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. lobo joe

    Does the newly minted Defense expert know anything about the military? Does this defense expert wannabe even know what an MOS 11 or what divarty stands for. Most likely not; but he'll have no qualms about sending young men and women"......to face death in the cannon's mouth."

    August 22, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  2. Brehon

    Lyin' Ryan. What a hypocrite. RYan and his GOP thug buddies were having a Grand Old Time wrecking the nations credit rating by refusing to authorize an increase in the debt ceiling to pay for money already owed. Instead of working responsibly to address issues they continued their "everybody except for those who agree with our radical positions are traitors" extremist conduct. (See far right wing Republican candidate for US Senate Richard Mourdock: "bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.")

    This is part of the result they caused and voted for. Now "It's Obama's fault."

    Is there any hypocrisy or lie that is beneath the Grand Oily Party? Obviously, with the selection of Lyin' Ryan to the ticket, not.

    August 22, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  3. artraveler

    It is the president's fault that we, the U S House Republicans, of which I am in the leadership, can't do our job and continually must bring the country to the edge of a cliff. If the Republicans would decide that being an American was more important than being a minion of Grover Norquist or a member of the "NO" Party, then we may get the country moving again. Meanwhile, we will continue to insist that our voted for King George 2 on unfunded wars, tax cuts that weren't needed and didn't create jobs, and Medicare "D" didn't raise the national debt from $5 trillion to $11 trillion. We also believe in unicorns and know that that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow will resolve the deficit.

    August 22, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  4. obama is Out Of Touch with reality

    its true, look at our defense and soon to have 45000 more unemployed soldiers coming home to the obama economy.

    August 22, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  5. 40acres

    Just another example of how you can't take a Republican at his word. When Bush passed the tax cuts they had a sundown date. Why? Because even then everyone knew they were budget busters.....the Republicans signed off on that all the while knowing they would NOT honor that sundown date. And they were able to use hostages to make that so when the time came. Now they sign onto (and even praise) the sequestration bill knowing full well they had no real intention of following through on it. It's becoming quite obvious that the Republicans cannot be trusted....heck they don't even want to pay the bills we have already run up and certainly don't want to help get the US through these economic hard times. Patriots? No.

    August 22, 2012 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  6. gregory21

    The gop is crying because it will affect the amount of money the deffence contractors give to the lobbyist to give to them.

    August 22, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  7. David T

    Does hate spread like that of cancer; it can metastasize even distant cells? You have no clue where it will show up. It seems to spread to cells that are weak or less than healthy. Therefore, we must promote international economic, political and social ties to keep healthy cells healthy. Today we have the Internet; where every word can be read around the world, instantaneously.
    Do words from the Republicans, bashing our President, actually harm our standing across the world? They say there is leadership failure of our President, when dealing with international affairs. However,do using those words by Republicans; actually be harming our US standing across the world? So the real leadership failure are by the Republicans for using such words. Does hate spread like that off cancer, both domestically and internationally, through the use of the Internet? You have no idea where it will show up. Can our political infighting be partly contributing to the problems within Afghanistan? You be the judge. It could not hurt, if both political parties stay on the issues and not that of mudslinging, given our already unstable world....

    August 22, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  8. satx

    I bet this guy spends hours at confessional every week. No wait, that would mean he feels guilty for all the lies. This guy is a perfect match for Romney and the Republican party of no shame.

    August 22, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  9. some guy in New Hampshire

    Yes, let's listen to Ryan about national defense, him being such an expert on defense and all. Let's also ignore the fact that he's telling a distorted version of part of the story, since it was Congress who enacted these cuts - with Ryan's support. Is he now saying he used poor judgment in supporting the cuts? Or maybe nasty Obama bullied him and he caved against his better judgment? Or is he just the typical hypocritical politician lying to try to con people out of their votes?

    August 22, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  10. Reality Check

    Wait, defense cuts are about jobs? I thought it was about fiscal responsibility and national defense. Ryan seems to be saying that the government, not private capital is responsible for creating and keeping jobs.

    August 22, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  11. JimmyOhio

    Ryan – did he serve or is he another Chicken Hawk opposing spending cuts because it will cost jubs? Didn't Eisenhower warn us about the military industrial complex? I support a strong national defense but not welfare for military jobs if they are not needed.

    August 22, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  12. Whatever

    GOTP turned down the grand bargain, took us to the edge of default, worked out this system of sequestration if they were unable to deliever a deal with their group of 6, and got us a credit downgrade for their trouble....pretty clear who's responsible.

    August 22, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  13. topper

    yep it's all obamas fault, he started this war. Guess Ryan stands to lose some insider investments on some of those big named defense contractors that have been ripping off the taxpayer for the past 40 years. Paul Ryan doesn't know anything about the defense of our country.....

    August 22, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  14. Stephen in VA

    "He made us do it, and when we couldn't do our jobs he made us face the consequences. He's a TERRIBLE leader!" What a joke of a message, Ryan.

    August 22, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  15. Af

    Ryan is the most deshonest congressman, liar, policyman cheater that american people will vote for, to put in Office.

    August 22, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  16. SCAtheist

    Republicans can't tell the truthe about anything – except Rep. Aikin.

    August 22, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  17. GaryB

    Wow, either Ryan has a distored view of reality, is really ignorant of the facts, or he;'s a bald faced liar. I wonder which one it is?

    August 22, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  18. Gone

    Gee, what a jerk. Congress didn't don anything but force this by law.

    August 22, 2012 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  19. Des Moiner

    So Paul Ryan, the budget champion is complaining about deep cuts to our bloated, largely unnecessary defense budget??? I guess his pals in the defense sector and on Wall Street called to complain. After all, isn't this what he wanted? Lots of government-teat jobs eliminated.

    August 22, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  20. independent Doug

    Seems like Ryan and other politicians, whom were part of this strategy to force a consesus, don't like the fact that their plan did not work out and now are crying wolf in the form of lost jobs in regards to budget cuts, even though in some cases the military has said they don't need any more, (tanks) for example. Seems like another form of welfare, be it corporate, handed out by our politicians. If we want to reduce the debt of the country and reduce tax revenue into the government operation then all government spending has to decrease by a greater amount, otherwise the discussion of debt reduction is just a talking point with no real goal at hand. And that is why I have little faith in either side of our representation in government.

    August 22, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  21. Bob

    How does Lie'n Ryan say this with a straight face? We all know that the cuts will be the result of Repub Tea Heads not agreeing to a reasonable proposal from the President to cut spending and increase taxes. Talk about being out of touch with reality. This Tea Party member must have drunk form the Aiken well!!!!

    August 22, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  22. Grady

    i am sure that if you fact check Ryan's statements that they are "patently false"...rhetorical assumptions brought about by twisting the facts.

    August 22, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  23. Mike

    Ryan voted for the cuts and now says it was wrong????

    August 22, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  24. Jerry

    HE IS the Chief-in-Chief?, isn't HE?! Or, does the "buck" STILL stops with Mr. Bush?!

    OK, OK, Obamboozzeler supporters, chill! I am just asking...

    August 22, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  25. David

    Defense cuts?! GREAT! We already outspend the rest of the world's nations combined in defense (offense). Pretty sure we can afford some cuts. And this coming from a guy who complains the budget is too large and feeding an over wrought government. Talk about wanting it both ways... Pathetic, Ryan, pathetic.

    August 22, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
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