(Bloomberg News) – Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan called for U.S. foreign policy to have â€œmoral clarity and firmness of purposeâ€ in remarks today to the Family Research Council’s voter summit in Washington.
His address followed criticism by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney of how President Barack Obamaâ€™s adminsitration has handled attacks on U.S. diplomatic outposts this week in the Middle East.
The presidential campaign has turned to foreign policy after four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in Benghazi, Libya. The deaths and assaults on U.S. embassies in Egypt and Yemen followed publicity of film footage that mocked Muslims.
Obama, wrapping up a two-day campaign trip to Nevada and Colorado, yesterday reiterated his vow to avenge the deaths.
â€œWe are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice,â€ Obama said at a rally in Golden, Colorado. â€œNo act of terror will go unpunished.â€
Romney and Ryan have also railed against Obama for refusing a meeting with Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu — a theme Ryan hit today.
â€œIsrael, our best ally in the regionâ€ is â€œtreated with indifference bordering on contempt by the Obama administration,â€ Ryan said.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, earlier today told donors at a fundraiser in New York that the Obama administration has stumbled across the globe.
â€œThere have been over the years, confusing messages sent by the president of the United States to the world,â€ Romney said.
Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, sought to drive that point home in his Washington speech that was interrupted at times by chants of â€œU.S.A.! U.S.A.!â€
â€œOnly by the confident exercise of American influence are evil and violence overcome,â€ Ryan said. â€œThat is how we keep problems abroad from becoming crises. That is what keeps the peace. And that is what we will have in a Romney-Ryan administration.â€
The Family Research Councilâ€™s Voter Values Summit, expected to draw 2,000 activists, also includes speeches by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, one of Romneyâ€™s challengers in this yearâ€™s Republican presidential race.