The legion speech is the first of two military-themed events Romney will hold this week; the second will be in Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Pa., Friday.
Romney took aim at the pending sweeping spending cuts that could hit Virginia’s military and defense contractor community if implemented, saying the policy was not only “strange” but dangerous given the state of foreign affairs. “When the secretary of Defense said it would be devastating, he wasn’t referring merely to the loss of jobs in Virginia â?¦ he was thinking about our national security priorities and needs,” Romney said. “The world is not a safe place.”
The GOP presidential nominee warned that the cuts would have a “significant impact” on veterans services, reductions that would exacerbate problems with backlogged disability claims as well as counseling for returning veterans. “This is a crisis,” he said. Romney said that as president, he would stop any effort to implement the budget cuts — called “sequestration” — and would instead seek to build up the military, particularly the Air Force and the Navy, which he said are out of date.
“I know there is waste in the military. I’m sure there is opportunity to economize and do a better job with the funds we have,” he said.”That being said, I want to take the resources that we save and use them to make sure we care for our veterans in the way they deserve to be cared for and that we also rebuild our technological capabilities.”
Romney has led President Obama among veterans as well as voters over the age of 65, which appeared to make up most of today’s crowd at the American Legion. Obama is also campaigning in Virginia, with an event in Virginia Beach today.
( usatoday )