Where does Paul Ryan stand on foreign policy and social issues?

Rep. Paul Ryan
Rep. Paul Ryan

We all know that Paul Ryan is conservative on fiscal issues. He’s the man with a plan to stop overspending and solve the debt problem. But where does he stand on other issues?

Here’s an article from the liberal Washington Post about Ryan’s foreign policy views.

Excerpt:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) gave a speech Thursday to the Alexander Hamilton Society in Washington. If one is looking for clues as to Ryan’s interests beyond chairing the House Budget Committee, a speech, as he put it, to “a room full of national security experts about American foreign policy” would merit attention.

…Ryan delivered an above-the-fray talk on the subject of American uniqueness (a less loaded term) and the myth that American decline in inevitable. He posited, “Our fiscal policy and our foreign policy are on a collision course; and if we fail to put our budget on a sustainable path, then we are choosing decline as a world power.”

Ryan contends that the debt crisis is not a bookkeeping problem or even simply a domestic problem; it is about maintaining our status as a superpower and about American values.

[…]He plainly is not with the cut-and-run set on Afghanistan. “Although the war has been long and the human costs high, failure would be a blow to American prestige and would reinvigorate al-Qaeda, which is reeling from the death of its leader. Now is the time to lock in the success that is within reach.” Nor can he be accused of wanting to “go it alone.” “The Obama administration has taken our allies for granted and accepted too willingly the decline of their capacity for international action. Our alliances were vital to our victory in the Cold War, and they need to be revitalized to see us through the 21st century.”

As for China, he bats down the idea that we should go along to get along… He’s clear that China has “very different values and interests from our own.”

And finally on defense spending, he rejects the sort of penny-pinching isolationism of Jon Huntsman or Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.).

According to On The Issues,he’s solid on military spending:

  • Rated 22% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record
  • YES on $266 billion Defense Appropriations bill
  • YES on deploying SDI
  • YES on emergency $78B for war in Iraq & Afghanistan
  • YES on continuing military recruitment on college campuses
  • YES on restricting no-bid defense contracts

He’s solid on counter-terrorism:

  • NO on Veto override: Congressional oversight of CIA interrogations
  • NO on requiring FISA warrants for wiretaps in US, but not abroad
  • YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent
  • YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight
  • YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant
  • YES on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad
  • YES on retroactive immunity for telecoms’ warrantless surveillance

And supports military intervention against Islamic terrorists:

  • Strengthen sanctions on Syria & assist democratic transition
  • Sanctions on Iran to end nuclear program
  • YES on authorizing military force in Iraq
  • YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date
  • NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq starting in 90 days
  • NO on investigating Bush impeachment for lying about Iraq

I agree with him on all of that. But how is he on social issues?

Excerpt:

Ryan, the top Republican on the Budget Committee who has a strongly pro-life record, talked about the place social issues have in the election in an interview with CNBC last week.

“We will agree to disagree on those issues,” Ryan said last Monday on CNBC. “But let’s rally around the tallest pole in our tent

Ryan also released a statement today that LifeNews.com received saying pro-life issues are not on a list of menu items that have to be given up during the election season.

“Healthy debate should take place within the Republican Party on specific policies, but it is a false choice to ask which natural right we should discard

“All planks – economic liberty and limited government; keeping our nation secure; championing America’s founding truths and the dignity of every human person – are rooted in same timeless principles, enshrined in our Founding and the cause of our exceptionalism,” Ryan added. “The American family must remain at the core of our free society, and I will remain ever-vigilant in its defense.”

Conor Sweeney, a top Ryan spokesman, told LifeNews.com today that Ryan doesn’t agree with the “truce” on social issues Barbour and Daniels have advocated.

“Paul Ryan rejects the false choice that our natural rights to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ are a menu of options,” he said, adding that Ryan has been “calling upon his colleagues to defend the sanctity of life.”

He also pointed to comments Ryan made in a Weekly Standard interview rejecting the “truce” language and putting him outside the Daniels-Barbour circle.

“I don’t see it quite the same way [as Daniels],” Ryan said in June, “we don’t need to ask anybody to unilaterally disarm.”

“I’m as pro-life as a person gets,” Ryan continued. “You’re not going to have a truce. Judges are going to come up. Issues come up, they’re unavoidable, and I’m never going to not vote pro-life.”

Here’s his voting record on pro-life issues:

  • Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record
  • Rated 100% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-life stance
  • Prohibit transporting minors across state lines for abortion
  • Bar funding for abortion under federal Obamacare plans
  • Congress shall protect life beginning with fertilization
  • Prohibit federal funding to groups like Planned Parenthood
  • Grant the pre-born equal protection under 14th Amendment
  • YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion
  • YES on banning partial-birth abortions
  • YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad
  • YES on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes
  • YES on funding for health providers who don’t provide abortion info
  • YES on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother’s life
  • YES on making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime
  • YES on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions
  • NO on allowing human embryonic stem cell research
  • NO on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines

And he is also a strong defender of traditional marriage:

  • Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance
  • YES on banning gay adoptions in DC.
  • YES on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage
  • YES on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman
  • YES on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation
  • NO on enforcing against anti-gay hate crimes

Tough on crime:

  • Rated 30% by CURE, indicating anti-rehabilitation crime votes
  • YES on more prosecution and sentencing for juvenile crime
  • NO on funding for alternative sentencing instead of more prisons.
  • NO on expanding services for offendors’ re-entry into society

Favors school choice:

  • Rated 8% by the NEA, indicating anti-public education votes
  • NO on environmental education grants for outdoor experiences
  • NO on $40B for green public schools

And an increased role for families and churches:

  • YES on responsible fatherhood via faith-based organizations
  • YES on treating religious organizations equally for tax breaks
  • NO on instituting National Service as a new social invention

So definitely not just a fiscal conservative. He’s conservative across the board. And STRONGLY so.

Female readers of the Wintery Knight blog may now swoon.

10 thoughts on “Where does Paul Ryan stand on foreign policy and social issues?”

      1. Well I really, REALLY would like him to. He’s absolutely perfect. But I understand the situation he is in and the reality is that he is doing a great job where he is now. I’d love it if he would run in a future election. Although It would be nice to see him in a position where he could do even more good things!

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  1. It’s amazing how someone can be so pro-liberty in lots of areas, but then believe in a massive totalitarian state presence when it comes to wiretapping civilians without warrants, torturing people with no evidence against them and spying on U.S. citizens indiscriminantly. Amazing how people can’t see the double standard there.
    You can give all the arguments you want for it, but don’t claim that it’s conservative. It’s exactly what the liberals do to enforce their totalitarian state in other areas, they arrest people indiscriminantly without evidence. A true conservative would look at the constitution and realize that there is no way the State should be able to spy on and torture civilians indiscriminantly.

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    1. WK, i have just a *feeling* you’re not going to agree with me, but can you see where I’m coming from at least? I believe in strong moral and political principles in order to limit the role of the State and its capacity to act in a dictatorial way. If only the Republican party would be able to see that they are actually acting in a liberal fascist way when it comes to such policies.

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      1. You would have to show that the policies to which you refer actually call for that kind of action. ANY gov’t can abuse their power regardless of formal policies in place. But to assume it’s the case requires some form of proof that civil liberties are actually being disregarded.

        For example, from what I’ve read and heard, there has been no breech of liberties since the Patriot Act and other surveilance policies have been implemented. No citizen is spied upon “indiscriminately”. There has been no case of torture w/o evidence. One must keep in mind that solid evidence is only required by civil law. To suspect someone of being involved with terror organizations or plots does not require the same level of evidence. If we’re to wait until terrorists strike, we will then always be victimized by them. Any hint of activity will bring about scrutiny that is followed up by people who know what to look for. No one is simply accused w/o cause. How does anyone benefit by that? It would only complicate the situation.

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        1. I don’t think he is aware of the facts, like how many people this was used on, or that the interrogators all had to be waterboarded themselves first, etc. Also, he doesn’t talk about the Los Angeles attack being thwarted. I want to talk about the facts. Either we use waterboarding OR a 9/11-style attack occurs in Los Angeles. There is no third way. So if you are opposed to waterboarding KSM, then you favor a 9/11 style attack on Los Angeles.

          And again waterboarding is not torture, otherwise the tens of thousands of pilots and other military personnel who go through water-boarding as part of their training would be “tortured”. Torture is something that leaves permanent physical harm, like suffocating to death on top of a burning building before you decide to jump.

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