Romney ties veteran suicides to defense cut fight

September 27, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Va. -- Speaking at an American Legion hall in the military-rich battleground state of Virginia, Mitt Romney seized on the Obama administration’s planned cuts to the defense budget, as well as the continuing unrest in the Middle East and around the world, to paint the president as a weak commander-in-chief and a poor guardian of American military strength.

“It is still a troubled and dangerous world, and the idea of cutting our military commitment by a trillion dollars over this decade is unthinkable and devastating. And when I become president of the United States, we will stop it. I will not cut our commitment to our military,” Romney told an audience of a few hundred veterans.

Romney charged that the defense budget cuts would affect services for veterans, including the men and women returning from conflict overseas who need psychological counseling. Romney invoked the rising number of suicides – “This is a crisis,” he declared – as he sharpened his attack on the Obama administration’s proposed spending cuts.

“Given the needs of our veterans, how in the world, as commander-in-chief, you could stand by as we shrink our military commitment financially is something that I don’t understand, and I will reverse it,” Romney said.

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Natalie Jennings · September 27, 2012