Ryan: Obama administration 'more incompetent by the day'
June 25th, 2013
11:10 AM ET
10 years ago

Ryan: Obama administration 'more incompetent by the day'

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Paul Ryan Tuesday joined the growing chorus of figures criticizing the Obama administration's handling of the NSA leaks and its so-far unsuccessful efforts to extradite data leaker Edward Snowden.

Both Snowden's ability to obtain and leak the classified information on massive NSA surveillance programs and the U.S.'s inability to take him into custody "just reveals an administration that seems more and more incompetent by the day," Ryan said on CBS's "This Morning."

The Wisconsin Republican and former vice presidential nominee criticized security clearance procedures that would have cleared Snowden and allowed him to walk out the door with the information he leaked. "How is it that our security clearances are so low that something like this can happen?" he said.

Snowden was in Hong Kong when the details of the NSA's collection of both internet and phone records first came to light. Local authorities allowed him to board a plane to Russia over the weekend despite ongoing diplomatic discussions over his fate and, according to U.S. officials, having his passport revoked. Snowden's final destination remains unknown but it is possibly bound for Ecuador where he has requested political asylum.

Wherever he's going, the U.S. has had little luck in securing Snowden's extradition, for which Obama has been personally criticized by people like Rep. Peter King, R-New York.

Rep. King wonders: 'Where is the president' on Snowden?

On Tuesday, Ryan argued that the growing diplomatic fiasco makes the United States look weak internationally. "If we're not able to convince our allies or other countries to actually help us with this, that doesn't speak very well to how we're being viewed in the world," he said.

Ryan was not alone in calling out the administration Tuesday. On CNN's "New Day," Sen. John McCain called on Obama to use a firmer hand with Russia and President Vladimir Putin on a number of issues, including finding Snowden.

McCain: Time to get tough with Putin

McCain argued that Obama's inaction has made the U.S. look weak. "When you withdraw to fortress America, when you believe in light footprints, when you show the world you're leading from behind, these are the consequences of American leadership," said the Arizona Republican.

Russian authorities had at first refused to confirm Snowden's presence. Tuesday, Putin confirmed that Snowden was in the transit zone at Moscow's international airport. “Mr. Snowden is a free man," he said to reporters in Filnand. "The sooner he selects his final destination point, the better both for us and for himself.”

Filed under: John McCain • NSA • Paul Ryan • Peter King • President Obama
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. rs


    Massive conservative march on D.C, 4 July, shut down the district of corruption!!

    NRA, Tea Party, Heritage!
    Don't forget the KKK!

    June 25, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. jboh

    Ryan, like the rest of his ALEC TEA crowd, is a cheap hack. Like previous GOP hacks, they create a mess, get thrown out on their ears, and start screaming about how bad those who replaced them are doing while obstructing everything. Incompetence? How about Issa? His IRS investigation is falling apart more each day. The complete testimony, vs Issa's carefully selected snippets, show he is abusing his power, by lies of omission, for partisan(or egotistical) reasons. What was that TEA/GOP talk of impeachment? Issa is guilty.

    June 25, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. wild man

    the man has been incompetent his entire career. he has never held a job in the private sector, he was only a senator for 144 days before deciding to run for president, he attended an anti american church, his entire campaign was based on two words hope and change. those are loaded words they mean something different to everybody. i feel bad for those who believe/believed in him. he is yet again another progressive pushing us towards socialism just like bush and clinton. if everyone would step back and look at the whole picture we would see the truth but the media does everything in it's power to keep us seperatee and in the dark on real issues. wake up please

    June 25, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. California Gary

    Anyone that really wants to know what incompetence looks like need only look back at the Romney/Ryan campaign of 2012. I think if you look up the word incompetent in future dictionaries, you will find the following definition: refer to Romney/Ryan campaign of 2012.

    June 25, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. Mark in Seattle

    Will Sarah Palin be there. Screetching for $$$.


    Massive conservative march on D.C, 4 July, shut down the district of corruption!!

    NRA, Tea Party, Heritage!

    June 25, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. wild man

    wow i can not believe the comments you allow on your page while removing mine half the comments on here are clearly posted by government educated idiots who allow themselves to be led like a sheep. i pray that you people see the errors of your ways, turn off the tv and really make an effort to rebuild this country and that starts with you and your neighbors at a local level.

    June 25, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. sonkarlay

    Now the blame is obama government, its so sad for ppl like paul ryan to even say that, oh wait it's the black guy in the white house couse that, everything is obama, if this black man was respected like other nation respected their president everything was going to be so easy and fast, if this black man never had secret service then hes history

    June 25, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. Arun

    This is coming from the fool who's party can't do anything except vote on getting rid of woman's rights and repealing Obamacare. Yeah, it's Obama's fault. The repubes need to be put out to pasture!!!

    June 25, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. Guest

    Mikey, grow a brain dude. I suppose it's ok for Reid to want to swear in 20 million illegals on the taxpayers dime on the 4th huh? Give your obamaphone back and go get a job.

    June 25, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. Bill from GA

    Hey, sonny chapman

    You didn't mention the UNFUNDED Medicare Drug Plan. That was pretty BIg toward putting Medicare on the path to quicker bankruptcy.

    June 25, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. Randy, San Francisco

    Fortunate for America that Rep Reyan was not afforded the opportunity to demonstrate his incompetence in serving as vice president.

    June 25, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
1 2 3