Ryan balks at Obama's foreign policy criticism

AP News
Posted: Sep 09, 2012 9:06 AM
Ryan balks at Obama's foreign policy criticism

WASHINGTON (AP) — GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan says he has more foreign policy experience than Barack Obama did before he entered the White House.

The Wisconsin congressman notes that he's been in Congress since 1999, has been to Iraq and Afghanistan, has voted to send Americans to war and has met with troops. Obama was a first-term senator from Illinois and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when he won the presidency in 2008.

Obama said that presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Ryan are "new to foreign policy" and want to take the U.S. back "to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly."

Ryan told CBS' "Face the Nation" that such "name calling" is "what people do when they have nothing else to offer."

"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," Ryan said. He criticized Obama's approach to Iran and said that "as result of his poor Iran policy they're that much closer to a nuclear weapon."

Romney has branded Russia as the "No. 1 geopolitical foe" of the U.S., and Obama has said that's not right "unless you're stuck in a Cold War time warp."

Ryan called Iran "our biggest foreign policy threat today" and that Russia "stands a great threat."

Asked if he disagrees with Romney's assessment of Russia, Ryan said: "No, I think what he was saying, was among the other powers, China and Russia, that Russia stands a great threat. Look, I think sending our foreign policy decisions to be cleared through the U.N. Security Council," where Russia and China have veto power, "that's not good policy. So what we have done through our foreign policy of the Obama administration is we've increased the clout and the card of Russia and China, and I think that was a mistake. "