COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan on Sunday criticized President Barack Obama for planned reductions in military spending scheduled to kick in at the end of the year, saying it was a sign to the country’s enemies that it was weak.
Rep. Ryan himself voted for the cuts as part of last year’s deal to raise the debt ceiling. But he now argues that he wants to replace them with other reductions in federal spending but that the president won’t allow that.
The spending cuts were front and center during a brief speech by Ryan in this city, home to both the Ft. Carson military base and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
“We are not going to gut our military,” Ryan vowed before a rally of about 1,000 people, specifically citing soldiers at Ft. Carson. “You honor us and we will honor you.”
He said strong military spending was part of the GOP ticket’s plan for “peace through strength.”
“Our adversaries, when they see us projecting weakness, when they see us hollowing out our military…they think we are a superpower in decline,” he said, in a likely preview of an attack Mitt Romney will launch in Monday’s foreign policy debate.
Ryan’s voice was noticeably hoarse and he spoke for only 12 minutes, less than usual. He has three campaign events in Colorado tomorrow and will meet Romney Tuesday night for a major rally at Red Rocks amphitheater, outside Denver.
President Obama will follow that with an appearance in Denver on Wednesday, a reminder of the swing state’s political importance in this deadlocked election.
Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan is vowing to keep America’s military strong.
The Republican congressman promised supporters in Colorado Springs Sunday night to avoid budget cuts to the armed forces that are scheduled to kick in at the end of the year. Ryan voted for those cuts last year but now complains that President Obama won’t let Republicans substitute other spending cuts for the defense ones.
Ryan said he and Mitt Romney want what he called “peace through strength.” He said that the cuts are emboldening the country’s adversaries.
Ryan will make three more Colorado appearances Monday. He meets running mate Mitt Romney for a rally Tuesday. President Obama is scheduled to appear in Denver on Wednesday, a reminder of Colorado’s big role in the deadlocked presidential race.
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