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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Paul Ryan hits Obama on foreign policy in Tampa Bay: 'If we project weakness, they come'



In his first public speech in Tampa Bay, Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan flexed his budgetary muscle to skewer President Obama's economic policies and derided last week's stimulus effort by the Federal Reserve as "a new bailout."

"We don't need sugar-high economics. We don't need synthetic money creation," he told a couple thousand people gathered at the waterfront pavilion at R.E. Olds Park on Saturday. "We need economic growth. We want wealth creation."

Mitt Romney's running mate focused his 20-minute speech largely on the economy, saying Obama "made things worse" after inheriting a historic recession. He aimed some of his toughest remarks at the Federal Reserve's new plan to spend $40 billion a month to buy mortgage bonds to try to keep interest rates low.

"One of the most insidious things a government can do to its people is to debase its currency," he said.

As protests continued throughout the Middle East, Ryan spent only a few minutes on foreign policy, paying tribute to the four Americans killed at the U.S. consulate in Libya last week. Unlike Romney, who directly criticized Obama's reaction to the attacks, Ryan spoke in broad terms about maintaining a strong national defense.

"If we project weakness, they come," said Ryan, a 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman in his seventh term. "If we are strong, our adversaries will not test us and our allies will respect us."

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[Last modified: Sunday, September 16, 2012 3:12pm]


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