WEST CHESTER, Pa., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy is in the midst of "the Obama imaginary recovery," presumptive Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan said out on the stump Wednesday.
Rallying supporters at SMT Inc., a sheet metal company in Raleigh, N.C., the Wisconsin congressman derided the efforts of President Barack Obama and vice president Joe Biden to resuscitate the crashing economy he inherited from his Republican predecessor, The Washington Post reported.
"Joe Biden said the other day that the middle class is in the midst of a recovery," Ryan said. "President Obama said that the private sector's doing just fine. This is the Obama imaginary recovery."
Ryan showed disdain for the Democratic president's fiscal acumen, saying "Obama and the words fiscal responsibility do not belong in the same sentence with one another."
ABC News reported Ryan, in an interview taped with KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh, stood by his anti-abortion position, which differs from that of presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has said he would allow abortions for cases of rape or incest in addition to when the woman's life is endangered.
"I'm proud of my pro-life record," Ryan said when asked about legislation to restrict abortions that he co-sponsored with embattled Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo. "And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress. It's something I'm proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration."
Ryan denied Obama campaign assertions the Republican ticket would seek to restrict access to birth control.
"Nobody is proposing to deny birth control to anybody," he said.
The Hill reported Ryan said he is "comfortable with" Romney's position "because it's a good step in the right direction."
Ryan aides earlier found themselves explaining their boss' vote in favor of $492 billion in looming U.S. defense cuts Ryan -- chairman of the House Budget Committee -- now scorns Obama for.
A spokesman said Ryan supported the debt deal as a "process" but did not support the defense cuts.
"Chairman Ryan voted for a process for bipartisan deficit reduction," Ryan spokesman Michael Steel said. "President Obama insisted on these crippling defense cuts and then went AWOL, campaigning full time. He now bears responsibility."
"President Obama's reckless defense cuts that are hanging over our cloud -- hanging over the horizon -- could put almost 44,000 jobs at stake right here in Pennsylvania. We are not going to let that happen," Ryan told a crowd at the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center in West Chester, Pa.
"National defense" is "the first priority of the federal government," Ryan said, suggesting a Mitt Romney presidency would not let defense cuts happen.
Ryan was referring to predicted spending cuts set to go into effect automatically in January. They are part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which ended the U.S. debt-ceiling crisis that threatened to push the United States into sovereign default last summer.
As part of the deal, a congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, often called the "supercommittee," was required to identify about $1.2 trillion in cuts to reduce the federal deficit. If it failed, then Congress could increase the debt ceiling another $1.2 trillion -- but that would trigger across-the-board cuts, called "sequestrations."
Roughly half the automatic cuts set to take effect Jan. 2 are to come from the defense spending, while the other half would come from non-defense spending.
The mandatory and discretionary spending cuts, to be spread out from 2013 to 2021, amount to about $984 billion, which is the difference between $1.2 trillion and the amount of deficit reduction the supercommittee enacted. So planned defense cuts amount to about $492 billion.
Ryan was among the 174 House Republicans and 95 Democrats who voted for the debt-ceiling deal.
The Obama campaign and White House had no immediate comment.
In the past Obama has said he does not support sequestration but will veto any measures that simply try to undo it. Instead, he has said he would push Congress to work toward an alternative spending reduction package.
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