GOP’s new attack in Virginia: Obama will cut defense spending

August 17, 2012

For the second time today, the issue of the looming $500 billion in defense cuts -- part of what's known as "sequestration" -- has come up on the campaign trail.

First it was Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) who raised the issue at a Paul Ryan rally in Glen Allen.

Now, it's Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), who is addressing supporters ahead of Ryan at West Springfield High School.

"Sequestration means that we may have thousands of people, millions nationwide, losing their jobs," Wolf told the crowd.

The political battle over sequestration -- coupled with the Romney campaign's recent claims that President Obama "raided Medicare to pay for Obamacare" -- now means that two of the GOP's main arguments against Obama hinge on the issue of spending cuts.

It's an interesting turn of events, given that Republicans have spent the better part of the 112th Congress making the case that Obama has cut too little, rather than too much.

Of course, the real debate is over where in the federal budget to make those cuts, and many Republicans have long considered the Pentagon budget sacrosanct -- despite the fact that last summer's bipartisan debt deal, which put the defense sequester into place, was agreed to by more than 60 percent of House and Senate Republicans.

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Rachel Weiner · August 17, 2012