August 13th, 2012
02:08 PM ET

Ryan's foreign policy views shaped by his budget battles

By Jamie Crawford

As the chief architect of the Republican budget plan, presidential nominee Mitt Romney's choice for vice president, Paul Ryan, is well-known in budget policy circles around Washington, but his 14 years on Capitol Hill have left a much smaller paper trail when it comes to foreign policy statements and achievements.

That said, Ryan's focus during his seven terms in Congress on balancing the federal budget and extolling the virtues of fiscal restraint seems to have also formed the center of his thinking on foreign policy issues, which seems to hue to the classic Republican view of the world.

"If there's one thing I could say with complete confidence about American foreign policy, it is this: Our fiscal policy and our foreign policy are on a collision course; and if we fail to put our budget on a sustainable path, then we are choosing decline as a world power," he said last year when he gave a speech on American foreign policy at the Alexander Hamilton Society in Washington.

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"A world without U.S. leadership will be a more chaotic place, a place where we have less influence, and a place where our citizens face more dangers and fewer opportunities," he said in extolling the virtues of American exceptionalism. "Take a moment and imagine a world led by China or by Russia."

During the primary season, it was Romney who repeatedly vowed to designate China as a currency manipulator on his first day on office - something the Obama administration, and administrations before, have not done out of concern for the impact on global markets.

Despite his own stated concerns about Chinese monetary policy, Ryan has taken a more nuanced approach than the former Massachusetts governor when it comes to dealing with the world's second-largest economy. Of China, Ryan has said the United States stands "to benefit from a world in which China and other rising powers are integrated into the global order with increased incentives to further liberalize their political and economic institutions."

During his time in Congress, the Middle East has been an area of interest for Ryan. He formed the Middle East Caucus in the early 2000s, and from his position on the Ways and Means Committee, he took the lead on pushing free trade agreements with Middle Eastern and Gulf countries that called for countries to enshrine the rule of law and women's rights in their governments.

Ryan told the Washington Examiner in May that he is an avid reader and "fan" of Bernard Lewis, one of the leading scholars of the Middle East popular in conservative circles. The Middle East and Afghanistan have been the focus of many of Ryan's travels in his congressional capacity.

"I spent a lot of my time over my career traveling to the Middle East. That's probably where most of my travels have gone," he said in the Examiner interview. "I was in Afghanistan last December; I've been there a few times. I spent a lot of time reading about the military, reading up on foreign policy."

All told, Ryan has taken part in seven overseas trips as a member of a congressional delegation, and visited 18 different countries. In addition to Afghanistan and Iraq, Ryan has visited Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan, Vietnam, India, Nigeria, Tunisia, South Africa and Greece, among other countries.

Like Romney, Ryan has criticized the Obama administration's planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, especially the reduction of the surge of forces that is on track to be completed by the end of September.

"The withdrawal has the potential to pose security threats to soldiers continuing shorthanded counter-insurgency operations, as well as to compromise the larger mission in Afghanistan," according to information posted on Ryan's congressional website. "Further, the Afghan citizens currently working with our troops to quell violence may view the withdrawal as a signal that our forces are no longer committed to the mission, which will serve to debilitate the long-term diplomatic, development and reconstruction efforts in the area."

Ryan has said the current policy runs the risk of compromising long-term U.S. interests there.

During the administration of former President George W. Bush, Ryan was a reliable supporter of the administration's foreign policy priorities, having voted to authorize the use of force against Saddam Hussein.

He also supported the 2007 surge of U.S. troops to Iraq. And as Foreign Policy magazine pointed out in an analysis of Ryan's foreign policy record this year, congressional Democrats and the Obama administration adopted Ryan's estimation that the U.S. could save roughly $1 trillion over the next decade by winding down the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

When it comes to defense spending, Ryan's record seems to be more lenient, compared with his tough stance on reforming spending on social programs. It's that record that could win him praise at the Pentagon, where spending is on a downward trajectory.

But Ryan found himself at loggerheads with military brass after he questioned whether the Pentagon's top uniformed leaders truly believed it when they said they supported the Pentagon budget, which includes significant cuts to some programs.

"We don't think the generals are giving us their true advice. We don't think the generals believe that their budget is really the right budget," he said.

"I think there is a lot of budget smoke and mirrors in the Pentagon budget which is not really a true, honest and accurate budget," he said. "When you confront military experts - retired or active - they concede these things to us."

Ryan was forced to backtrack and apologize after the top uniformed general, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, responded to Ryan's remarks in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, saying "there's a difference between having someone say they don't believe what you said versus ... calling us, collectively, liars."

Another troublesome position for Ryan could be his backing of sequestration, the across-the-board trillion-dollar cuts to federal agencies, half of which are aimed at the Pentagon. Those cuts come as part of the 2011 budget agreement, which still has to be passed. The cuts could take effect on January 2 if there is no budget deal in Congress.

The cuts could also include the Overseas Contingency Operations, which is the Pentagon's war budget. It controls what is spent on military combat operations, including those in Afghanistan, which are due to conclude at the end of 2014.

But since voting for the sequestration, Ryan has been hawkish on what effects it could have on the Pentagon though a series of hearings with defense advocates who pushed the message of how disastrous the cuts would be to the Pentagon. Ryan also led House legislation that would have taken out the defense cuts and replaced them with deeper cuts in social programs.

The measure passed the Republican-led house in May, but it ultimately died in the Democratic-held Senate.

As defense budgets rise under Ryan's proposals, the budget accounts that cover the State Department and USAID would be reduced from $47.8 billion in the 2012 fiscal year to $38.1 billion in 2016, and not returning to current levels until 2022.

With the situation in Syria deteriorating by the day, and an international standoff with Iran over its disputed nuclear program showing no sign of any progress in recent days, questions on Ryan's take on these issues are sure to emerge, along with his capability to assume the duties of commander in chief if needed.

It took mere minutes after the highly scripted and choreographed rollout of the ticket in front of the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday for supporters of President Obama to highlight Ryan's limited resume on foreign and defense policy issues.

"Mitt Romney had the chance to show the American people he took national security seriously with his choice of Vice President," David Solimini of the Truman National Security Project, a Democratic-leaning think tank, said in a statement. "From his disastrous foreign trip, where he insulted America's greatest ally, to his recklessness on Iran, and his failure to articulate a national security strategy, people have a right to be worried about a Romney Presidency. So far, he has failed the Commander-in-Chief test. Today's announcement cements that failure."

While the discussion on the weekend political talk shows was mainly focused on Ryan's suitability on domestic issues, the Romney campaign was quick to certify its belief in Ryan's capabilities.

"I think Paul Ryan has the same amount of foreign policy experience that Barack Obama had when he was sworn in as president," Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior adviser for the Romney campaign, said on "Face the Nation" on CBS. "He's got oversight responsibilities for the budget, including the defense budget. He has leaders, governors, generals, members of the military brass calling him for advice and support for their programs. Of course he's prepared."

The campaign trotted out statements from well-known members of the foreign policy establishment. Ryan "will help to restore America at home so that we can lead again because he understands that America is an exceptional and indispensable nation on the world stage," former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, once thought to be on Romney's shortlist, said in a written statement.

CNN Senior National Security Producer Mike Mount contributed to this report.

Security Clearance: Your source for national security news and analysis

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Budget • Foreign Policy • Pentagon • Romney • Ryan
soundoff (168 Responses)
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  15. Real Patriot

    I wonder if his book shown above (The Path to Prosperity) includes a chapter on insider trading. On September 18, 2008 he was part of a meeting with the Fed where politicians were warned of the imminent collapse of several banks. He immediately sold his shares in Wachovia and Citigroup making a handsome profit.

    Trustworthy? Don't think so.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:17 am | Reply
  16. Ezo

    Hey, I read a book on foreign policy and took a few junkets to the Mid-East, so now I'm qualified to rule the world! Yayyyy!

    August 15, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Reply
  17. Albuquerque, Turkey

    Romney is a poligamist the end.

    August 15, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Reply
  18. majav

    The United Nations leads the world, not the US. Russia and China share the leadership with the USA. That is why the US's hands are tied in Syria. The US need not grandstand just before an election how important we are to the world. The world is full of sovereign nations that understand the US role in the world is tangential rather than integral. Hubris, imperialism, and megalomaniac leadership is not the exclusive domain of the Chinese or Russians. We are at the top of the heap. And whenever that gets questioned or threatened the US is famous for inflicting deadly force to enemies as well as fair weather friends. We are just as shameful in Afghanistan as Custer was for much of his career.

    August 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Reply
    • The Despot Lincoln

      At least Custer wound up taking it up the @ss.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  19. outspoken

    Did you ever see the video when Snake wants to swallow bigger PREY than it can handle ? The result is Fatal and
    you saw in the Video the end result.

    August 15, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
  20. Megan Grawe

    Just about any new foriegn policy view would be better than what our inept president (Obama) has aspired too! For example look at Libya, Pakistan, Syria and the arab spring along with an ever growing nuclear powered Iran and N.Korea! couldn't get much worse than that!!!!

    August 15, 2012 at 5:30 am | Reply
    • William F. Phuckley

      Actually, it could. Replacing the current MIC puppet with an even more servile one will only exacerbate a situation that was a mess, thanks in no small part to the US, long before Barry came along.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • DanRyanMan

      did Ryan ever traveled to Asia?

      August 15, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Reply
  21. Ezo

    In the 80s, Reagan advocated Nuclear weapons (or as Bush would say, "Nucular) as a deterrent against aggression. Well, today we have more Nukes than we could ever explode before blowing every living thing off the face of the earth. Now Ryan is talking about our decline as a world power. News flash..."world power" has nothing to do with emptying the treasury on military weapons! Try a productive, thriving economy instead! Ryan, you're living in a dream world, kid. We spent trillions of taxpayer dollars over decades fighting the communist boogie monster. Now we owe China – a communist nation – trillions of dollars! Wow! Winning! Step into the real world, dude. I don't care how many junkets you've taken to the Mid-East, or how much you've "read up on" foreign policy (Seriously, Dude?), you don't know jack! You and your Broke-back Mountain buddy, Mittens, are a trip!

    August 15, 2012 at 2:22 am | Reply
  22. louiske

    he is a populist (for the billionaires) , a manipulator. just adding some numbers , and then saying what others "might" think as truth. anyway cnn, you are already lousy so nothing will really surprise me anymore. btw what was the budget for the military in the last 15 years?
    make a graph, do your job?
    factless as usual america, and by letting the lies slip in every sentence, you will dig the grave of your own democracy, which smells already quite a bit.

    August 15, 2012 at 2:21 am | Reply
  23. Sgt. Rutz

    I am a American! You can vote for either party, but it doesn't matter who wins! The reason is if you owe any bills you are a slave, so get use to it!

    August 15, 2012 at 12:50 am | Reply
    • Ezo

      Uuuuh...No. I can has cheeseburgers!

      August 15, 2012 at 2:05 am | Reply
  24. krm1007 ©™

    Obama Biden MUST go.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Reply
    • Ezo

      Yes! We must return to the presidency to the people who are responsible for this mess. That way we can all pretend to be rich and have jobs that pay minimum wage! Hooray!

      August 15, 2012 at 2:08 am | Reply
    • blucorsair

      ....yes, the presidency that caused this mess back in 1994 at Fanni Mae and Freddi Mac! The fact is that the Democrats, president Bill Clinton (D) and Frank Raines (CEO) caused the housing bubble by relaxing their lending standards at this agency and G.W. Bush tried to stop it quite a number of trimes as reported by ABC news and the NY Times on 09-11-2003 in an article called, "new agency proposed for freddi mac and fanni mae!" As most people know Chriss Dodd(D) and Barney Frank (D) blocked Bush's attempts in the congress. Eventually, senator Chriss Dodd (D) from Delaware resigned over this issue! for Obama, he added more than two times to our national debt than Bush did and even worse, he did it less than half the time! ...Obumbles must go!!!!!!!!

      August 15, 2012 at 5:44 am | Reply
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    August 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Reply
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      My cat walking on my keyboard makes more sense than the above post!

      August 15, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  26. TopView20

    Paul Ryan has no foreign policy views. He is a republican. Republicans do not have views. They follow orders.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Reply
    • krm1007 ©™

      at least they are not ordered to kiss hands (or feet in private) of Saudis.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Reply
      • Ezo

        No, but Romney did give Netanyoohoo one helluva lap dance!

        August 15, 2012 at 2:09 am |
      • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

        You mean like President Dubya did?

        August 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm |

    Anyone would be better than Foodstamp Odumma, the evil dog eater!

    August 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Reply
    • TopView20

      Ever consider getting an education?

      August 14, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Reply
    • Ezo

      Really, dude? Food stamps? Seriously?

      August 15, 2012 at 2:11 am | Reply
    • MG

      .......'the evil dog eater?" So that's why Obama hasn't created any jobs! least my dog created more shovel ready jobs than Obama has! ...LOL

      August 15, 2012 at 5:49 am | Reply
      • Ezo

        That only proves your dog is more productive than you!

        August 15, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • misterg

      Hello,is anybody in there.You have a lot of space in your head don't you.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  28. booboot1947

    Ryan recently declared that if S. Korea was again threatened, he'd reduce N. Dakota to smithereens. A press attache appeared within seconds to correct him and said Ryan was still confusing N. Dakota with N. Korea.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • Marine5484

      It sounds like something idiotic coming from Pual Ryan. And this idiot wants to become our Vice President, too! Don't we already have enough of these warmongering idiots in Washington as it is? Only a complete idiot would say no!

      August 14, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
      • krm1007 ©™

        three letters j-o-b-s

        August 14, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  29. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    The GOP solution: Start a war with (insert country here) totally unfunded of course!! Then get the poor people to fight/die in the war while giving the rich people "no bid contracts". Thus killing two GOP birds with one stone. Then use that country's resourses (oil) to pay for the war. And when the war is over, that country will sell us cheap resources (oil). Just like in Iraq!!! Oh wait........never mind.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • TopView20

      Remember the traditional principles of American government. Officials debated secular issues to discover the options of greatest good, and references to "God" were reserved for the family and private worship. Today, debate does not occur, and greed is the only motivator. Our government is inherently immoral, so the politicians like to toss around the "God" word and refer to meaningless religious phrases to cover their money trail to unbridled greed. When was the last time a politician did something that truly and significantly helped you personally? ...I thought so.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  30. degazmatic

    Inside the Mind of the
    Republican voter:

    Broken Economy= can be fixed in a day.
    Millions of tax payer dollars to the rich =responsible.
    Food for the poor =irresponsible
    Fixing the economy= Not as important as making the president look bad.
    Better healthcare= Of course, but only for the rich.
    CNN= Liberal Media
    Reuters=Liberal Media
    NY Times= Liberal Media
    FOX= Good Journalism
    CBC=Liberal Media
    BBC=Liberal Media
    MSNBC=Liberal Media
    Seperation of Church and State=Christian Haters
    Equal Rights for Women=Bible says no
    G.W. Bush=Don't Remember.
    Science=Liberal Satanic Lies
    Bush's Mess=Obamas Fault
    Protect Workers=Socialist
    Not Republican=Libturd
    Not my flavor of Christianity=Cult

    seems legit

    August 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Reply
    • I'm a person!

      Wait, I think you're wrong with... nope. You're right.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Reply
      • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

        No, he got one wrong.

        Seperation of Church and State=Christian Haters should have read =God Haters.

        August 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
      • Sebi

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        October 13, 2012 at 12:23 am |
  31. Leftcoastrocky

    Attention Latino voters - Here is a typical republican candidate.

    "For years I've said, 'Put a damn fence on that border going to Mexico and start shooting...' that's how I feel. I'm not going to hide it just because I'm running for office. I want the borders protected, and I'm very adamant about that."

    - Congressional candidate Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher (R), quoted by thePrescott eNews

    August 13, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Reply
    • Really

      Thats good...? So you must LOVE illegels?
      This is why i have to vote republican.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
      • degazmatic

        Inside the Mind of the
        Republican voter:

        Broken Economy= can be fixed in a day.
        Millions of tax payer dollars to the rich =responsible.
        Food for the poor =irresponsible
        Fixing the economy= Not as important as making the president look bad.
        Better healthcare= Of course, but only for the rich.
        CNN= Liberal Media
        Reuters=Liberal Media
        NY Times= Liberal Media
        FOX= Good Journalism
        CBC=Liberal Media
        BBC=Liberal Media
        MSNBC=Liberal Media
        Seperation of Church and State=Christian Haters
        Equal Rights for Women=Bible says no
        G.W. Bush=Don't Remember.
        Science=Liberal Satanic Lies
        Bush's Mess=Obamas Fault
        Protect Workers=Socialist
        Not Republican=Libturd
        Not my flavor of Christianity=Cult
        seems legit

        August 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  32. GetReal

    Bean counters only care about numbers, not people.

    August 13, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Reply
    • Robyn

      How can you help the people if you don't know the numbers?? else do you think the "bean counters" get their numbers??

      August 14, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
  33. Critical Thinker

    The real agenda of Romney/Ryan is to turn the U.S. into a plutocracy where only rich people rule.

    August 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Reply
    • Sodomite

      Already there.

      August 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Reply
    • Robyn

      Who do you think creates jobs?? The Govt.?? No, the rich create jobs. Small and big businesses can't create jobs when they are being over taxed and over regulated!!

      Say I'm rich (wish I was)...
      I open a business. I need a building (hire a realtor). I need equipment and products (hire vendors). I need workers (hiring people like you and me). I prosper and decide to open a secondary shop. OH WAIT...I have to pay more taxes and provide govt. healthcare. So I shouldn't open another business. I should probably downsize to make sure the employees I do have are payed well enough to afford their taxes and thier OWN healthcare.

      So keep taxing the rich and adding business restrictions.

      How does Obama expect America to prosper by taxing the rich (which would only bring in about $49 billion) that's peanuts compare to the debt we need to pay off. The govt. spends 7 million a the math.

      Instead of the govt. taking the $49 billion in taxes, the rich can hire again. Open more businesses, etc.

      Again, it's not the govt. that creates jobs, it's rich people.
      Do you think you can open a business on your income? I doubt it!!

      August 14, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
      • redanyellow

        the thing is, if it gets to a point where the rich have unrivaled power, they wont need to "hire" anyone. they'll just make you do it and pay you next to nothing. look at serfdom from the middle ages, a few powerful-wealthy nobles enslaved all of europe. thats why we adopted democracy in the first place, now they have to pay-but one day they can make laws and bankrupt the masses so they are dependant on scraps.

        August 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
      • I'm a person!

        Your logic fails to realize that you actually don't need to be rich to start a business. Also, just because your rich does not mean you are creating a business or serving anyone. Snookie is rich.

        August 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
      • I'm a person!

        "Do you think you can open a business on your income? I doubt it!!"

        Have you ever heard of this thing called a loan? People borrow money, use it to make more money, then pay that money back. Happens more than you think. Wealth does not create jobs. If it did, why is job growth at a stand still while the rich are making more money than ever?

        This is not to say government creates jobs either. My point is you have no firsthand knowledge; you're just spouting talking points.

        August 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
      • thissoundfamiliar

        wasn't that got us into this mess at first place.isn't it the last administration ( Bush Regime) did it, and the rich just do what ever they want with their greed, banks, wall streets, and not to mention all the defend contract companies ( Hallibut, Dick Chenney) remmember?.yah, that created alot of jobs alright. jobs for the ceo, bankkupcy lawyers, and foreclosures agents. i did not see any jobs they created for folks like , me and the 99 % of people.

        August 14, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
      • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

        I'm A Person, all you have to do is what Linda McMahon and her husband did. Take out a loan to increase their business (WWE), declare bankruptcy and have the courts dismiss their loans (all the while negotiating a new mortgage on a $1 Million home), and then use the money she doesn't have to pay back to buy her way into respectability and a Senate Seat (failed once and will probably fail again). THAT is the Republican way. Also, for those who believe she is such a "job creator", why did she recently testify that most of her "employees" were actually "private contractors" and she and the WWE were in no way responsible to make health insurance or other benefits available, all the while claiming ownership of all images associated with those same "contractors" eliminating a possible source of revenue for them after they left the company? THAT is the REAL Republican way!

        August 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  34. LI_Bri

    Why does the world have to be lead by anyone? Let each country evolve and become on their own. The only right any country has is to defend itself from external threats. The USA trying to "lead" the world their way is what lead to 9/11.

    August 13, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • GetReal

      ...and our own financial collapse.
      I honestly don't understand how Christians (or any other religion) can advocate wars. Which part of 'Thou shall not kill.' do they not understand?

      August 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  35. History Bear

    Ryan is a smoother Mittens. If Ryan was serious about budget and expenditures he'd be open to trimming a lot of overseas expenditures and moving troops out and home. Afghanistan has defied EVERY would be ruler in 2500 years. We're no differrnt. Until the Republicans come up with some leadership that truly pushes American first I can't in good faith vote for them That said, I don't trust the current administration either. What a mess.

    August 13, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      Thank you, History Bear. You said it all.

      August 13, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Reply
    • GetReal

      I trust our President and am proud to support him. Try it sometime. Patriotism feels good for the soul.
      On the other hand, I hate what the GOTP have done to Congress and our nation.

      August 13, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Reply
    • Leftcoastrocky

      Afghanistan is the "graveyard of empires."

      August 13, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  36. Fire Fareed

    This administrations stranglehold on the Senate via Reid and pelosi is the reason our nation hasn't been able to pass a budget in the last 3 years. We might have bigger problems than ryan's lack of experience in foriegn policy. And I could be mistaken but I'm pretty sure Mr obama had little to no experience in this area 4 years ago. Besides Ryan is a much better representative/role model than a guy like biden who cheated his way through college. Wasn't plagairism a major factor in his decision to drop out of the 88 presidential race. It just shows the character of the administration. Lack of integrity and responsibility will get you to the whitehouse, great message to send Americas youth.

    August 13, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Reply
    • History Bear

      Pretty much like the last administrations leader who barely made it through school, skipped out on his military committments and started wars on phony evidence. Can't say you're totally wrong, but this failed leadership isn't one party.Its all of them.

      August 13, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Reply
      • Fire Fareed

        I concur with your assessment of the last administration on all of your points, except for when you used "wars". I agree we were pulled into Iraq under false pretenses, but I continue to support the war in afghanistan, although drastic changes need to be made on the ground. As a combat veteran of both wars these are just my opinions. Islamic fundamentalism is a serious threat, and anyone who claims otherwise has never seen the pure hatred in the eyes of a jihadist. I don't have all the answers and am certainly no expert on the matter, but through my experiences I have found my views on this issue are correct.

        August 13, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Critical Thinker

      The REAL TRUTH a budget has not passed is the Republicans' absolute refusal to compromise. A GOP party that only knows how to say NO cannot accomplish anything but an economic catastrophe.

      August 13, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Reply
      • Fire Fareed

        Its ok to be mad. I'm mad too! I'm not affiliated with one party or the other. I don't agree with any "party policies" but I do believe that our current administration is leading America in the wrong direction. We as Americans own 500 million shares of GM. How much did we pay for those shares (via bailout)? What are GM shares worth right now? I'm not an economist or even that great at math, but I do know that GM isn't going to be traded at $55 a share anytime in the near future. By the way, $55 is what we have to sell these shares at to break even. I think at the end of today they were trading at about $22. Not saying that is the reason to replace POTUS, but it is one of the reasons I am more inclined to vote for a man whoose record proves his fiscal responsibility

        August 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
      • Fire Fareed

        Sorry for the spelling mistakes! Don't crucify me for it. Please pick apart my statements to tie them into your own political agenda in continuing discussion. Discussion is the way to change this country, not ripping each other apart with ridiculous name calling and simple minded comments like many users here.

        August 13, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
      • GetReal

        Fire Fareed – What makes you believe that a wealthy businessman will help anyone but himself? Why would he be generous to the minions, instead of his wealthy political donors and lobbyists?
        Hasn't President Obama fought hard for average Americans against an obstructive Congress? That's a proven record.
        Romney's record has only lined his own pockets at the expense of others.

        August 13, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • GetReal

      How about the message that superpacs can buy our government, candidates, and voters? How do you explain that to little Johnny and Mary?

      August 13, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Reply
    • GetReal

      Why do you blame the President for Congress not doing its job? If you want him to solve our economic woes, then give him a Congress that doesn't spend all of its time trying to sabotage his efforts.
      Blame Congress. Blame the voters who put the GOTP in office. But, at least, give the President an E for effort.

      August 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Reply
  37. I Paid Attention....

    Why don't we take all this money we keep sending out as 'aid' to other countries... tell them "Sorry, but we gotta fix our own problems BEFORE we try to help you..." and I don't know.... maybe dump it into... oh let's see, transportation ifrastructure, or maybe our power & utilities infrastructure, or even, *gasp* education? Or am I just a crazy person?

    August 13, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Reply
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Yep. You're crazy, alright. Imagine Republicans actually funding Education when they have spent the last 40 years trying to get the government out of the education business.

      August 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  38. Growupalready

    Obama is just cut from a different cloth. Only once in a blue moon, God sends someone to with wisdom, integrity and spiritual discernment to lead, right the wrongs and fright for the underdog. And yet, the living dead (republican party) always go for the Barabbas (AKA Romney) type guy.

    August 13, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  39. kramer

    Ryan's Foreign Budget is clear – He voted repeatedly for the Iraq War and voted to not End the War which spends $TRILLIONS of U.S. Taxpayer dollars on 100% Foreigners to protect them, feed them, Healthcare, Infrastructure, etc.

    But when it comes to American Taxpayer dollars actually benefitting Americans?
    NO Way – The Republicons rejected just $1 Billion for FEMA this Year to help American Families devastated by no Fault of their own..!!!

    August 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  40. 1twinsfan

    But, but, but, he can see Canada from his house!

    August 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
    • us_1776

      Exactly. This guy has one goal in mind. More tax breaks for the wealthy and to h*ll with everyone else.


      August 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
    • Karen

      – Congrats to Ryan and Jamie, they already have such a beuaitful daughter and now they'll have TWO kids! I totally remember them being your first wedding!! (was I there?? or do I just remember watching you edit?) Doesn't this make you feel old, Babs? Sure does to me eek.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
  41. Bribarian

    time to get out of the middle east

    August 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • wobbles

      Yep. And leave it glowing in the dark on our way out. That's what they deserve.

      August 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
      • I'm a person!

        Yeah, since you wrongfully invaded their land, you should probably kill all of them. The audacity they have living in their homeland. 'MERICA!

        August 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
      • Sodomite

        What a d0uchebag!

        August 14, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  42. W.G.

    Romney went overseas and proved an embarrasment to our country . Even in the U.K. where conservatives
    hold control he was named "Mitt the Twit " . Ryan is another embarrasment to our allies . Europeans hate
    bullies . They see the poor and old and sick in our country getting the short end of the stick because of
    republican policy and it angers them .

    August 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
    • Fire Fareed

      How much foriegn policy experience did Obama have when he ran in 08? Sorry I forgot we aren't allowed to talk about anything that could be construed as negative towards the king that hands down executive orders like royal edicts

      August 13, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
      • I Paid Attention....

        Really? I could have sworn that GWB handed down WAAAAAY more "executive privledge" oedres than BHO....

        August 13, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
      • Samanta

        Sandy you do such amazing work. What a great tanteeld photographer you are. We are so blessed to have had you share the Wedding Day !!! Thank You so much! Wendy

        October 12, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  43. REGinAZ

    The choice is clear as long as we keep reality clear in our minds and the reality is that the rhetoric doesn't ever matter as the politicians’ actions will be totally consistent with satisfying the interests of their supporters who demand no less ... and the more support that is given, the more mega-millions that is poured into that support, the more tightly are the strings tied to that support. The abundant and slanted rhetoric offered about the issues is the necessary subterfuge aimed to rationalize, with deception and creative logic, in oder to seem authentic ... but the consistent reality is that the politicians literally have to be focused on satisfying their strong supporters. It is totally obvious when putting the subterfuge aside and considering what is at the heart of their actions, seeing the reality of who always benefits.

    The Republican / Tea Party is owned and controlled by "the money" and over the last twelve years we have clearly seen their "puppet" performances in both the protection of "the money's" interests and their stubborn blocking and arrogant faulting of Obama's and the Democrats' efforts – literally they just have no choice and we should expect nothing else. The Democrats while receiving a few sizable contributions are largely dependent on the people for their support and power, which dictates they have to focus on the people's interests ... with the problem there being "all of the people's interests", with it then being hard to satisfy everyone, thus leaving opportunities for many to be conned and manipulated with appeals to biases, prejudices, fears, emotions and loyalties. In the final analysis, it should be remembered that the Republicans have no choice, no matter how they disguise it, but to cater to the 1% and that just leaves no room for ever satisfying the 99%. The rest is simply BS.

    August 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
    • CAC

      OMG – someone who actually thinks for himself.

      August 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
    • GetReal

      Thanks for paying attention and telling it like it is.

      August 13, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  44. CAC

    Ryan is a fraud. Goes to Washington to change it, but does little to nothing for the bulk of his time there. Now all of a sudden he has all the answers. Only problem is his answers do not reduce the red ink, he is shifting the benefits to the 1% at the expense of the 99%.

    When someone hands me a plan that says it will take 30 years to achieve the goals I smell a rat!

    August 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • huff

      You mean like Obama who avoided senate votes like the plague except for bills he sponsored?

      August 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
    • wobbles

      Ryan went to Washington to change it but didn't? So what about Obama?

      August 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  45. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    The GOP solution: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Unemployed, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Employed, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military.

    August 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Reply
    • huff

      It is the left who seeks to enslave the poor and the elderly right under your nose. They do so by making them more dependent on Gov. and demonizing anyone who opposes by saying they don't care about the old or the poor. Its a centuries old scheme to enpower politicians through oppression with the naive not even realizing it.

      August 13, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Reply
      • kkrogman

        What nonsense! How exactly does the government "make" somebody dependent? Do they hold a gun to your head when you're healthy and capable of earning a living, telling you to go on welfare? Providing benefits does not equal forcing people to use those benefits.

        August 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
      • GetReal

        Your last sentence describes the Tea Party, precisely. They think they are a grass roots organization and don't even know that they are pawns of the Koch Bros, et al.

        August 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  46. Kris

    Many posters seem to be anti-war, as I am. But we have no candidate. Obama & Romney are both pro war and even worse: pro pre-emptive war.

    August 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply
    • GetReal

      Where did you hear that Obama is pro-war? That's not true. He has made every effort to get us out of Bush's wars, but in a responsible manner, so as to not make our efforts and sacrifices in vain.
      Granted that he followed the advice of his military leaders and initiated a surge in Afghanistan, but that was to get the job done and leave.
      Look at how he has kept us out of the Arab spring and Iran.
      Obama advocates diplomatic solutions, not military invasions.

      August 13, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  47. windycitybill

    This guy is not qualified at all – in all his 14 years, he only legislated 2 bills: (1) renaming of a post office (2) getting taxes RAISED on bows that are sold to hunters. Thats all she wrote folks!

    August 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • huff

      Thats incorrect. He has sponsored or cosponsored dozens of bills. Perhaps you are thinking of the fact that theres only been 2 bills sponsored by Obama that made it into law.

      August 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
      • Susanto

        Double Pam's thud! These are AMAZING. Stunning. I'm gonna run out of adjectives. What hadosnme guys and captured so amazingly.Good luck to Ryan in his new adventure what a wonderfully giving spirit.

        October 12, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • wobbles

      Obama hadn't done a thing to be qualified-and you as much as drop down to your knees to have him in the oval office–where you'd no doubt drop down on your knees for him some more probably.

      August 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  48. More War

    Ryan's foreign policy is like Romney's – whatever Israel tells them.

    August 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  49. ghostriter

    And as Foreign Policy magazine pointed out in an analysis of Ryan's foreign policy record this year, congressional Democrats and the Obama administration adopted Ryan's estimation that the U.S. could save roughly $1 trillion over the next decade by winding down the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    August 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • CAC

      No doubt it took a PhD in economics to figure that out?

      August 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  50. CAC

    Ryan's view of the world. I've got mine and now I'm going to take yours. Typical backstabbing Republican.

    August 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Reply
    • huff

      Sounds like the Dems plan of demonizing the successful and taking what they want from them.

      August 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
      • CAC

        No one is saying take all of it just what is fair. Even then the rich will find ways to wide what they should be paying. During the 1950's the rich paid 90% in taxes. So give me a f@#king break!

        August 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
      • huff

        CAC, you bought into simplistic liberal propaganda that fails to mention the entire truth. Yes, back then they paid higher income tax rates. But all the other taxes associated with running a business didn't even exist back then. Fact is today the wealthy pay a FAR higher % of total federal taxes collected, not less. IOW's they keep less of every $ earned now than they did back then. Do the math.

        August 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
      • GetReal

        huff, you are using the wrong scale. Instead of looking at the total tax the wealthy pay, look at how much they have left over between paychecks. Oh, that's right, they don't receive paychecks, because they don't work for a living. They only count the money that they receive from their investments.
        The hardest workers (servers, clerks, construction workers, etc, etc.) usually make the least.
        The right wing rhetoric about hard work creating wealth is a lie. So is trickle down economics.
        Profits always rise to the top. A portion of every transaction ends up in the pockets of shareholders and CEOs.

        August 13, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
      • degazmatic

        the republics constantly talk about how great the 50's and 60's were yet they conveniently omit that the rich paid more than 70% of taxes and earlier they paid almost 90%!!! times were great back then. lets go back to those times. when the rich built america... yes i said it. the private sector built america....with high taxes! Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2012 01:24:01 +0000 To:

        August 14, 2012 at 10:22 am |
      • Ezo

        Sounds like you're off your meds again.

        August 15, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Fire Fareed

      Elected officials make an enormous amount of money to work about 3 months of the year. What happened to the term public servant? Rather than serving they would rather collect their paychecks and divide America along party lines and get nothing accomplished year after year. They cant come together on a budget, though it seems the can always get together every year or two to make sure they pass the vote to give themselves a raise. Funny how policy can always be set aside for this. I don't have a solution for this but I feel like it should be at least be discussed from time to time.

      August 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  51. Dreamer96

    Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize just for getting into office and stopping the GOP from winning the White House Again...
    Mitt Romney insulted the British,...
    Mitt Romney showed his ignorance of Israel aid...8 million a day...from the USA alone, .that is why the Israeli's economy is better then the Palestinian's economy..
    Mitt Romney visits Poland a socialist government, with universal health care, government controlled economy, and businesses...and gets an endorsement for His Presidential run...From a Socialist Leader....Ha Ha...

    August 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • Pauline

      Obama bows to those who hate us, insulted the British by returned Churchill bust and gave their Prime Minister a GIFT of 4 CD's – nothing Romney could do can top that!

      August 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Reply
      • Mister Jones

        Pauline – who is your dealer, hon? Because I want some of whatever you are smoking. First off, that is President OBama to you, and second ... who is he bowing to? Osama Bin Laden? Kinda doubt it. Former General Ghaddafi? Nope. Iran? China? Syria? North Korea? ... who? And how so? Insulted the British? ... Really? By replacing a bust of Churchill with one of a United States president? And that strained US-UK relations to the point of? ... Never mind.

        August 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • huff

      You seem to have ignored the 7.7 billion in US aid to Palestinians from 2008-2010. More in 2011-2012 although Obama cut much of it.

      August 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
      • Dreamer96


        Obama gave aid to the Palestinians Yes..and how many GOP Presidents ever gave aid to the Palestinians in the past....Come on how much and who...Obama see there needs to be a balanced approach to the Israeli and Palestinian solution...and the Palestinians were short on basic food, medicine, housing...There are more slums in the Palestinian areas then the Israel areas..

        August 14, 2012 at 10:18 am |
      • degazmatic

        mitt the flip flopper praises socialist countries where unions are strong yet in america he wants to break unions.... hahahahahaha..... the hypocrisy is strong in this one.... hahahahaha.... isnt israel, poland and the uk socialist... hahahaha... why didnt he go to afghanistan? he wants to start war with iran, china and russia... why didnt he visit the troops? like almost everybody else did? Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2012 14:18:54 +0000 To:

        August 14, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  52. tkret

    A few things many of you are missing:
    ** What foreign experience did obama have prior to his election?
    ** What foreign experience did Biden have prior to his election?
    ** obama promised us he would cut the budget in half before the end of his first term. Did he?
    ** obama has alienated our most steadfast ally in the mMd-East. Officially they won't say that, but official statements and the truth frequently don't agree with each other.
    ** Romney has built his career on international trading. He knows what he is doing. As for his recent trip, the so called gaffes were not gaffes. He had experience working with the Olympics. He was merely bringing out something he saw that could have been better (Security). If the Brits are so concerned about how people perceive them, that is their problem. And you have never heard Romney talking badly about another country: think about obama, and French President talking about Israel on a live mike.
    ** obama walked us out of Iraq, with disregard to the Iraquis. should we have been there? That's for another forum. We left the country in shambles, and they are not much better than they were before we entered Iraq.
    ** All of the American lives lost in Iraq: what about them? At least we should have stayed until we repaired a lot of the damage that we caused.

    Before you talk about lack of foreign experience. We've seen what that can do to us.

    August 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Reply
    • Dreamer96

      Bush and Cheney ruined Iraq for the US...They disbanded the Iraqi arming sending 250,000 Iraq soldiers home without jobs no way to buy food or live...So they raided the Iraqi Army Depots and took weapons and bombs...blew up the Iraqi oil wells, the Oil pipelines, looted the power stations and water pumping stations for copper, looted the cities for food and supplies and started just days after being disbanded to make IED's and blow up and killing our troops....General Patton used the Nazi to keep the German trains running, the light on, the water flowing...till he had trained people to replace them....We tried to replace the Iraqi electrical power grid with a US system...not the European system that Iraq had...that Iran has...It was Iran that had to build power lines to Iraq and supply electrical power to the Iraqi electrical grid...Bush and Cheney really messed up Iraq for Obama...

      August 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Reply
      • huff

        What?? It was Saddam who ordered HIS OWN troops to bomb of Iraqs oil industry.

        August 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • CAC

      Forget the argument about what foreign policy experience Obama had prior to winning election. He will have four years of on the job experience in world affairs. Through his actions Osama Bin Laden is sleeping with the fishes. If the time comes Obama will defend Israel. He just doesn't believe in stirring up unnecessary trouble in the region. He ended the war in Iraq and winding down the one in Afghanistan. Bush had two terms to accomplish these tasks and failed at all of them besides flushing the economy down the toilet.

      We don't need another Republican who is ready to start a war in the Middle East. Or one who believes in supply side economics, trickle down theory, or the rich create jobs shill for the 1%. All of these policies have been tried in the past and for a period of time they appear to work until the bills actually come home to roost. At some point how many millions of dollars does one need to live a decent life?

      August 13, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
      • huff

        Sure lets demonize the successful and pretend its just Gov. that creates jobs right? Lack of incentives and increased restrictions on business have not nor ever will create jobs. Obamas plan is increase spending and imply taxing only the top 1% wealthy is a farce. You can tax them at 100% and it won't put a dent into Obama's massive $1 trillion/year deficit. Do the math. His demonizing of the successful is simply a way to con the naive into giving more control and more tax $'s from the middle on up.

        August 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • GetReal

      Didn't President Obama spend part of his childhood in Indonesia, which is a multicultural country? His foreign policies and diplomatic skills are excellent. He is well respected throughout the world, because he understands other cultures and customs.
      Romney is an international crisis, waiting to happen. I couldn't believe it when I saw a Mormon wearing a Jewish skull cap ( sorry, I don't know the proper term), as he visited the Wailing Wall. Talk about selling out one's own religion!

      August 13, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  53. cptpooppants

    I'd rather elect the piece of toilet paper I used to wipe my a s s than elect this pair.

    August 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  54. degazmatic

    43% of what obama says is the truth...

    willard seems to be a pathological liar. with everything he can legitimately attackobama on(economy, unemploymen, housing, gas prices, dought, food prices, poverty, pork barrel spending, healthcare, taxes and much more) he chooses to lie instead.

    obama aint no angel but mitt has to be demon possessed

    August 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  55. No Name

    Romney and Ryan have no idea what this country needs. No more wars, our troops are tired of the wars. Being deployed so many times has taken its toll and soldiers are taking their lives every day. Our system is falling apart starting in DC. Real change needs to happen before the whole country goes bankrupted. What will happen if China wants their money back that we borrowed from them. Romney has said that the Chinese monetary system is bad, what about the FED? They haven’t over inflated our system lately have they?

    August 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  56. cbr

    All of this tells us that Mr. Ryan does have an interest in foreign policy and is probably more knowledgeable than Mr. Romney. The problem lies in the huge deficits which were caused by the lack of funding in the budget for the war. During the Bush Administration the war expenses were left without much funding. instead, we budget surplus left by the Clinton administration was rapidly used up/ Mr. Ryan was part of the Congress which did not question Mr. Bush. He must answer for that now that he is calling for all of these cuts and changes in the way expenditures are part of the budget. Do the broad cuts to the Pentagon take into account the money that the military must have to cover the forces and equipment to go into battle. Remember how the troops were fighting without proper equipment and safeguards. WE cannot afford to do this again.

    August 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • huff

      The cost of the war in Iraq is minuscule compared to the massive deficit racked up under Obama. Nice try.

      August 13, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  57. Mike Texoma

    How in the world is this "starve the beast" idealogue going to restore America at home? His budget is calculated to land us in the second tier of nations in education, research, energy, environmental impact, health care, and economic stability.

    August 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Semantics101

      Because the government can't sustain a balanced budget at the rate that it spends. Not against progressives, a lot of great things develop and my imagination can create utopias. But the reality of what's is happening is the government looks like the middle class it relies on and will have to make tough choices.

      Not to mention, the general population shouldn't be dependant on the government for everything. If there's a will there's a way.

      August 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  58. Lionel

    Is he a draft dodger and tax cheat like Robme. Biden is going to chump all over him on foreign policy. He wants to keep US troops in Afganistan and spend trillions more on a stupid war while throwing grandma under and bus and taking away her medicare. People the choice is clear.

    Obama / Biden 2012

    August 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • huff

      You ignore the fact that Obama cut 500 billion from medicare. Its not solvent and needs drastic reform like it or not. The Dems plan is to hide the truth and kick the problem to the next generation in order to win election now.

      August 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
      • Fire Fareed

        Medicare is only going to get worse with our nations obesity problem. But the government is responsible for it. After all they built the roads that take our fat asses to our favorite fast food resturaunts whenever we get the urge to throwback a sack full of cheeseburgers to soak up some of the booze we bought with our federal education grants and loans.

        August 13, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  59. patNY

    let me guess...Ryan is a war monger like Bush?

    August 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
    • Critical Thinker

      Actually Romney and Ryan are chicken hawks like Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz. Full of BS and apt to get us into another war costing untold $trillions.

      August 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  60. The Real Tom Paine

    Its one thing to talk about economics, its another thing for Ryan to question the truthfulness of the military. He really has no idea what he is doing, and the idea that he and Romney can swagger their way into to world and be taken seriously stretches even the GOP's ability to fantacize to the limit.

    August 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Reply
    • Durundal

      I am not convinced he even talks about 'economics' – to the extent that it seems the majority of his plans are sprayed with red ink by the economists and OMB. I just cant seem to take him seriously when he refuses to consider all the options, and would rather lie to my face about the 'merits' of supply side economics and how the 'trickle down' system works. He's critical for congress because he balances out the opposing view points, but we're kidding ourselves if we think he has the answers (cut cut cut!)

      August 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply

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