LIMA, Ohio — In one of his harshest indictments to date of President Obama’s handling of the economy, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told an audience on Monday that Americans “are beginning to give up hope” on the economic recovery.
During a town hall meeting, the first stop on a bus tour across Ohio, Ryan said, “People are beginning to give up hope. People are beginning to think that the American Dream’s not for them because of this stagnant economy. And when you take a look at what your government’s doing to you in every nook and cranny of America, it’s not good.”
Ryan also said that the Obama administration has threatened to veto a defense spending bill if Congress tries to reinstate funding for the nation’s only tank-manufacturing plant, located in Lima. The Pentagon has said it has enough of the vehicles and is trying halt production of tanks for several years, but Ohio legislators, including Republican Sen. Rob Portman and Rep. Jim Jordan — both of whom spoke before Ryan at the event — have lobbied to keep the plant open.
Ryan painted the decision as another example of what he called Obama’s determination to focus spending cuts on the military, which he said will weaken the nation’s defense.
“Look, Lima, I know you understand when … you have a president who has proposed again and again to shut down this tank factory — the only one we have — over a budget gimmick,” the Wisconsin lawmaker said. “If we keep doing this, if we keep showing that the only thing we want to do is gut our military, that projects weakness abroad. And by projecting weakness abroad, our adversaries are so much more tempted to test us, and our allies are so much less willing to trust us.”