Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan has gotten in hot water before for criticizing President Obama for the very same defense cuts that he voted for in 2011. When confronted with this incongruity today on Face The Nation, Ryan simply denied that he ever voted for the cuts, telling an incredulous Norah O’Donnell that he didn’t actually vote for the cuts he’s on record as voting for:
O’DONNELL: Now you’re criticizing the President for those same defense cuts you’re voting for and called a victory.
RYAN: No, no — I have to correct on you this, Norah. I voted for a mechanism that says the sequester will occur if we don’t cut $1.2 trillion in government. … We can get into this nomenclature; I voted for the Budget Control Act. But the Obama Administration proposed $478 billion in defense cuts. We don’t agree with that, our budget rejected that, and then on top of that is another $500 billion in defense cuts in the sequester.
O’DONNELL: Right. A trillion dollars in defense spending, and you voted for it!
RYAN: No, Norah. I voted for the Budget Control Act.
O’DONNELL: That included defense spending!
RYAN: Norah, you’re mistaken.
O’Donnell is, in fact, not mistaken. The Budget Control Act, as passed, included both the roughly $600 billion in “sequestration” cuts that will happen if there’s no compromise on the budget by December as well as the $487 billion of military-supported cuts that will take place regardless. The fact that Ryan may have wished that the bill didn’t contain said defense cuts does not absolve him of the fact that he and 201 other Republicans voted for the bill as-passed.
Moreover, Ryan’s statement after voting for the bill contained not a single word of criticism about the defense cuts. As O’Donnell correctly noted, Ryan said the bill “represents a victory for those committed to controlling government spending and growing our economy” and that “The agreement – while far from perfect – underscores the extent to which the new House majority has successfully changed Washington’s culture of spending.” It’s at best misleading, and at worst an outright lie, for Ryan to assert that voting for the Budget Control Act did not mean voting for defense cuts.