Defense & National Security

On defense cuts, Ryan tells Obama to ‘put up or shut up’

On defense cuts, Ryan tells Obama to 'put up or shut up'

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told an audience in Fayetteville, N.C. near Fort Bragg Thursday afternoon that President Barack Obama was to blame for the slate of “devastating” defense cuts that are quickly approaching without a popular alternative.

Ryan, along with a majority of Congress Republicans and Democrats, voted for last year’s Budget Control Act, which set up the sequester as an ultimatum to force a deadline for compromise on spending cuts. This year, he authored a sequester replacement package that would save defense spending and move most of the cuts to entitlement programs and government waste. The proposal sailed through the House but was dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate and earned a veto threat from Obama, who has said he will try to kill any sequester alternative that doesn’t raise taxes.

“The Senate has done nothing. The president has proposed no solution to this,” Ryan said, adding that Obama should “put up or shut up” on alternatives to sequestration.

Standing in front of a humvee, Ryan reiterated Mitt Romney’s message that the first responsibility of government was to provide for the common defense, keeping the armed forces strong and prepared.

“We don’t forget that,” he said.

He also showed the Fort Bragg crowd something he said he doesn’t talk about much: an index card he keeps in his jacket printed with the names of fallen American troops.

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