Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a misstep when he described 47 percent of Americans as feeling entitled to government aid, his vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, said today.
“We’ve had some missteps,” Ryan said on “Fox News Sunday,” specifically mentioning as one of them the comment Romney made at a private session with donors about the attitude of almost half of Americans.
Romney “acknowledges himself that was an inarticulate way of describing how we’re worried that in a stagnant Obama economy more people have become dependent on government because they have no economic opportunity,” Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said.
Romney’s comment, made in May, surfaced earlier this month in a secretly recorded video first publicized by Mother Jones magazine.
Ryan also said that, in the October debate he will have with Vice President Joe Biden and the three Romney will have during the month with Obama, the Republican ticket will offer voters “a very clear choice” on issues including the economy.
Asked by “Fox News Sunday’ host Chris Wallace about recent polls showing Romney trailing Obama, Ryan said the Republican ticket is ‘‘running against an incumbent president with incredible resources.’’
Still, the Wisconsin Republican said, ‘‘We are going to win this race.’’
Ryan criticized Obama on foreign policy, especially the administration’s efforts to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Obama projects ‘‘weakness and equivocation in dealing with Iranian leaders, Ryan said.
‘‘The Ayatollahs, by virtue of their conduct, don’t believe the president when he says his interest is to stop Iran’’ from obtaining nuclear-weapons capacity, Ryan said.
Obama in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 25 said the U.S. ‘‘will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,’’ and that the time for a diplomatic resolution to the issue ‘‘is not limited.’’
Romney has denounced Obama’s response to the Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that led to the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, and Ryan continued that criticism today.
Saying ‘‘we now know’’ that the assault ‘‘was a planned terrorist attack,’’ Ryan said the administration’s handling of the incident has been ‘‘slow,’’ ‘‘confused’’ and ‘‘inconsistent.’’
‘‘If this was one tragic incident, that would be a tragedy in and of itself,’’ Ryan said. ‘‘The problem is, it’s part of a bigger picture of the fact that the Obama foreign policy is unraveling literally before our eyes on our TV screens’’ as anti-American protests and unrest continue in the Middle East.
Editors: Don Frederick, Ann Hughey.