Paul Ryan attacks Obama on Defense spending

By Matt Vasilogambros

September 10, 2012

This story has been updated. 

Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan criticized President Obama on Defense spending, attacking him for his role in creating automatic cuts that will take a big chunk out of the Pentagon's budget early next year unless Congress acts.

“That's putting politics ahead of national security,” Paul said on CBS’s Face the Nation. “More to the point, I authored a bill, brought it to the floor, and passed it to prevent the president's irresponsible, devastating Defense cuts from occurring by cutting wasteful Washington spending in other areas of government to replace these defense cuts.”

Although Ryan voted for the 2011 Budget Control Act, which put the automatic cuts known as sequestration in place, he said it was Obama and Democrats who blocked a $1.2 trillion deal that would have eliminated the need for sequestration.

While Mitt Romney said on Sunday that it was “a big mistake” for GOP to support the Budget Control Act, Ryan did not distance himself from his vote, saying he “was working to find common ground with Democrats to get a down payment on deficit reduction." In defending his decision, he added, "It wasn't a big down payment, but it was a step in the right direction."

Also on Sunday, Obama campaign adviser David Plouffe attacked Ryan for his original support of the sequester. “He put out a statement praising it," Plouffe said. "They’re acting as if they had nothing to do with this. They voted for this.”

Plouffe said Republicans will not compromise on a deal to address sequestration, taxes and the budget moving forward.

“Getting our fiscal house in order, dealing with the sequester (is) very simple,” he said. "We need compromise."

Eric Katz contributed to this story.

By Matt Vasilogambros

September 10, 2012