Paul Ryan's foreign policy experience attacked by critics


House Budget Chairman U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (C) and members of the House Budget Committee introduce the House FY2013 budget at a news conference at the Capitol on March 20, 2012 in Washington, D.C.


T.J. Kirkpatrick

Critics of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), citing foreign policy inexperience, say the conservative policy wonk is unprepared to lead a nation on the international stage.

As chair of the House Budget Committee, Ryan is known as an analytical guy who can talk about economic issues. Here is his YouTube video about his now famous budget proposal.

Last night on 60 Minutes, Mitt Romney reaffirmed Ryan's public image: "He's a policy guy, people know him as a policy guy," he said. 

Ryan is a running mate ready-made to campaign on fiscal issues—jobs, Medicare, Medicaid, the budget deficit, and social security. But what about Iran, Israel, Syria's civil war, Libya's reconstruction, and, well, the rest of the world?

Former congressman and former ambassador to India Tim Roemer told Reuters, "I think his (Ryan's) experience as a vice presidential candidate is thin; or for a future president and commander-in-chief, it's virtually absent."

Democrats are quick to point out the executive branch requires more than fiscal ideas from its leaders. 

Republican's came to Ryan's defense: 

Now, all this may seem familiar. And it should.

As ThinkProgress points out, in 2008 Republicans attacked President Obama for his foreign policy inexperience. Gingrich said this made him ill equipped for the presidency:

“Who do you trust more to deal with the dangerous world … somebody who has read about it and sort of vaguely thought about it but hasn’t really collided head-on with it?”

President Obama then picked Joe Biden as his VP, adding foreign policy experience to the ticket.

So what is Ryan's foreign policy?

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, told Reuters, "My sense is that Ryan is just a generic Republican on foreign policy." 

Romney is betting that's good enough.