemployment benefits, social security safety nets and health care costs for the poor and middle class. If more Americans would stop listening to the conservative echo chambers of talk radio and Fox "News" and stop voting against their self-interests, this argument would be over. Ooops, there I go again, over-estimating the intelligence of my dear fellow Americans.

    August 22, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  23. bellenoitr

    Why doesn't Ryan blame Bush for the wars he got us into that we didn't have to get into? Put the blame where it belongs, not on someone trying to fix up 8 yrs of Republican stupidity.

    August 22, 2012 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  24. DL

    700+ military bases around the world, more spent on military than the top 15 nations combined, a huge standing army/navy... no that's NOT enough – we need MORE! And we wonder why our economy sux? What's with these Rep 1dj10ts?

    August 22, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  25. thinkifyoucan

    Yes, let's blame the President for a legislative issue. Afterall, the President is part of which branch of the federal government? Oh yeah, thats right, Congress is the Legislative Branch while the President is the head of the Executive Branch. Mr. Ryan, you can't have it both ways. Also, raising the effective tax rate to the mid 1990's level is not going to raise taxes on the "successful" SMBs like what you and your GOP friends imply. Most SMBs that are "Successful", meaning they create an income of 250K or more, are not taxed by the individual income tax. Only 2% of the SMBs that make over 250K file as SPs/Individual people. Plus, the SMBs created more jobs in the Clinton Years than they ever did in under the leadership of President Bush.

    PS. I work for a defense contractor so the sequestration would likely cost me my job. Keep that in mind if you imply any bias in my comments. The reason I am a democrat is thoughtout, not because I am anti-republican. 5 years from now, I am likely to support a budget like Ryan's.

    August 22, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
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