House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said Sunday he misspoke last week when discussing the military budget.
“I really misspoke,” Ryan said during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union.
“Yeah, I totally misspoke,” he said later on ABC’s This Week.
At issue were comments Ryan made Thursday regarding the military budget. “We don’t think the generals are giving us their true advice,” he said at an event hosted by National Journal. “We don’t think the generals believe that their budget is really the right budget.”
In response, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey said he stood by his testimony on the Pentagon’s spending request.
“There’s a difference between having someone say they don’t believe what you said versus. . . calling us, collectively, liars,” Dempsey told reporters Thursday night. “My response is: I stand by my testimony.”
On Sunday, Ryan clarified on CNN that “I didn’t mean to make that kind of an impression. So, I was clumsy in how I was describing the point I was trying to make. And the point I was trying to make – and Gen. Dempsey and I spoke after that and I wanted to give that point to him, which was, that was not was I was attempting to say. What I was attempting to say is, President Obama put out his budget number for the Pentagon first, $500 billion dollar cut, and then they began the strategy review to conform the budget to meet that number. We think it should have been the other way around.”
A Pentagon spokesman did not immediately return requests for comment.
For more on what was said on Sunday’s political talk shows, visit our Election 2012 blog.
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