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Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Foreign Policy Update: Ryan’s Views Beyond the Budget

by Newsteam Staff
August 13, 2012

U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks after being introduced by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as his vice-presidential running mate in Norfolk, Virginia August 11, 2012 (Shannon Stapleton/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) in Norfolk, Virginia August 11, 2012 (Shannon Stapleton/Courtesy Reuters).


With GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney selecting Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman best known for his plans to drastically reduce federal spending, as a running mate, some analysts are beginning to take a closer look at Ryan’s foreign policy views (Reuters).

“Although U.S. voters overwhelmingly cite economic issues as their main concern, they also want reassurance that their leaders can execute the role of commander-in-chief,” writes Reuters’ Susan Cornwell.

Republicans have begun to tout Ryan’s foreign policy experience (WSJ), with senior Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom arguing on “Face the Nation” that Ryan is a trusted voice (CBS, video) on defense issues and Bush deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams vouching for Ryan’s foreign policy chops to The Daily Caller.

“Ryan has gotten briefed on and thought about foreign policy for years,” Abrams said, a former national security adviser for George W. Bush. “The briefings I have done, about the Middle East, found him knowledgeable and of course very smart.”

At Politico, Philip Ewing writes that neither Romney nor Ryan had much to say about defense or foreign policy during Saturday’s announcement, but a lack of foreign policy prowess on the ticket may not matter. “Romney’s choice of Ryan reflects that the 2012 campaign is all about domestic issues – the economy, unemployment, and taxes – and not about war or terrorism,” Ewing says. “And poll after poll shows that voters see it that way.”

The Christian Science Monitor delves into some of Ryan’s policy positions beyond the budget, including national security and foreign policy, immigration and the environment.

For more on the candidates’ stances on major foreign policy issues, check out all of CFR’s Issue Trackers.

Suggested Other Reading:

The Stimson Center’s blog, The Will and the Wallet, analyses the budgets and processes that drive U.S. national security and foreign policy decisions.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, offers facts, figures and recommendations for the next president on future U.S. spending plans.

— Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor

1 Comment

  • Posted by Sid Harth

    This is saying that both, Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, have absolutely no idea about US foreign policy and or issues related to the national security.

    What was all the carefully planned and orchestrated trip of three countries, (flopped) for?

    Conservatives may win this election. I want them to win. Not with making statements to selective media about their positions.

    Mitt Romney’s failures are legendary. Not being honest and forthcoming over his income taxes, his stashing money in the offshore accounts, his constant claims of getting tons of money to run the campaign.

    All that money, coming from people like Sheldon Adelson, like rogues being investigated by China, exactly when Mitt does not want such negative publicity, may make him a sitting duck.

    Heritage Foundation, with all their scholarly or other power, may never be able to put this Humpty-Dumpty back on the wall.

    It is too early to declare the Romney ticket as dead but all signs leading to their separate or joint actions indicate otherwise.

    Downhill, all the way, I say.

    …and I am Sid