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Paul Ryan weighs in on Middle East policy

SPRINGFIELD, Va. -- Paul Ryan ventured into the debate surrounding the Middle East on Friday afternoon for the first time since being named the presumptive GOP vice presidential nominee.

“This is the first responsibility of our federal government,” Ryan said about national security. “And one of the critical means and needs for a strong national defense is because the world needs America’s leadership.”

He continued: “In the past day, Iran’s president called our ally Israel, quote, a cancerous tumor that must be excised. Let me be really clear. Under President Romney, our adversaries will think twice about challenging America and our allies because we believe in peace through strength. There will be no daylight between America and our friends around the world. Strong national defense, peace through strength, strong relationship with our allies." 

Ryan, the seven-term Wisconsin congressman who serves as the House Budget Committee chairman, has been criticized for not having enough foreign policy experience to serve on Mitt Romney's ticket because he typically works on domestic issues.

Thursday, Ryan addressed the trade policies with China.

President Barack Obama “said he’d go to the mat with China. Instead they’re treating him like a doormat.  We’re not going to let that happen,” Ryan told the crowd in North Canton, Ohio. “Mitt Romney and I are going to crack down on China cheating. We’re going to make sure that trade works for Americans.”

Friday, while speaking in the battleground state of Virginia, the Wisconsin congressman also weighed in on the pending $500 billion in defense cuts — part of what’s known as “sequestration.”

"Now there’s one thing we’re going to have to deal with to make sure we protect jobs in Virginia and around America. And that is these devastating defense cuts that president Obama is promising. That is the lack of leadership that he is providing. They call it sequester and all of that. Well I tell you what, in the House, we already passed the bill to cut spending in other areas of government to make sure that these devastating cuts to defense never occur so we don’t put Virginians out of work and so we have a strong national defense. That’s extremely important," he said.