De Pere, Wisconsin-Paul Ryan stopped to mention the attacks on the American embassy in Libya Wednesday, although he didn’t criticize the president by name, he did go after the administration saying “it is very important that a president speak with a singular voice representing our principles and our values,” as well as noting that now is a “time for healing. It is a time for resolve.”
“I want to begin unfortunately on a somber note. We woke up to some pretty disturbing news this morning. I know all Americans today are shocked and saddened by the news from the Middle East. The attacks on our diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya and the loss of four American lives including our Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. This is outrageous. Our hearts are heavy and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and I would just like to ask at this moment that we join together in a moment of silence in memory of them,” Ryan said to his fellow Wisconsinites, before bowing his head along with the audience at his town hall.
Ryan continued, saying, “in the face of such a tragedy, we are reminded that the world needs American leadership. And the best guarantee of peace is American strength.”
Ryan held a joint town hall last month with Romney in New Hampshire, but this was his first traditional solo town hall, since joining the ticket. He’s hold over 500 here in his home state.
An audience member asked Ryan what a Romney/Ryan administration’s foreign policy agenda would look like in light of the attacks on both the Libyan and Egyptian American embassies. Ryan answered, “Peace through strength works, and a Romney administration will embrace the peace through strength doctrine.”
“We don’t want people around the world wondering what our values are,” Ryan said. “We believe in individual rights, and particularly in the Middle East, we believe in women’s rights. That’s very important. We believe in tolerance, religious freedom…so it’s important that people know who we are what we believe in, and the values we’re going to stand up for, that’s point No. 1. But point No. 2: If you show weakness, if you show moral equivocation then foreign policy adventurism among our adversaries will increase. We do not want a world climate where our adversaries are so tempted to test us and our allies are worried about trusting us and that is unfortunately the path that we are on right now.”
Ryan, dressed in a Green Bay Packers polo shirt, said he’s “really worried about that.” He went on to discuss his support of veterans in this state as well as the 500 billion dollars in looming defense cuts, known as the sequester, blaming the president for the cuts that were mandated by the Budget Control Act, which was signed into law last August by President Obama in exchange for a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt limit.
That limit was increased under an agreement that called on the bipartisan “super-committee” to negotiate an additional $1.2 trillion in savings, or face sequestration — meaning the automatic cuts that include those defense cuts and items unpalatable to each party. Ryan sat on that “super-committee.”
In answering another question about the Pakistani doctor currently in prison in Pakistan for aiding the United States with the Bin Laden raid, the House Budget Chairman accused the Obama administration of being behind security leaks saying, “These leaks on national security coming from the White House undermine the men and women who risk their lives for us.”
But spokesman Michael Steel later said Ryan was talking more “generally” about security leaks and not specifically about the incident the questioner was asking about: the imprisonment of Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi.