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. Malory Archer

    Rick McDaniel, you accuse President Obama of being a "dictator" in at least two of every three of your posts, and have trotted that term out so frequently that you've diminished the meaning. Do you even KNOW what it means?

    June 25, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. rs

    because that is going to ultimately make Obama into a dictator, that cannot be defeated, if it passes.
    Ummmm, you realize that Mr. Obama cannot run for the Presidency again, right? As to passing laws, that is what Congress does. Perhaps you have grown too used to GOP obstructionism....

    June 25, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Wake up People!

    This coming from the loser who couldn't even carry his own home state......

    GSAD, Ryan.

    June 25, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. Guest

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

    NRA, Tea Party, Heritage!

    June 25, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Tabeth

    this is not politics but imaturity, if the obama administration is incompetent , what about the administration under which
    9/11 occured? It is not bad to ralk but speak as a mature person...America destroying itself from within

    June 25, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Borderless

    @Ryan. Agreed.

    June 25, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. Data Driven

    Hey guys, look! - Republican has an opinion on stuff! Too bad it's not backed up by any facts.

    June 25, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. Ron L

    What a JOKE and an insult to the intelligence of the American people. I saw Mister Ryan Morning Joe Monday morning blaming the Democrats for the Farm Bill fiasco. Stating that if the 40 democrats had voted yes like they said they would it would have passed. This is hogwash on two levels: 1) only 14 of the 40 changed there minds which means it would have still failed and 2) He along with 62 other Republicans voted against it !!! Incompetence is when you have a LARGE majority of one portion of the government (the House) and you can't seem to pass ANYTHING that has real significance because of infighting within your own party (the Republicans)!! And frankly without the Democrats, the immigration bill will die in the House even if the Senate passed it with 80 votes!!

    June 25, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. sonny chapman

    Incompetence: When the REAL 9-11 Attack happens on your watch AFTER being warned by Dick Clark; then letting the guy who planned it get away @ Tora Bora after invading & occupying Afghanistan & then forgetting about Afghanistan & allowing the Taliban to regroup AFTER invading & occupying IRAQ w/out enough troops, armored vehicles or vests even though Saddam had no WMDs & NO CONNECTION to Bin Laden, then giving up on the search for Bin Laden, along w/ two unfunded tax cuts to the wealthy & losing 600,000 jobs per MONTH in the last months of your Term.

    June 25, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. Tom

    Another 2016 GOP presidential hopeful without any workable ideas of his own bashing the current administration.

    June 25, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. Ron L

    One other thing...all of you who THINK the President is weak when it comes to getting China or Russia to turn Mr. Snowden over to the U.S. authorities. I would like someone to name just TWO things America could do to attempt to intimidate either country. Because in this world of globalization in which we are all intertwined I can't think of anything.

    June 25, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Maybe Ryan needs to take some responsibility for paying private security contractors like USIS .

    Paul only blames others , he has never showed any responsibility.

    He is like Michele Bachmann in pants !

    June 25, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Howard's Daddy

    Is it time to sack Moscow yet, General Ryan? As much I want to punch Putin's face, I sure as hell wouldn't want Ryan to be on my corner.

    June 25, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  14. Marie MD

    Does having the word "paul" associated to your name make you clueless and out of this planet?
    Ths coming from the man who couldnt carry his state in a general eletion and whose only reason for still being in congress is that he could run or both at the same time as a failed vp candidate? The man who is not smart enough to realize he looks like the fool he is by washing perfectly cllean pots and pans for a photo shoot? The man whose family used government money after his father's death but doesn't want anybody ele to receive help? The man who lied about his super man time for a marathon.
    You can't bully another country into doing something ala shrub #43 and unless you were asleep after 9/11 (don't answer that) Obama WAS the one who gave the order to kill bin laden. Where was your "watch this swing" "wanted dead or alive" "mission accomplished" war criminal?
    Get lost. You and paul lite re NOT going to be president regardless of one of the worst decisions y th SCOTUS ever!!!

    June 25, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. Mikey

    The more McCain talks the happier I am that he did not become President.

    June 25, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  16. curtegg

    Obama administrations 1 and 2 are looking more like Bush terms 3 and 4.
    1) More drone use and killings
    2) Spying on US citizens
    3) Fast and Furious continuation from Bush's Mexico firearms ATF program
    4) Actual diplomatic personnel deaths under watch
    5) Government leaks rampant
    6) Using false accusations to rein in the free press and lie about it
    7) Affordable health-care act implementation delays indicating further government incompetence
    8) No real financial reform (why weren't the banker big-wigs thrown in jail for causing this mess, bring back Glass-Stiegal)
    9) Inability to catch Snowden (although I think he did us a favor)
    10) FISA court has become the Star-Chamber

    Is Obama really Cheney in blackface?

    June 25, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Stuffit

    It never has been competent and it always has been corrupt. The Chicago thug style does not translate well to the national stage. Still the democrat libertards attack Bush and the Republicans.

    June 25, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  18. Mikey

    @Guest – "Massive conservative march on D.C, 4 July, shut down the district of corruption!!
    NRA, Tea Party, Heritage!"
    Thanks for the warning... oh, and I love how you all misuse our nations celebrations and symbols to spread your fear, hatred and divisiveness.

    June 25, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. Evergreen

    It makes the US look weak when even in a national security breach are elected officials cannot stand with the president and let the US speak with one voice. Before privatizing part of national security Congress should have put in place laws and oversight over these private companies so that things like this could not happen. Must positions with the Federal government requires a college degree. The Feds would not have hired Snowden.

    June 25, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. davehhds

    Obstructionists, Arm-chair quarterbacks, back-seat drivers, do-nothings......Repubfascists.....it's really sad to see what they are trying to do to this country.

    June 25, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. Ray E. (Georgia)

    There was no question that Obama was never qualified to be President. Of course if Obama recoginized that he would have never ran. But Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread. So, now you have the results. Plenty of people except those that choose to ignore the facts see it. The next 3 years should be hallerous. The Late shows are getting so much material they can't use all of it. Yeehow!

    June 25, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. Very Plain Very Simple

    This admin has gotten one of our MOST Wanted....I have NO doubt they will get this one also. Plain and simple. For these Senator's to speak and NOT know the ends and outs of what is going on makes THEM incompetent. Again plain and simple....

    June 25, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  23. norma jean

    Ryan.........You are soooooo yesterday....You had your day in the sun and you came up wanting badly...now ...it's time for you to move on...get a job somewhere and get over your political desires. You just don't have what it takes...nor what the people want!!!!!You went down with "what's his name" and you are both gone and forgotten!!!!!

    June 25, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. bawanadick

    paul rayan needs to go back to sucking the teet of ayn rand,,,,ha ha ha ha,,he's so stupid

    June 25, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. Bill from GA

    " Putin ... said to reporters in Filnand "

    They didn't tell us about Filnand in Geography Class. Guess if i had gone to school in NYC I'd know better.

    June 25, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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