Paul Ryan told a Clermont County crowd Wednesday night that the Obama administration is projecting ‘weakness abroad’ ‘“ and he defended Mitt Romney for statements the Republican made after attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East.
‘Our hearts are heavy and our thoughts and prayers go out,’ he said. ‘We need to be reminded that the world needs American leadership. The administration is sending mixed signals to those who attack our embassy and those in the world.’
‘It’s never too early to condemn attacks’ on Americans, he said. ‘That is what leadership is all about.’
‘The administration’s policies project weakness abroad,’ he said.
The comments echoed those Ryan made earlier in Wisconsin on Wednesday. At a town hall meeting in his home state, Ryan said President Barack Obama’s defense spending cuts ‘breed weakness,’ which he says the United States can’t afford following the killings of four Americans in Libya.
Ryan’s speech - greeted with cheers - signaled that, far from backing down in the face of criticism over Romney statements made in the wake of the attacks, the GOP intended to denounce what they saw as a weak administration response to turmoil in the Middle East.
After Ryan addressed the violent attacks in the Middle East, he shifted back into rally mode. His focus: Leadership, fixing the ‘mess’ in Washington, and helping the middle class were repeated.
‘Romney and Ryan are for a stronger middle class,’ Ryan said. ‘What we’re after is growth’ opportunity’ upward mobility. That is what this country prides itself on.
Ryan referenced his years at Miami University - he graduated in 1992 -more than once.
‘The president is talking to people as if they are stuck in some station is life,’ Ryan said. ‘I don’t know about you, but when I was at Miami, working at a cheese company ’ waiting tables, it never occurred to me I was stuck in a station. I was on my way to happiness. I was pursuing my version of the American Dream.
‘That is what we do in this country,’ Ryan said.
Ryan was joined on stage by his wife, Janna and mom, all waving to a organizers estimated at 3,000; the fire marshal did not keep an official count for the event at the Clermont County fairgrounds.
The Obama campaign said Ryan offered nothing but ‘empty political attacks’ and didn’t address the concerns of rural Ohioans.
‘While President Obama is laying the foundation for a rural economy built to last - one that invests in reclaiming rural middle class security and restoring the basic values of fairness and opportunity that make our country great, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney’s plan would gut rural America’s economic security at a time when we need it the most, cutting investments in rural infrastructure, and turning Medicare into a voucher program,’ said Jessica Kershaw, the Obama campaign’s Ohio spokeswoman.
Ryan’s appearance in Clermont County is his fifth in Ohio — and second in Southwest Ohio — since being named Romney’s running mate.
Tiffany Perkins, 36, of Williamsburg, left the rally with this thought. ‘(Ryan) was right. We have had a failed leadership in our country the last four years.’
Kelly Montchai, 47, of Montgomery, has already been to see Romney at Union Terminal earlier this month and wanted to show support for Ryan.
‘I like his policies: that he wants to do something about the fiscal mess, has a plan to address the entitlement plans of Medicaid and Medicare,’ she said. ‘If we don’t fix them our country is in big trouble.’
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