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Ryan charges Obama with putting defense jobs at risk

WEST CHESTER, PA -- Presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan blamed President Barack Obama for putting “almost 44,000 jobs at stake” here in Pennsylvania because of the looming defense cuts.

Speaking outside the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center, Ryan argued that under the Obama administration, “you either lose defense jobs in Pennsylvania or put small businesses further in a competitive disadvantage to compete in the global economy and lose small business jobs.”

"I’ve got a good idea – why don’t we take away President Obama’s job and create jobs for everybody no matter what industry they are in. That’s a good stimulus project," Ryan said.

Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, voted for the debt ceiling deal last summer, which included the sequestration of defense spending.

In the year since then, Ryan has joined other House Republicans in passing legislation to put off those defense cuts by finding savings elsewhere. However, the Obama administration has rejected these calling it an unbalanced package since it would rely on cuts elsewhere, rather than include a mix of tax hikes. The president has vowed to veto any attempt to undo the sequester.

The Wisconsin congressman, who made his Pennsylvania debut today on the stump, first talked about sequestration -- the pending $500 billion in defense cuts -- on the campaign trail in Virginia on Aug. 17.

Both Virginia and Pennsylvania have a heavy military presence in their states.

Ryan declared here just outside of Philadelphia: “national defense is the first priority of the federal government.”

The seven-term congressman has had his national security credentials called into question since being announced as VP as he typically deals with domestic issues.

However, in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity that will air this evening, Ryan said he believes he has more experience with foreign policy than President Obama did when he took office in 2008.

“Well, most of the traveling I’ve done throughout my 14 years in Congress has been to the Middle East. You know, I’ve had men and women to war on more than one occasion. I’ve been to those funerals. I’ve talked to the widows and the wives and the parents. I’ve gone to Afghanistan and Iraq to meet with our troops, to learn from them. Obviously, I have a lot more experience than Barack Obama did when he became president. But if you take a look at our current posture, President Obama is quote-unquote, “leading from behind,” Ryan said.