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. Sniffit

    " the U.S.'s inability to take him into custody "just reveals an administration that seems more and more incompetent by the day," "

    the U.S.'s inability to take him into custody "just reveals an administration that is complying with international law while other countries thwart it"

    FIFY. But oh, I suppose Ryan knows all about competence after getting spanked during the 2012 election and authorizing absurd "budgets" that were widely discredited by professional economists and even the Catholic Church. Ryan sounds like Sheen when he was yammering about "winning." At least Sheen was funny...Ryan is just YAWN.

    June 25, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. Tony

    You and Romney lost to this "incompetent" person. Just think about that, Republicans. You are worse than "incompetent."

    June 25, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Incompetent? Just recently, Paul "I haven't run the numbers, yet" Ryan said that if Republicans had had just "five more Democratic votes" then the farm bill would have passed. You do the arithmetic.

    "The measure failed 195 – 234, with 62 Republicans joining 172 Democrats to oppose the bill, and just 24 Democrats voting with 171 Republicans to approve it."

    Five more votes would not have passed it. The GOP's "numbers guy" is putting his math skills on display again.

    June 25, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. Sniffit

    Shorter Ryan: "I don't care about international law or US law regarding these things or the fact that China and Russia are blatantly thwarting extradition processes. Obama should be able to magically swoop in and scoop up Snowden from wherever he is and drag him back home with a hood over his head to be waterboarded. I won't tell you how I think it's possible to accomplish this, however...only that I think it's "incompetence" that it hasn't already magically been done."

    June 25, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. lolo

    So says the young punk. Whoever hired Snowden should be held accountable for this fiasco. How in the world does a person with a GED get hired by the CIA in the first place? Only in America. I guess because he was white they could trust him. He signed an oath of trust and then had the nerve to turn and tell secrets not only of the US, but other countries. This is treason and this idiot should be punished. If the US doesn't get him another country will, that you can be sure of and he knows it. You can't blame the Obama administration for this one. Snowden was already in before Obama was hired. Boo Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 25, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    Paul Ryan, huh? Gotta love the re-branding going on in the GOP. A circus without a ring leader, each chasing one another from one circle to the other, trying to out do each others incessent blah, blah, blah screeching.

    Yeah. It's a New Day in America.

    June 25, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. cb

    Ryan, sit down and shut up.

    June 25, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. BinFL

    Can't stand this "know it all" who LOST the election. Snowden was working for a private contractor and it is Ryan's Repub party that LOVES privatizing everything. It is not the President's responsbilitiy to oversee what a private company does so maybe Ryan and his party should take a look at how private contracting lessens the security of our nation.

    June 25, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Warren

    I can see it now.. Rand Paul and Paul Ryan 2016... LOL LOL LOL

    June 25, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. The NRA is a T e r r o r i st organisation....and MORE JOBS has been created under President Obama 2times over than under GW Bush!!! ***FACT***

    Incompetence?! Just look at who is talking!!.......LOL

    June 25, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. emskadittle

    ryan who?

    June 25, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. The Elephant in the Room

    Really ?? Sir, you are supposedly a Republican "leader" and you and your team couldn`t pass YOUR OWN Farm bill.

    Please tell me EXACTLY how you would have managed this. Specifics please, not Romneyesque lofty hand-wavings. [Would you and McCain hop in a F-4 and shoot out just1 engine on Snowden`s jet with a .50 cal cannon to force it to land once it gets over the Atlantic?]

    Ryan, your focus should be on jobs, jobs, jobs. Your focus should be on limiting BIG GOVERNMENT but instead you support hugely expanding NSA budgets, hiring 20,000 unnecessary border guards instead of expanding the deficit thru your prefered spending.

    June 25, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. PaulCat

    Ryan needed to say something before they go on another long "PAID" vacation. They deserve it. Saying "NO" to everything is hard work. And they only get paid close to $200,000 per year. I think they need to vote themselves a pay raise.

    June 25, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. Pete

    Boy Ryan the Ayn Rand diciple hasn't looked into a mirror with his collegues lately has he...Incompetence is republicans first name isn't it next to obstructive,unpatriotic and just plain ass wipes!!Go away Ryan till you can be more enthusiastic in helping Americans and this country as you are in obstructing,filibustering everything put in front of you to help us out of a mess your previous administration put us in,yah know the one you helped rubber stamp everything for!!

    June 25, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. Lisa P.

    Hilarious! Rep. Ryan's home town voted to dump him in the last election - here's hoping the rest of his district takes the hint in 2014! Paul Ryan is a slick-talking dumb-acting disgrace to the people of Wisconsin, a plutocratic leech in "thoughtful" regular guy clothing.

    June 25, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  16. Kevin

    I guess he want`s the US to round up a couple Army divisions, and knock on their front door and demand him back.

    June 25, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  17. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Feeling a little bitter after that election loss Paul?

    June 25, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. Vince

    Ya lost Paul...get over it.

    June 25, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. rs

    Its always a little funny how the Republicans keep trying to call Obama incompetent, then their latest faux "conspiracy" blows up in their face- not to mention failing to pass things like the Farm Bill, or deal with Immigration Reform. About all the GOP is good at is halting any and all progress in government- or maybe getting ANOTHER abortion bill.

    No, no. You want incompetent? Look at the GOP.

    June 25, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. ST

    You lost election Ryan. Didn't you get enough time for griefing? By the way, where have you thrown your
    so-called "budget"? Ya, we can see how competent you are eh!

    June 25, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    The Senate, today, was simply treasonous, in supporting the immigration bill.

    Which is worse? Hard to say........because that is going to ultimately make Obama into a dictator, that cannot be defeated, if it passes.

    June 25, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. Bill from GA

    I wonder if the dems were so loud when China knocked our spy plane out of the sky, and bush apoligized and paid ransom to get the crew back, as China tore the downed spy plane apart, stealing our secrets?

    June 25, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. America Above Parties

    By any measures, Obama has much higher respect and cooperation from around the world than Bush-you are with us or against us. It is you and my-way-or- hightway GOP thug that are deliberately disrespecting our own democratically elected POTUS. Everything GOP is for and you put Obama label on it and they are against it. How disgusting!!

    June 25, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. rick7809

    So Ryan's answer to Snowden is to call Seal Team 6, and invade a Russian airport to grab him. This coming from a guy who lost an election and is a member of Congress that has an approval rating in the teens. So then McCain piles on and wants to pick a fight with Russia. What you should ask these guys is why aren't they trying to put a farm bill or immigration package together, instead of bloviating on things they really have no standing on?

    June 25, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    But he also said Russian security forces have not been "working with" Snowden and expressed hope that the incident would not "affect the cordial nature of our relations with the U.S." – Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov
    If you don't want to affect our relations, it would be wise to turn him over.

    June 25, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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