Paul Ryan refuses to speculate on reports embassy guards didn’t have live ammunition

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan began a conference call today with conservative media by thanking them for pushing back against liberal media narratives. “You’re on the front lines,” he said. “You’re calling out the distortions from president Obama and his supporters — including two or three in the media.”

If the compliments were meant to elicit softball questions, it didn’t work.

When Townhall.com’s Guy Benson questioned whether Ryan — who is known for his economic expertise — was equipped for a campaign which is now at least partially focused on foreign policy, Ryan confidently boasted: “I may not be known for this, because I’m the Budget Chair, but I’ve delved into this for years.”

“I come to this issue with fourteen years in congress,” he said, “but more importantly, with a political philosophy.”

“What we are seeing right now,” Ryan added “is the result of projecting political weakness abroad.”

“You need to speak with moral clarity and confidence and certainty at every moment,” he asserted. “If there is a perception that America is weak…then bad actors fill that void.”

But Ryan ultimately did find a way to tie the foreign policy issue into economics: “You’ve got to have a good, strong economy if you’re going to have a good, strong foreign policy,” he said.

Ryan was quick to criticize President Obama’s general philosophy, he refused to take the bait and speculate on unconfirmed reports that U.S. Marines at the Cairo embassy didn’t have live ammunition. When asked by RedState’s Moe Lane, Ryan said: “I would like to know for sure what the rules of engagement were — and all of the facts — before commenting.”

In response to another question, Ryan said that Mitt Romney had not yet begun receiving intelligence briefings, but declined to elaborate.