Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan took to the morning talkshows on Sunday, tasked with the job of telling CBS "Face the Nation" why Mitt Romney was right to call Russia an American enemy. But his defense fell flat, leaving Democrats with ammo to further debunk Romney's previous claim.
Back in March, Romney appeared with CNN's Wolf Blitzer saying about Russia, "This is without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe. They fight for every cause for the world's worst actors. The ideas that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed."
Romney came under fire by President Obama for that remark at the Democratic Convention last week. Obama told listeners that Obama "is new to foreign policy" and that he will draw the U.S. back into old conflicts. "After all, you don't call Russia our No. 1 enemy -- not Al-Qaeda, Russia -- unless you're still stuck in a Cold War mind warp."
Host Norah O'Donnell asked Paul Ryan to defend Mitt Romney's position on "Face the Nation," saying:
O’Donnell: The reason I ask you that is Mitt Romney was criticized during the Democratic National Convention for saying Russia is without question our number one geo-political foe. So do you disagree with mitt Romney?
Ryan: 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 we're giving Iran and China -- excuse me, Russia and China, veto clout over us. That's not good policy. So what we have done through our foreign policy for the Obama Administration is we've increased the clout in the card of Russia and China. I think that was a mistake.
Ryan's momentary lapse on Iran not included, the vice presidential nominee hardly gives a ringing endorsement of Romney's position, skirting the question and failing to explain why Russia is actually a threat to the U.S. It's unclear why Romney believes Russia is still a looming threat to America, other than he is trying to play up this issue for pure politics on the campaign trial.
One other notable moment of the interview came when Ryan told O'Donnell why he feels America is not better off after four years under President Obama: “You know, what we have learned in this presidency, [President Obama] says one thing and he does another. He gave us four budgets, Norah, each of which had trillion dollar deficits, none of which ever, ever proposed to actually balance the budget. His allies in the Senate haven’t even given us a budget for three years. We’ve passed budgets. We’ve led. Mitt Romney and I have offered a specific plan to prevent a debt crisis, to save Medicare and Social Security, to create jobs, to get us growing again. It’s a five point plan for a stronger middle class which is aimed to get us out of this weak recovery we have and get us back to growing our economy like we ought to. We got a troubling jobs report on Friday, Norah, that said for everybody who got a job, nearly four people stopped looking for a job. This isn’t working and President Obama’s rhetoric to the side, it’s just not working. And that’s why we are offering the country a better choice.”
Watch the excerpt below: