Epic Fail

Flashback: Paul Ryan Says Joint Chiefs Are Dishonest

In March of this year the pentagon debuted their budget request for fiscal 2013 which included the cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act (the debt ceiling deal).

The Joint Chiefs of Staff expressed their satisfaction with the budget proposal, but Representative Paul Ryan accused them of lying about their satisfaction.

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., claimed Thursday that senior U.S. military officials and commanders were being dishonest in their budget requests to Congress.

“We don’t believe the generals are giving us their true budget,” Ryan said at the National Journal Live Budget Policy summit, adding, “I think there’s a lot of budget smoke and mirrors in the Pentagon’s budget.”

Despite the Pentagon's apparent acceptance of the proposed budget, Paul Ryan insisted that Pentagon funding be restored to its original levels and for the cost of doing so be made up for with additional cuts to social programs.

The cuts to defense spending included in the Budget Control Act were approved by both parties.

Remember? Speaker John Boehner "got 98 percent of what [he] wanted."

Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, responded to Paul Ryan several days after he made the accusations and stood by his testimony.

“There’s a difference between having someone say they don’t believe what you said versus … calling us, collectively, liars,” Gen. Dempsey told reporters aboard a U.S. military aircraft after a four day visit to Latin America. ”My response is: I stand by my testimony. This was very much a strategy-driven process to which we mapped the budget.”

Paul Ryan eventually walked back his statement after thoroughly embarrassing himself.

I'm sure the Joint Chiefs are thrilled by the idea that a man who called them lairs could be next in line to the presidency.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Republicans: We always listen to the generals. Unless the don’t tell us what we want to hear.

  • mike.w.1

    Despite hearing the political pundits blather incessantly this weekend, the Romney campaign demonstrated an extraordinary lack of political theater placement. In fact, it’s tragic. According to the Wall Street Journal, Romney purportedly “picked” Ryan as his VP running mate last Wednesday.

    — Mr. Romney told Beth Myers—his longtime adviser who was the head of the vice-presidential search—on Aug. 1 that he wanted Mr. Ryan as his running mate. He then called Mr. Ryan and asked to get together, according to an aide. Mr. Ryan formally accepted the position on Sunday, Aug. 5, when Mr. Romney offered him the slot in person —

    If that’s true, then why did the Romney campaign select the backdrop of a retired warship for their VP roll out? While scanning the assembled crowd, it became apparently clear that the Romney campaign had missed the basics of advanced planning.

    There was no official campaign logo or slogan boldly displayed declaring the new “Romney / Ryan” ticket. There were no “Romney / Ryan” campaign banners, posters or flyers. In fact, the only thing you could see were a few sprinkled American flags that were being waived by bored onlookers.

    Contrast today’s scene against the VP roll out of Biden with Obama in 2008. The Obama campaign had created and distributed their new official campaign posters and banners. The stagecraft in Illinois aptly reflected the importance of that day.


    There should be no doubt that Romney was bullied into picking Ryan. Although his campaign will deny it, their rapidly defunct campaign roll out of Ryan suggest otherwise.

    • Torsloke

      Not to mention allowing the news to leak out late on a Friday evening. That’s the equivalent of waiting until five minutes after your mom falls asleep to ask her to borrow the car. “Well, she didn’t say I couldn’t borrow it.” That’s not the approach you use if you’re genuinely proud of your pick and expect the electorate to be excited by it too.

    • http://mdblanche.myopenid.com/ mdblanche

      In fairness, putting up a banner with a slogan on it on a battleship might not have been the best move either.

      ETA: No, wait. What was Romney doing making this announcement on a battleship anyway? It brings up memories of a guy Romney would rather have people forget and it’s not like either he or Ryan are veterans.