WASHINGTON — Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan delivered his most stern rebuke yet of President Obama’s foreign policy Friday, telling an annual conference of social conservatives that the Obama administration gave mixed signals in response to this week’s attacks on US diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya and that the president has alienated America from its allies in the Middle East.
‘‘Look across that region today and what do we see?’’ Ryan asked at the Family Research Council’s annual Values Voter Summit. ‘‘The slaughter of brave dissidents in Syria. Mobs storming American embassies and consulates. Iran, four years closer to gaining a nuclear weapon. Israel, our best ally in the region, treated with indifference bordering on contempt by the Obama administration.’’
He told the crowd that ‘‘amid all these threats and dangers, what we do not see is steady, consistent American leadership.’’
In addition to sharpening his criticism of Obama on foreign policy, Ryan also took aim at the administration for the contraception mandate under the national health care law, making note of his Catholic faith and echoing GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in framing the mandate as an attack on religious liberty.
‘‘Ladies and gentlemen, you would be hard pressed to find another group in America that does more to serve the health of women and their babies than the Catholic Church and Catholic charities,’’ Ryan said. ‘‘And now, suddenly, we have Obamacare bureaucrats presuming to dictate how they will do it. As governor Romney has said, this mandate is not a threat and insult to one religious group — it is a threat and insult to every religious group.’’