OWENSVILLE, OH -- By Wednesday afternoon, Paul Ryan took a harsher tone against President Barack Obama and aligned himself with his running mate, Mitt Romney, regarding the attacks on Americans in the Middle East.
“The administration sent mixed signals to those who attacked our embassy in Egypt, and mixed signals to the world. I want to be clear: It is never too early for the United States to condemn attacks on Americans, on our properties and to defend our values,” Ryan told the crowd in the battleground state of Ohio. “That’s what leadership is all about.”
The GOP vice presidential nominee continued: “This administration’s policies project weakness abroad. Undercutting allies like Israel, outreach to enemies like Iran, national security leaks and devastating defense cuts. A weak America breeds insecurity and chaos around the world. The best guarantee of peace is American strength.”
At Ryan’s first event of the day, in his home state of Wisconsin, the seven-term congressman focused less on policy and more on the tragedy itself.
“The attacks on our diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya and the loss of four American lives including our Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens – this is outrageous,” Ryan said in De Pere, Wis. “Our hearts are heavy and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and I would just like to ask at this moment that we join together in a moment of silence in memory of them.”
While at both events, Ryan promised the crowd here that a Romney-Ryan foreign policy would follow the “peace thru strength” doctrine, the event seemed to coincide with rhetoric Mitt Romney used towards Obama Wednesday morning.
Speaking at a press conference in Jacksonville, Fla. early Wednesday, Romney said the president "demonstrated a lack of clarity as to foreign policy” regarding the attacks.
“It’s their administration that spoke,” Romney told reporters at a press conference in Florida. “The president takes responsibility not just for the words that come from his mouth but also for the words that come from his ambassadors, from his administration, from his embassies, from his State Department. They clearly sent mixed messages to the world.”
President Barack Obama fired back at the GOP ticket during an interview with CBS's 60 Minutes.
"There's a broader lesson to be learned here, and, you know, Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later. As president, one of the things I've learned is you can't do that," Obama said. "It's important for you to make sure that the statements you make are backed up by the facts, and that you thought through the ramifications before you make them."