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Romney promises world's strongest military

By Steve Peoples

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 10:51 a.m. HST, May 28, 2012

SAN DIEGO  >> Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney promised Monday to maintain an American military "with no comparable power anywhere in the world."

The likely Republican presidential nominee faced a San Diego crowd estimated at 5,000 in what was billed as a Memorial Day service paying tribute to the nation's war dead, not a campaign rally. But without naming his general election rival, Romney drew clear contrasts with President Barack Obama on the issue of defense.

The Democratic president has proposed reducing the size of the military following the end of the U.S. combat role in Iraq and plans to removes troops from Afghanistan at the end of 2014.

"We have two courses we can follow: One is to follow in the pathway of Europe, to shrink our military smaller and smaller to pay for our social needs," Romney said outside the city's Veterans Memorial Center and Museum. "The other is to commit to preserve America as the strongest military in the world, second to none, with no comparable power anywhere in the world."

Across the country in Washington, Obama marked the solemn holiday with remembrances at Arlington National Cemetery, and later at the Vietnam War Memorial marking the 50th anniversary of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

He noted that for the first time in nine years "Americans are not fighting and dying in Iraq. After a decade under the dark cloud of war, we can see the light of the new day on the horizon."

The candidates' comments underscored the political and practical effects the presidential contest could have on America's role in the world.

A new Gallup survey found that veterans prefer Romney over Obama by a double-digit margin, 58 percent to 34 percent. That voting bloc, consisting mostly of older men, makes up 13 percent of the adult population.

Obama won the presidency handily four years ago while losing veterans by 10 points to Sen. John McCain, a former Navy pilot. Neither Obama nor Romney served in the military. Romney, 65, did not serve in Vietnam. His campaign says he received deferments for his Mormon mission to France and academic studies. He later entered the draft, but his number was not called, a spokesman said. Obama, 50, was a child during the Vietnam conflict.

In San Diego, Romney was joined by McCain, a Vietnam veteran who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war. McCain said that Romney "I believe, is fully qualified to be commander in chief."

Romney noted that he visited Afghanistan and Iraq during his term as Massachusetts governor. But he has limited foreign policy experience.

Still, Romney has been critical of Obama's plans to reduce the military, in addition to the administration's policy toward Syria's handling of the uprising against President Bashar Assad's government.

In a written statement Sunday, Romney said Obama "can no longer ignore calls from congressional leaders in both parties to take more assertive steps in Syria." Romney said the current approach has only given Syrian leaders more time to crackdown on protesters.

World leaders blame the Syrian government for the weekend killing of more than 100 people, including 49 children, following peaceful protests.

"I wish I could tell you that the world is a safe place today. It is not," Romney said Monday, ticking off a list of threats including Iran, Pakistan, China, Russia, Venezuela and Mexican drug cartels. He did not mention Syria.

Romney said America's military might is needed "not so that we just win wars, but so we can prevent wars."

"A strong America is the best deterrent to war that has ever been invented," he said. 

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primowarrior wrote:
Maintaining a strong military force is probably necessary in today's world, but how do you pay for it? The Republicans want to freeze the pay of Federal workers, and cut back on food aid and health care for the poor in order to maintain the military budget. That last part sounds a lot like a certain Asian country called North Korea. The next time the world condemns Pyongyang for building up their military at the expense of their starving people, they can point to the Republican Party of the US as their role model.
on May 28,2012 | 10:25AM
Sunny wrote:
Buy guns instead of butter
on May 28,2012 | 07:53PM
niimi wrote:
Maintaining all the social programs is probably necessary in today's world, but how do you pay for it? The Democrats want to expand benefits for Federal workers and maintain unaffordable entitlement programs and cut back on defending out country and not the Democrat-led administration has not even put forth a votable Federal Budget (Senate voted it down 97-0 twice). The last part pertaining to America currently moving to be more like Europe sounds like a certain group of countries that are...Socialists. The next time Americans condemn America for not being more Utopian in its social programs they can point to the Democratic party of the U.S. as their role model.
on May 28,2012 | 10:44AM
primowarrior wrote:
LOL! Funny, niimi, even if it doesn't make much sense.
on May 28,2012 | 11:21AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Clever twist on primo's bit. Also true.
on May 28,2012 | 10:40PM
niimi wrote:
The American left has to stop comparing The United States of America against Utopia. Utopia doesn't and never will exist. Instead compare the United States of America to Europe and Asia and you'll find the U.S.A. is a nice place to be a citizen.
on May 28,2012 | 10:48AM
9ronboz wrote:
nice niimi. keep it up. many are with you. tks
on May 28,2012 | 12:11PM
Anonymous wrote:
Romney promises a stronger military. What a patriot, you say? He sent his money on offshore investments so that he could avoid paying taxes on them through tax shields. Money that could have helped our great country was sent overseas helping other countries instead of ours. Money that could have been used by our country to help pay for the military.
on May 28,2012 | 12:16PM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
He's such a patriot that he never served during the Vietname War (unlike Goerge W. Bush). Romney had an educational deferment, then was dered when he went on his Mormon mission to France. Then he married and started cranking out the kids--more deferments. BTW, after 2001, none of the five healthy strapping sons on Mitt and Ann Romney volunteerd for the armed forces of the USA. All five DID find time to do their two-year long missions for the Mormon Church. Some Republicans who did volunteer: Charles Djou, George Bush (son of Jeb and nephew of George W.) One more reason why many people look at Mitt with misgivings.
on May 28,2012 | 01:38PM
Anonymous wrote:
Thank you for sharing such relevant information. People need to see the truth before they vote for this hypocrite.
on May 28,2012 | 03:04PM
kumasachi wrote:
I voted for our current president and he is all Mouth and no Action. All his promises are lies! If you call someone a hypocrite then I advise you to look in the mirror because if you vote for Obama then you are the hypocrite! Obama hasn't done CRAP!!!!!!
on May 28,2012 | 04:45PM
kuewa wrote:
W never served in the Vietnam War. A political favor to his father resulted in him being in the Texas State Air Force despite not meeting qualifications. Then he apparently went AWOL for an extended period before being discharged.
on May 28,2012 | 03:19PM
steveoctober wrote:
Romney = a two faced socialist on the outside who greedily lines his pocket on the inside. At least with Obama he admits he's a socialist and hides nothing to that fact. What an awful Republican candidate Romney is. Vote for the lesser of the two evils..
on May 28,2012 | 01:32PM
HD36 wrote:
The US already has the strongest military in the world. We spend more on our military than all other countries in the world combined and we're also the largest debtor nation in the history of the world. Both parties are like watching a wrestliing match. They pretend to be opposed, but they're really on the same side of a fake contest.
on May 28,2012 | 01:57PM
Anonymous wrote:
Romney talks about making our military the strongest. It already IS the strongest. Further, the Republicans speak of cutting spending and now they are talking about making our military the strongest. What do they think it takes to make an already strong military stronger? Yes, money. Money that they promise to spend less of. Romney also put his money overseas to avoid paying taxes on them through tax shields. Is that the patriot thing to do? By avoiding paying taxes on these investments he did not help our country. In fact, he helped other countries.
on May 28,2012 | 03:02PM
primowarrior wrote:
Speaking of helping other countries, billions of our tax dollars go toward the defense of foreign countries. The U.S. has a military presence in something like 130 countries around the world. We are spending tax dollars to defend other nations, which may mean that some of those nations don't have to spend as much on their own defense, and can channel more of their own tax money toward other things, while our own debt grows. Isn't it about time we pulled back on at least some of our foreign involvement and expect those countries to pay a bigger share for their own defense? We could then perhaps do a better job of taking care of our military needs and troops here at home, without burdening American taxpayers even more, or taking food or medical care away from our needy.
on May 28,2012 | 03:57PM
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