GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan says the Obama administration’s actions toward Israel border on “contempt.”
It was just one of several criticisms the Wisconsin representative had regarding President Obama’s foreign policy record.
The minute Ryan came onto the scene, conservatives couldn’t get enough of him, heaping praise on their fresh, 42-year-old idea man.
All the energy and rave reviews, however, have not translated into a lead in the polls against the president—at least not yet.
“Why do you think he’s still leading at the polls at this point?” CBN News’s David Brody asked Ryan.
“Well, two things,” he replied. “We’re taking on an incumbent president. We’re the challengers. He’s the incumbent. He has all the benefits of incumbency, of the bully pulpit.
“No. 2: He just spent the last three or four months trashing Mitt Romney,” Ryan continued. “What he’s trying to do is make Mitt Romney an unacceptable alternative because he has no record to run on.”
It’s Obama’s record that Ryan and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney have called into question. One example is foreign policy.
They called him an “apologizer in chief” who hasn’t been a good friend to Israel. Just this week, Obama said he wouldn’t have time to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“I’m really troubled by this,” Ryan told CBN News. “Israel is our greatest ally in the Middle East. Of all times when we need to show very little daylight if any between our relationship with Israel is now.”
“And so I think this fraying relationship with Israel bordering on contempt is the worst possible thing we should be doing at this time,” he said.
As for the recent chaos in the Mideast, Ryan said it’s time to rethink the money the United States sends to these countries.”You have to reassess all of these things. It’s too early. First of all, what you don’t do is you don’t knee jerk. You don’t have knee jerk reactions but you clearly assess these things.”
Ryan’s main interest is assessing numbers. As House Budget Committee chairman, his plan to restructure Medicare and take serious steps to rein in spending has been a flash point during this presidential race.
While liberals see potential cuts to federal programs as mean-spirited, Ryan has maintained it’s morally right to be fiscally responsible. Ryan relies on his conservative Catholic views to shape public policy.
“The notion that you can divorce these principles, these matters of faith between private life and public life—that doesn’t jive with the thinking of a Catholic,” he told CBN News.
Ryan is also insulted with the Obama administration’s decision that forced Catholic institutions to violate their conscience by paying for contraception services in their healthcare plans for employees. Many of those organizations are suing the government.
“The problem is we shouldn’t have to go to court to sue our federal government to protect our civil liberties,” Ryan charged.
“So look, under a Romney administration this is gone,” he said. “We will not do this. This along with the rest of Obamacare is something we are seriously committed to repealing.”
Ryan is also committed to calling out the Federal Reserve. This week, the Fed announced a third attempt to help stimulate the weak economy by pumping another $40 billion into it. The move is known as Quantative easing (QE3).
“I’m not a fan of QE3,” Ryan said. “I wasn’t a fan of QE2 either. I think in the long run it will do more harm than good.”
“What this is is it’s the Federal Reserve and the monetary policy trying to bail out the fact that we have terrible leadership on fiscal policy from President Obama,” Ryan charged.
For those who know Ryan’s history, his unwavering approach to issues or the fact that he’s been successful in life shouldn’t be too surprising. At 16, he had a life-changing experience: He discovered his father dead at home.
“My dad’s secretary called to say, ‘Where is he? He’s got clients in his office,’” Ryan recalled. “He was a small-town lawyer.
“I went to wake him up and he was dead,” he said. “He had been dead for some time. He had died of a heart attack in the middle [of the] night. That’s something that no person should ever have to go through.”
He called it a punch in the gut and it led to some soul searching.
“I became that much more stronger in my convictions, in my faith, and it was one of those sort of moment’s in a person’s life that just was a pivotal moment, a trajectory-making moment,” Ryan said.
“And I just decided I’m going to take life on and make it count because it is precious and short,” he said.
The Wisconsin lawmaker is indeed making the most of his life so far, and nobody, not even Ryan himself, knows exactly how the story will eventually end.