LYNCHBURG, Va. – At a rally outside a conveyor company in this hotly-contested state, GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan on Tuesday afternoon took aim at President Obama on foreign affairs, telling a crowd of several hundred that the recent unrest in the Middle East represents “the absolute unraveling of the Obama foreign policy” and reminding them that the United States remains “at war” with terrorists.
“What we are witnessing is the projection of weakness,” Ryan said at a rally on a grassy hill near the large building that houses Automated Conveyor Systems. “And that projection of weakness emboldens our adversaries and scares our allies. You see, if we look weak, our adversaries are more willing and more brazen to test us, and our allies are less willing to trust us. It’s a dangerous world. We are at war with terrorists. Let’s not forget that.”
The GOP ticket’s ramped-up focus on foreign policy appeared to resonate with members of the crowd, some of whom said in interviews after the event that they believed the Obama administration was not being forthcoming about the Benghazi, Libya terrorist attack last month that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
“It’s pretty embarrassing when our ambassador and several others are killed and there’s been no response other than, ‘We’re looking into it. We’re trying to get the facts,’” said Ed Shallock, 64, a Romney-Ryan supporter from Forest, Va., who worked at ACS for 32 years until he retired this summer. “I think they know what the facts are. They screwed up. On their watch.”
Gary Moore, a 52-year-old pastor from Madison Heights, Va., said he believes “the current administration is covering up” the details of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
“It’s proven in testimony that’s given before Congress by the State Department that there was no such thing as a video issue,” he said, referring to a controversial anti-Islam YouTube video that sparked protests in the Muslim world. “And so, they’re sitting there saying they didn’t have the intel. But they did if they were listening. I don’t think they’d paid attention.”