Ryan hits Obama on defense sequestration at helicopter museum campaign stop

ADVERTISEMENT
The Romney campaign was looking to bracket Obama's trip to Ohio on Tuesday, with aides pointing out that the president would land at Rickenbacker Air Force Base, which could see 200 jobs cut if sequestration went into effect.

"When Air Force One lands at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base tomorrow, the president will be greeted by 200 Ohio Air National Guardsmen whose mission is in jeopardy due to the president's arbitrary budget cuts," said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) in a statement Monday.

But the White House has also aggressively been looking to frame the sequestration debate as the result of House Republicans holding hostage legislation to extend the debt ceiling. The president held interviews with three local television stations on Monday, telling the reporters he wanted to speak about the looming cuts.

"The only thing that's standing in the way of us solving this problem right now is the unwillingness of some members of Congress to ask people like me -- people who've done very well, millionaires, billionaires -- to pay a little bit more, in part, to preserve the freedoms that we hold dear," the president told the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot in an interview Monday.

The president added that "Democrats have to understand we're going to need some additional spending cuts, and Republicans have to understand we're going to need some additional revenues."

At the event Tuesday, Ryan repeated his swipes at the president on campaign controversies from 2008 — bringing up both Obama's interaction with Joe the Plumber and his comment that some Americans "cling to their guns and religion" for the second time in the day. The Obama campaign chided Ryan over "recycled" attacks in a statement earlier in the day.

Ryan's event was also interrupted twice — once by hecklers, who were eventually drowned out as the crowd chanted "USA!," and again by an aircraft flying overhead.

"Hey, look, it's a helicopter museum — we're going to have helicopters flying around,"  Ryan quipped.