Ryan says Romney's remark on American entitlement a 'misstep'


WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a misstep when he described 47 per cent of Americans as feeling entitled to government aid, his vice-presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, said yesterday.

“We’ve had some missteps,” Mr Ryan said on Fox News Sunday, specifically mentioning as one of them the comment Mr Romney made at a private session with donors about the attitude of almost half of Americans.

Mr Romney “acknowledges himself that was an inarticulate way of describing how we’re worried that in a stagnant Obama economy more people have become dependent on government because they have no economic opportunity”, Mr Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said.

The comment, made in May, surfaced earlier this month in a secretly recorded video first publicised by Mother Jones magazine. Mr Ryan also said that, in the October debate he will have with vice-president Joe Biden and the three Mr Romney will have during the month with president Obama, the Republican ticket will offer voters “a very clear choice” on issues including the economy.

Asked by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace about recent polls showing Mr Romney trailing Mr Obama, Mr Ryan said the Republican ticket was “running against an incumbent president with incredible resources”.

Nevertheless, the Wisconsin Republican said, “We are going to win this race.”

Mr Ryan criticised Mr Obama on foreign policy, especially the administration’s efforts to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Mr Obama projects weakness and equivocation in dealing with Iranian leaders, Mr Ryan said.

“The Ayatollahs, by virtue of their conduct, don’t believe the president when he says his interest is to stop Iran” from obtaining nuclear-weapons capacity, Mr Ryan said. – (Bloomberg)