September 12th, 2012
08:29 PM ET
8 years ago

Ryan sharpens Obama foreign policy attack in Ohio

Owensville, Ohio (CNN) - In the second of his two campaign appearances Wednesday, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan sharpened his critique of President Obama’s handling of the unfolding crises in Egypt and Libya.

“The administration sent mixed signals to those who attacked our embassy in Egypt, and mixed signals to the world,” Ryan told an outdoor crowd in Owensville, Ohio, in the heart of deep red Clermont County. “I want to be clear; it is never too early for the United States to condemn attacks on Americans, on our properties, and to defend our values. That’s what leadership is all about.”

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Ryan, reading off notes, said the administration’s policies “project weakness abroad” and segued to a broader offensive against Obama’s foreign policy record.

“Undercutting allies like Israel, outreach to enemies like Iran, national security leaks and devastating defense cuts,” he said. “A weak America breeds insecurity and chaos around the world. The best guarantee of peace is American strength. And peace through strength will be the Romney/Ryan foreign policy of this country.”

Those were tougher words than the ones he delivered in Green Bay earlier in the day, when he referenced the president indirectly.

“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 said in Wisconsin.

Ryan’s GOP ticket mate, presidential nominee Mitt Romney, harshly criticized the president for not taking a harder line against the mobs that attacked the diplomatic missions in Cairo and Benghazi. In Libya, the violence left four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens dead.

Other Republicans have been reluctant to embrace Romney’s line of attack – and some in the party have even chided Romney for using such heated language against the commander-in-chief in a moment of crisis.

But Ryan’s tough talk Wednesday is yet another sign that the campaign is not backing down from its blunt message.

Ryan was speaking on an outdoor stage surrounded by American flags and nearly 3,000 supporters who showed up to see Romney’s running mate campaign in southwest Ohio – and catch a free concert by country singer John Michael Montgomery.

That’s more than double the number of people who came to see Romney campaign in northeast Ohio on Monday.

Ryan was introduced by the state’s Republican governor, John Kasich, who touted the state’s job gains since 2009 and exclaimed: “Ohio is rocking!”

Kasich also had some words of praise for the political spouses who came to the rally-the wives of Kasich, Ryan and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman. He extolled their domestic skills.

“You know, Jane Portman, Karen Kasich, and Janna Ryan, they operate an awful lot of the time in the shadows,” he said. “It’s not easy to be a spouse of an elected official. You know, they’re at home, doing the laundry and doing so many things while we’re up here on the stage getting applause, right? They don’t often share in it. And it is hard for the spouse to hear the criticism and to put up with the travel schedule and to have to be at home taking care of the kids. And where is the politician? Out on the road.”

Also see:

- With attacks in Middle East, campaign turns to foreign policy

- Romney's political pretzel over Libya

- Democrats outraged with Romney foreign policy attacks

- Ryan ramps up foreign policy attack on Obama

Filed under: 2012 • Libya • Mitt Romney • Ohio • Paul Ryan
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Kathy

    Wow, can you say clueless, shameful and very very frightening.

    September 12, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  2. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, B.A., J.D., S.P.J.

    Mixed signals? We are not exactly sure who is responsible. When we do figure out who is responsible should we do like Paul Ryan wants and make a stupid bombastic speech first, or kill them first, and then talk about it? Or should we threaten all Muslims, or something equally moronic. A foreign policy that reacts to hostile action with vacant hostile speech isn't worth a bucket of warm spit. It doesn't really much matter what Paul Ryan says. My mom is 75 and on Social Security and Medicare. She and all of the other seniors who vote would rather vote for a dead dog than Paul Ryan and his $6,500 Medicare Voucher requiring seniors to pay an additional $6,500 to get current Medicare coverage.

    September 13, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  3. dm nash

    ....all this from the guy who claimed he had more foreign affairs experience than Obama (Obama also served on foreign affairs committee before he was Pres.) because he voted to send the troops, attended a few funerals of soldiers and went on a political junket to the MiddleEast. Somehow he forgot to mention he listened to Led Zeps' "Kashmir" too as experience. This was weak answer he gave on Face the Nation last weekend....and now he and Romney have gone on to prove they really don't get it.
    For starters, maybe the message in that film are "their" values – but they are definitely not those of the majority of Americans and most definitely not mine – regardless of free speech.
    It is no suprise that among the backers of the film is supposed Rev. Terry Jones (whose Koran burning caused 12 deaths in retaliation) and a coward filmmaker and convicted white collar criminal who further incites hate by then hiding behind his claim to be Israeli American which turned out to be false but now will result in hate crimes against Jews.. The backers of the film are known to the Southern Poverty Law Center as active in militia and hate groups. They are also Coptic Christians.
    These are the types of religious zealots that cause me to draw the "red line" with the GOP and their Tea Party buddies they "pal around with". Not only do they not understand that our constitution also states "freedom FROM religion" in equal measure but continue to shove it into everybodys lives at every turn and act equally radical in "their" beliefs as any of these MiddleEast radical factions. They fear their world changing what with the rainbow of people that make up and make great our United States...just as Romney & Ryan when on the ropes speak & act without thinking or having full knowledge of the situation out of fear of losing control. Most of all they have shown little consideration for our troops overseas already and now they make statements that put many in danger that are serving our country.
    Neither of them are Presidential material – period. Reckless and careless always.

    September 13, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  4. dm nash

    btw – don't get too flatered Ryan....the increase of the crowd was not about you (or Romneys' plan) ...I am quite sure they were there for the John Michael Montgomery concert.

    September 13, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  5. Reggie from LA

    ...and Ryan is part of the GOP brain trust. No wonder we are where we are. Ryan is one of their stars, but has limited depth. Like Romney, he's always wanted to rise to supreme power. Not because of what they can do for us in higher office, but what they can do for themselves and their super wealthy handlers. A sad commentary on us for buying into THEIR plans for a dream come our own expense.

    September 13, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  6. Thomas

    Ryan is a paper punching burocrat with no sense of foreign policy .

    Read me more from a script Paul !

    September 13, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  7. MrManhattan

    Just what the world needs: More "shoot from the hip" morons in the White House!

    September 13, 2012 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  8. AK_steve

    I can't believe these guys are doubling down on their false criticism. Romney was even criticized by his own party. But instead of showing some humanity and unity, they double down with their misleading lies.

    These guys have no scruples. It is disgusting.

    September 13, 2012 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  9. Razorking

    "We don't want people around the world wondering what our values are,” he said in Wisconsin"

    We know what your values are buddy, just have to read or listen to Ayn Rand – nutjob

    September 13, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  10. Tom

    It would be appropriate if you actually knew what the facts are before holding your breath and stomping your feet. Romney and Ryan are pathetic.

    September 13, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  11. Mike

    Nice to see that a free concert comes with every Ryan visit. Will the wives be baking cookies too?

    September 13, 2012 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  12. Ray

    "... it is never too early for the United States to condemn attacks on Americans...", even if they haven't happened yet? Their campaign is desperate.

    Ryan also states that "it is important the president speak with a singular voice..." Well perhaps Misters Romney and Ryan ought to allow that to happen and keep their mouths shut until the full story becomes clear. There will be plenty of time for them to Monday-morning-quarterback after the crisis.

    September 13, 2012 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  13. The Left Wing

    How can people say Romney doesn't think things through on foreign policy?
    Wasn't going to Britain on the eve of the Olympics and saying they weren't ready thinking things through?
    Wasn't going to Israel, inviting supports to a fund raiser, and doing it on a holy day thinking things through?
    Wasn't going to Poland and having an aid curse at a friendly reporter about being respectful in a holy place thinking things through?
    Wasn't shooting your mouth off about a serious foreign problem while Americans were dying and all the facts were not known thinking things through?
    Gosh, I guess he really doesn't think things through! It appears that Ryan is willing to following in Romney's thoughtless footsteps.

    September 13, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  14. The Left Wing

    I believe Obama will hunt the killers down. I believe Romney/Ryan will spew a lot of foul hot air.

    September 13, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  15. hebbron

    Mr. Ryan should have stopped at the end of the condolences and requests for prayer. Out of respect for our fellow Americans who lost their lives, and their families, campaign speeches and criticism of our President, should be withheld until these Americans are buried. Campaign bickering shows disrespect and insensitivity during this period of national mourning. The actions of candidates representing "family values", talk the talk, but certainly do not walk the walk. Mind your manners, sirs.

    September 13, 2012 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  16. J.V.Hodgson

    Ig nore the facts rabble rouse the war mongers 9 A war any war we cannot afford beat the drum and rattling the saber.. to what end?
    It was the idiots in America who made this stupid film religiously bigoted film that caused the problem... what happened to others religious freedoms especially those of muslims.
    Grow up the war on teror exists because we constantly fight islamic states, and the numbrs of extremist terrorist will continue to grow so long as we do and make it worse by allowing religious bigotry to be publicly circulated. preaching against it in church or in th mosque is fine provided neither side uses violence.
    If romney and ryan think this is showing foreign policy and diplomacy i want America to follow they ned to think again.
    Obama's response was measured and appropriate withi what is the war on terror re libya. Egypt is a riot and and pinprick by salafaist extremists even mors wants to shut up. Lumping the two together as the same generic problem is not only naiive but stupid.

    September 13, 2012 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  17. 4mayhem

    Its beginning to look like the current Administration has no forethought to even consider that on 9/11 that all U.S. Embassies should have been on alert or provided the proper security for our citizens abroad. Another reason we will be voting them out in November. At least someone in the the current administration had the fortitude to speak up and send two Navy war ships to that area. Ryan and Romney should still take this stance and get ready for the debates on this issue.

    September 13, 2012 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  18. steven harnack

    Well it didn't take him very long to get his talking points memo, eh? That seems to be their pattern for the campaign. Say something that proves to be a lie or is just plain dumb , and then spend days obfuscating, trying to explain why they didn't say whatever it was that they said, and if that fails, just blame Obama in a general way, and then refuse to answer questions. Above all never admit that you might have been mistaken, just deny, deny, deny.

    September 13, 2012 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  19. Flosy

    This is the exact same thing Romney said word for word. Good lord, they can't even come up with a different statement.

    September 13, 2012 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  20. jobiwan

    Obama is going to start another war just before the election. The bad news is its going to lead to ww3. The good news is that Romney wins.

    September 13, 2012 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  21. Name lee

    This is not the correct way. Please, let the correct president do his job. Also, stop saying "take back America". That's is talking race. So, if you want WWIII, vote for R & R. Wake up people.

    September 13, 2012 04:00 am at 4:00 am |
  22. mark delk

    so its americas principles to degrade the muslim god and start riots and get people killed wow keep talking ryan an romney

    September 13, 2012 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  23. Nick name Miss J ofa Youngstown,O

    First my prays go out 2 t americans who lost their lives,thanj you, and 2 t families. Rip. On radio am 600 aday t sean b. Show and the other person who f llows him i would like a think this is just a pay ck the couldnt beliv what cam fr their mouths. Robme's finest hour? The POTUS (we only hav 1@ a time) was not given x 2 do HIS job b4 Rob's lip were moving. When baby bush wz given job by Sup.Crt. we were out raged.We didnt allow W 2make president sal walk,we threw stuff @him SSer had2get him n limo. I IOVE THIS COUNTRY,we c do things like that. But aft he took that OATH he was the POTUS &we calmed down. He was t CAC & when he told the troops 2bust&move all they said was WHOO RAW! & how far.Our PRESIDENT had spoken. All those lives all that tax payer $$. Had it not ben4 r new POTUS we still bthere as the talk show peep on fox seem2 think. Still spending that money. That same money PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSIN OBAMA wants 2 use like we're still@war &we r a war2 repair r country 2help r sick r elders r young

    September 13, 2012 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  24. zanny

    As usual you are wrong.In your own way, you are almost as bad aq choice as Sarah Palin. I do not believe she misspoke as often as you do.The lastest lie still rings in my mind – where you said that at first you did want President Obama to succeed. If that is true, why were you at that dinner meeting on inauguaration night with Eric(I will say and do anyuthing to get to be Speaker of the House)Cantor and Gingrich to lay out your plans to make sure he does not succeed in any of his plans. From that day your party,including you, did just that. How hypocritical can you be?? You chose to ignore the dire situation the country was in after 8 years of total irresponsible fiscal policies from your and concentrate on defeating the President and that was January 20, 2009. I love it when you get caught in a lie and keep on lying I have faith that the American voter who truly cares about this future of this country will resoundly defeat both of you.

    September 13, 2012 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  25. Marie MD

    From the lying marathon altar boy (lots of rosaries and communion lately?) who said that his foreign experience is that he voted for two wars.
    The President is trying to quell the craziness and these two are making it worse.

    FORWARD 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 13, 2012 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
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