Paul Ryan claimed today that he has more foreign policy experience that President Obama had in 2008, but a look at the congressional committees that each served on tells a vastly different story.
Here is the video:
O’DONNELL: Let’s turn now to foreign policy.
President Obama said in his convention speech you may have heard. He talked about you and Governor Romney as newcomers to foreign policy to subscribe to a blustering and blundering approach. Do you have a response to that?
RYAN: I think this is what people do when they have nothing else to offer. I think these are the kind of name calling you’re going to get from the president. I have more foreign policy experience coming into this job than President Obama did coming into his.
Mitt Romney and I share the view that we need peace through strength, that we need to have a strong national defense. I wrote the bill to prevent the sequester from happening because we think those devastating defense cuts will dramatically weaken our national security. We think the president’s been wrong on Iran. And we think he’s dragged his feet on Iran, and as a result of his poor Iran policy, they’re that much closer to a nuclear weapon.
Now, the president has had some success. Osama bin Laden is a perfect example. But by and large, I think what the president is doing here is he can’t run on his record. So he’s going to be offering us this kind of rhetoric.
O’DONNELL: Can you explain how do you have more foreign policy experience than Senator Obama did? He was on the foreign relations committee. What is your foreign policy experience?
RYAN: I’ve been in congress for 14 years. He was in the senate for far, far less time that that. I voted– you know, Norah, I voted to send men and women to war. I’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve met with our troops to get their perspectives. I’ve been to the funerals. I’ve talked to the widows. I’ve talked to the wives, the moms and dads. That’s something. That matters.
Paul Ryan claimed that voting for the invasion of Iraq based on the WMD gives him more foreign policy experience than Barack Obama had before he took office, but a look at the respective congressional committee assignments of Obama and Ryan tells a vastly different story.
When Barack Obama was in the Senate, he served on the Foreign Relations, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and as s chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on European Affairs. During roughly the same period in the House, Paul Ryan served on the House Committee on Budget, House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Social Security, Joint Economic Committee, and the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures. Paul Ryan did not serve on a single foreign policy committee or subcommittee while Obama was in the Senate.
What is most troubling is that everything Paul Ryan listed as foreign policy experience is related to going to war, and that he seems to have taken the wrong lesson from those experiences. Ryan actually listed voting for a war based on a lie as a good thing. Ryan didn’t discuss diplomacy, treaties, or any international agreements that he voted on. To Paul Ryan foreign policy equals war, and this little insight into the hidden corner of his neo-con mind should give voters pause.
The fact of the matter is that based on congressional training alone, Barack Obama was more prepared to deal with foreign policy questions when he was elected in 2008 than Paul Ryan is in 2012.
Lyin’ Ryan is really on a roll today. First he came unglued when he was asked how Romney is going to pay for tax cuts for the rich, and then managed to outdo himself by listing his endorsement of one of the great political lies of the early 21st century as foreign policy experience.
Voting for war is not foreign policy experience, and continues to support wars that were based on lies makes Paul Ryan a danger to his country.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association