Romney hits White House on defense cuts, intel leaks

posted at 5:21 pm on July 24, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Following a not-what-I-would-call-tough act by President Obama at the same venue yesterday, Mitt Romney spoke to the Veterans of Foreign Wars conference in Reno, Nevada today. The idea was to frame his overarching foreign-policy stances before jetting off to London for an international campaign swing (which, for some reason unbeknownst to me, Team Obama demands needs to be more than ‘one long fundraiser and photo op’ — yeah, okay guys), and he definitely took the opportunity to pounce on the security leaks coming out of the White House and the military’s coming automatic defense cuts.

Full transcript here, and here are some highlights:

I am an unapologetic believer in the greatness of this country. I am not ashamed of American power. I take pride that throughout history our power has brought justice where there was tyranny, peace where there was conflict, and hope where there was affliction and despair. I do not view America as just one more point on the strategic map, one more power to be balanced. I believe our country is the greatest force for good the world has ever known, and that our influence is needed as much now as ever. And I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century. …

Today, we are just months away from an arbitrary, across-the-board budget reduction that would saddle the military with a trillion dollars in cuts, severely shrink our force structure, and impair our ability to meet and deter threats. Don’t bother trying to find a serious military rationale behind any of this, unless that rationale is wishful thinking. Strategy is not driving President Obama’s massive defense cuts. In fact, his own Secretary of Defense warned that these reductions would be “devastating.” And he is right. …

This is not the time for the President’s radical cuts in the military. Look around the globe. Other major powers are rapidly adding to their military capabilities, some with intentions very different from ours. The regime in Tehran is drawing closer to developing a nuclear weapon. The threat of radical Islamic terrorism persists. The threat of weapons of mass destruction proliferation is ever-present. And we are still at war and still have uniformed men and women in conflict. …

All this and more is ongoing in the world. And yet the President has chosen this moment for wholesale reductions in the nation’s military capacity. When the biggest announcement in his last State of the Union address on improving our military was that the Pentagon will start using more clean energy – then you know it’s time for a change. …

Exactly who in the White House betrayed these secrets? Did a superior authorize it? These are things that Americans are entitled to know – and they are entitled to know right now. If the President believes – as he said last week – that the buck stops with him, then he owes all Americans a full and prompt accounting of the facts.

And let me make this very clear: These events make the decision we face in November all the more important. What kind of White House would reveal classified material for political gain? I’ll tell you right now: Mine won’t.

Interestingly, Obama also spoke about the coming defense cuts in his speech yesterday, but with a rather different approach. According to President Obama’s logic, Republicans’ opposition to tax hikes on the wealthiest earners is going to hurt the military, because not supporting said tax hikes would exacerbate the deficit, and the deficit in turn is one of the greatest threats to our military and our national security… or something. His unrivaled ability to bring class warfare and proven non-solutions into everything just has my head spinning.

Obama used his address to suggest Republicans’ call for tax cuts could end up hurting the Pentagon — by exacerbating the deficit, in turn allowing automatic spending cuts to kick in as the only way to start closing that deficit. The president, though, said this can all be avoided.

“People in Congress ought to be able to come together and agree on a plan, a balanced approach that reduces the deficit and keeps our military strong,” he said at the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ 113th annual national convention in Reno, Nev. “And there are a number of Republicans in Congress who don’t want you to know that most of them voted for these cuts. Now they’re trying to wriggle out of what they agreed to.

“Instead of making tough choices to reduce the deficit, they’d rather protect tax cuts for some of the wealthiest Americans, even if it risks big cuts in our military. And I’ve got to tell you, VFW, I disagree.”

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AngusMc on July 24, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Quotes, please .. Cooking dinner, here.

pambi on July 24, 2012 at 7:15 PM

There are other candidates on the ballot besides Establishment A and Establishment B, candidates who will uphold the Constitution, unlike A and B.

Dante on July 24, 2012 at 5:55 PM

And each of them will get only 0.5% of the popular vote, or even less.


Del Dolemonte on July 24, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Beyond moronic. Totally unhinged. The next president will be A or B.

Basilsbest on July 24, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Bite your tongue. LARRY FlintSTONE!!!! 2012.

And when that don’t work out…’Come on down to Gary’s Used Cars and Head Shop Emporium!!’

BigWyo on July 24, 2012 at 7:23 PM

“People in Congress ought to be able to come together and agree on a plan, a balanced approach that reduces the deficit and keeps our military strong…”

They ought to, but won’t without leadership. This idiot really thinks his party members running the Senate are going to stick their neck out when he won’t. Unbelievable. When was the last time Obama even spoke to a Congressman on the phone or in person?

txhsmom on July 24, 2012 at 7:30 PM

txhsmom on July 24, 2012 at 7:30 PM
Excellent point, fellow Texan.

pambi on July 24, 2012 at 7:47 PM

There is a wave coming Mr. Obama coming……….and I know you see it’s already sucking the water out from your political shores……

There is also a noise getting louder………and it’s going to the beaches on November 6th…………..


PappyD61 on July 24, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Being a conservative from Massachusetts it is hard to embrace Mitt, and harder to defend him to my Liberal friends. That said, I am firmly in the “Anyone but Obama” camp, so Mitt is my guy.

When I read the transcript of this speach back at the office I heard it in Reagan’s voice in my head, which really motivated me!.

On the way home I heard a clip of it in Romney’s actual voice. Not quite as motivating.

But he’s getting there!

BRunner on July 24, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Just curious-what exactly is a “thick night”, and how did you come to own it?

Del Dolemonte on July 24, 2012 at 5:48 PM

LOL- I read it that way for the longest time, and then I broke it out- mythic knight, if you were seriously asking (if he/she doesn’t answer you)

Night Owl on July 24, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Basilsbest on July 24, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Romney’s Tea Party Test: Who Will Speak at His Convention?

The danger for Romney is that he doesn’t appear to listen to the tea party base, its supporters could stay home or vote for a third-party candidate. In what is widely being predicted to be a close election, those actions could hurt him.

This is Romney’s race to lose if he doesn’t start paying attention to the voters.

DannoJyd on July 24, 2012 at 9:33 PM


PappyD61 on July 24, 2012 at 7:57 PM

If Romney keeps upsetting the TEA Partys and they decide to stay home or vote for another candidate, this will not be a TEAnami election year for Romney:

GOP consultant Keith Appell said ignoring the tea party seems like a mistake. “If you’re given a national stage and spotlight, it would be great … to really confirm what we already know: that the tea party is the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” he said. “Doesn’t it make sense to bring them in? To feature them somehow? They pack a wallop.”

DannoJyd on July 24, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Who are you people? We really need POTUS candidates dictating what others can say?

Elizabetty on July 24, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Why not ? What’s wrong with RINOs behaving themselves and supporting a Republican for a change ? What is it about muslim brotherhood that these anti-American elitists rather savage a fellow Republican than investigate terrorists in government ?

burrata on July 24, 2012 at 9:49 PM

This was a good performance by Romney.

What say you TruCons? Oh, that’s right – he’s a trojan horse and worse than the incumbent so Zombie Reagan / Zombie Goldwater 2012!

CorporatePiggy on July 24, 2012 at 10:19 PM

I thought it was a pretty strong speech. I don’t know what changed in the past two weeks, but something did. I’m hearing conviction, purpose. And I like it. I think the flip flops are over. He’s stepped up.

wolly4321 on July 24, 2012 at 10:57 PM

‘According to President Obama’s logic, Republicans’ opposition to tax hikes on the wealthiest earners is going to hurt the military, because not supporting said tax hikes would exacerbate the deficit…’

Sorry to re-state the obvious, but when in human history have liberals raised taxes and used them to reduce a budget deficit? Obama would just spend more. Since the liberals in the Senate refuse to produce a budget just how important is it to them anyway?

waelse1 on July 25, 2012 at 12:17 AM

Tina Korbe did a great job on Hannity the other night, by the way.

Sherman1864 on July 25, 2012 at 6:33 AM