GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan may have won some points across the aisle when he was asked in a recent interview about whether or not he would try to get the military’s controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy reinstated.
In the interview with West Palm Beach NBC affiliate WPTV, Ryan (who voted in 2010 against the repeal of the policy) said that to reinstate DADT would amount to a step in the wrong direction, and that there’s no turning back on the issue.
“I talked to a lot of good friends of mine who are combat leaders in the theater, and they just didn’t think the timing of this was right to do this when our troops were in the middle of harm’s way in combat,” said Ryan of his 2012 vote. “Now that it’s done, we should not reverse it. I think that would be a step in the wrong direction because people have already disclosed themselves.”
“I think this issue is past us. It’s done. And I think we need to move on,” he said.
Ryan’s comments echo similar statements made by GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. In 2011, he told the Des Moines Register that he didn’t plan on reversing the decision either.
“That’s already occurred. I’m not planning on reversing that at this stage,” Romney said. “I was not comfortable making the change during a period of conflict, due to the complicating features of a new program in the middle of two wars going on, but those wars are winding down, and moving in that direction at this stage no longer presents that problem.”
In Ryan’s interview, he re-directed toward Romney’s campaign focus: The economy.
“Twenty-three million people are struggling to find work today. Fifteen percent of Americans are in poverty today. That’s the highest rate in a generation. And, it’s not working,” Ryan said. “The big concern I have is more and more Americans are beginning to question whether the American dream is there for them or not. We can’t let that happen. We have to revive the American dream so we can take advantage of the opportunity that has historically been offered people in this country so they can get their lives together.”
Here’s a clip of the full Ryan interview: