Paul Ryan appeared on Face the Nation today to defend positions that make absolutely no sense, and to explain that just because he voted in support of the Budget Support Act didn't mean he voted in favor of the automatic sequester that is part of the Budget Control Act.
Keven Bleyer got me a little choked up on CBS Sunday Morning today, as he talked about Gabby Giffords at the DNC, pledging allegiance "not to a party, not to a platform, but to a flag, and to the republic for which it stands. She's that kind of Democrat, and that kind of Republican.... The framers designed a Constitution that ensures a peaceful transition of power. But a two-party system devoted to tearing each other down? We built that. That's our convention."
That moment of glow was short-lived, as I watched Paul Ryan's interview with Norah O'Donnell on Face the Nation.
She was good, and really hammered at him for blaming President Obama for the defense cuts, and for Ryan's accusation that the President is "putting politics ahead of national security," when Ryan voted in favor of the Budget Control Act, of which the defense cuts are a part.
Ryan tried to twist away with a a set of verbal gymnastics that was almost impossible to follow.
"[I]f he's not going to help us with a plan to prevent those defense cuts by substituting them with cuts from elsewhere, what's his plan for the sequester? He's ignoring the law. He was supposed to give these to us just yesterday. So the problem, Norah, is, we've led," Ryan added.He also defended the Romney/Ryan budget and said that criticisms are not using accurate numbers (but didn't provide any), and defended his foreign policy experience. Oh, and also tried to explain how it is that Russia is such a threat, no, really.
Once an agreement was reached, however, Ryan praised the agreement in August 2011. "The Budget Control Act represents a victory for those committed to controlling government spending and growing our economy. I applaud Speaker Boehner's leadership in stopping tax increases on job creators, rejecting President Obama's demands for a blank check to keep borrowing, and advancing real spending cuts and controls."
Ryan walked that statement back Sunday morning. "No, no, I have to correct you on this, Norah. I voted for a mechanism that says a sequester would occur if we don't cut $1.2 trillion in spending in government. We offered $1.2 trillion in various - the Supercommittee offered it."
The "Supercommittee" Ryan referred to, was a bipartisan, bicameral committee set up to come up with alternatives to the automatic spending cuts. Although Ryan says the Supercommittee came up with a plan, it did not.
Ryan also denied voting for additional defense cuts totaling $478 billion that top military brass supported. "That's half of the trillion we don't support," Ryan said, adding that he wants "to cut spending in other areas of government instead of the Pentagon."
How does anyone take this guy seriously?