RELEASE from Romney for President
CONTACT: Romney Press Office
July 24, 2012
MITT ROMNEY DELIVERS REMARKS AT THE VFW NATIONAL
Mitt Romney today delivered remarks at the Veterans of Foreign Wars
National Convention in Reno, Nevada. The following remarks were
prepared for delivery:
you. Commander Richard DeNoyer, I appreciate the introduction,
proud to see a combat veteran from Massachusetts serving as National
Commander of the VFW.
Auxiliary President Gwen Rankin, incoming National Commander John
Hamilton, incoming Ladies Auxiliary President Leanne Lemley, Adjutant
General Allen “Gunner” Kent, Executive Director Bob Wallace,
distinguished guests and members of the VFW: Thank you for your
want to start today with a few words about the unimaginable tragedy in
Colorado last week. We’ve since learned that among the victims
four people who had served – or were serving – our country in
Today, our hearts go out to the families of John Larimer of the U.S.
Navy; Rebecca Wingo, an Air Force veteran; Jesse Childress, an Army
veteran and member of the Air Force reserve; and Jonathan Blunk, a Navy
veteran who died shielding his girlfriend from the spray of
The loss of four Americans who served our country only adds to the
profound tragedy of that day. All Americans are grateful for
service and deeply saddened by their deaths. We mourn them and we
VFW is now over two million strong. It has a special place in
America’s heart. Some of you fought recently, in Iraq or
Others are old enough to have marched, flown, or sailed by orders of
Franklin D. Roosevelt. Whatever your age, whether you are a
or a Democrat, whenever you served – there’s one thing you have in
common: You answered the call of your country in a time of war. From
December 7th, 1941 to September 11, 2001, whenever America
has been tested, you stepped forward. You come from our farms, our
great cities, our small towns and quiet neighborhoods. Many of you have
known violence so that your neighbors could only know peace. You
done more than protect America; your courage and service defines
America. You are America at our best and it is an honor to
veterans are part of a proud tradition that stretches back to the
battlefields at Lexington and Concord – and now to places like Fallujah
and Kandahar. Year after year, our men and women in uniform have
proud achievements to their record of service. And President
pointed to some of them yesterday in his speech.
time our military accomplishes a vital mission it is a proud moment for
our nation. But we owe our veterans and our military more than
accounting of our successes. They deserve a fair and frank
of the whole picture – of where we are and where we want to be.
when it comes to national security and foreign policy, as with our
economy, the last few years have been a time of declining influence and
Just consider some of the challenges I discussed at your last national
Since then, has the American economy recovered?
Has our ability to shape world events been enhanced, or diminished?
Have we gained greater confidence among our allies, and greater respect
from our adversaries?
perhaps most importantly, has the most severe security threat facing
America and our friends, a nuclear-armed Iran, become more or less
clear measures are the ultimate tests of American leadership.
these standards, we haven’t seen much in the President’s first term
that inspires confidence in a second.
President’s policies have made it harder to recover from the deepest
recession in seventy years … exposed the military to cuts that no one
can justify … compromised our national-security secrets … and in
dealings with other nations, given trust where it is not earned, insult
where it is not deserved, and apology where it is not due.
Berlin to Cairo to the United Nations, President Obama has shared his
view of America and its place among nations. I have come here
am an unapologetic believer in the greatness of this country. I am not
ashamed of American power. I take pride that throughout history
power has brought justice where there was tyranny, peace where there
was conflict, and hope where there was affliction and despair. I
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
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.
1941, Henry Luce called on his countrymen – just then realizing their
strength – “to create the first great American century.” And they
succeeded: together with their allies, they won World War II, they
rescued Europe, they defeated Communism, and America took its place as
leader of the free world. Across the globe, they fought, they bled,
they led. They showed the world the extraordinary courage of the
American heart and the generosity of the American spirit.
courage and generosity remains unchanged today. But sadly, this
president has diminished American leadership, and we are reaping the
consequences. The world is dangerous, destructive, chaotic. And
two men running to be your commander-in-chief must offer their answers
to the challenges we face.
a watchman in the night, we must remain at our post – and keep guard of
the freedom that defines and ennobles us, and our friends. In an
American Century, we have the strongest economy and the strongest
military in the world. In an American Century, we secure peace
our strength. And if by absolute necessity we must employ it, we
wield our strength with resolve. In an American Century, we lead
free world and the free world leads the entire world.
we do not have the strength or vision to lead, then other powers will
take our place, pulling history in a very different direction. A
and peaceful world depends on a strong and confident America. I pledge
to you that if I become commander-in-chief, the United States of
America will fulfill its duty, and its destiny.
leadership depends, as it always has, on our economic strength, on our
military strength, and on our moral strength. If any of these
no skill of diplomacy or presidential oratory can compensate.
Today, the strength of our economy is in jeopardy.
healthy American economy is what underwrites American power. When
growth is missing, government revenue falls, social spending rises, and
many in Washington look to cut defense spending as an easy out.
includes our current President.
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
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.
devastation starts at home. These cuts would only weaken an already
stretched VA system and impair our solemn commitment that every veteran
receives care second to none. I will not allow that to happen.
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
The regime in Tehran is drawing closer to developing a nuclear
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.
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
address on improving our military was that the Pentagon will start
using more clean energy – then you know it’s time for a change.
not the first people to observe this. It is reported that Bob
the President’s first secretary of defense, bluntly addressed another
security problem within this administration. After secret
details of the bin Laden raid were given to reporters, Secretary Gates
walked into the West Wing and told the Obama team to “shut up.”
added a colorful word for emphasis.
of American servicemen and women are at stake. But astonishingly,
administration failed to change its ways. More top-secret operations
were leaked, even some involving covert action in Iran.
isn’t a partisan issue; it’s a national security crisis. And
yesterday, Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate
Intelligence Committee, said, quote, “I think the White House has to
understand that some of this is coming from their ranks.”
conduct is contemptible. It betrays our national interest. It
compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a
prompt investigation by a special counsel, with explanation and
consequence. Obama appointees, who are accountable to President
Obama's Attorney General, should not be responsible for investigating
the leaks coming from the Obama White House.
classified information to the media, seeking political advantage for
the administration, must be exposed, dismissed, and
punished. The time
for stonewalling is over.
is not enough to say the matter is being looked into, and leave it at
that. When the issue is the political use of highly sensitive
security information, it is unacceptable to say, “We’ll report our
findings after Election Day.”
who in the White House betrayed these secrets? Did a superior
authorize it? These are things that Americans are entitled to
and they are entitled to know right now. If the President
as he said last week – that the buck stops with him, then he owes all
Americans a full and prompt accounting of the facts.
let me make this very clear: These events make the decision we
November all the more important. What kind of White House would
classified material for political gain? I’ll tell you right
harm done when national security secrets are betrayed extends, of
course, to the trust that allies place in the United States.
operating principle of American foreign policy has been to work with
our allies so that we can deter aggression before it breaks out into
open conflict. That policy depends on nurturing our alliances and
standing up for our common values.
Yet the President has moved in the opposite direction.
began with the sudden abandonment of friends in Poland and the Czech
Republic. They had courageously agreed to provide sites for our
anti-missile systems, only to be told, at the last hour, that the
agreement was off. As part of the so-called reset in policy, missile
defenses were sacrificed as a unilateral concession to the Russian
that gesture was designed to inspire good will from Russia, it clearly
missed the mark. The Russian government defended the dictator in
Damascus, arming him as he slaughtered the Syrian people.
can only guess what Vladimir Putin makes of the Obama administration.
He regained the Russian presidency in a corrupt election, and for that,
he got a congratulatory call from the Oval Office. And then there
that exchange picked up by a microphone that President Obama didn’t
know was on. We heard him asking Dmitry Medvedev to tell Mr.
give him “space.” “This is my last election,” President Obama
and “After my election I’ll have more flexibility.”
Why is flexibility with Russian leaders more important than
transparency to the American people?
Obama had a moment of candor, however, just the other day. He
that the actions of the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez have not had a
serious national security impact on us. In my view, inviting
into our hemisphere is severe, serious, and a threat.
at least he was consistent. After all, this is the president who
faltered when the Iranian people were looking for support in their
struggle against the ayatollahs. That uprising was treated as an
inconvenient problem for the President’s policy of engagement, instead
of as a moral and strategic opportunity. That terrible
should never be repeated. When unarmed women and men in Tehran
the courage to confront their oppressors, at risk of torture and death,
they should hear the unequivocal voice of an American president
affirming their right to be free.
will leave Reno this evening on a trip abroad that will take me to
England, Poland, and Israel. And since I wouldn’t venture into
another country to question American foreign policy, I will tell you
right here – before I leave – what I think of this administration’s
shabby treatment of one of our finest friends.
Obama is fond of lecturing Israel’s leaders. He was even caught by a
microphone deriding them. He has undermined their position, which was
tough enough as it was. And even at the United Nations, to the
enthusiastic applause of Israel’s enemies, he spoke as if our closest
ally in the Middle East was the problem.
people of Israel deserve better than what they have received from the
leader of the free world. And the chorus of accusations, threats,
insults at the United Nations should never again include the voice of
the President of the United States.
are values, causes, and nations that depend on American strength, on
the clarity of our purpose, and on the reliability of our
There is work in this world that only America and our allies can do,
hostile powers that only we can deter, and challenges that only we can
the past decade, among those challenges has been the war in
Afghanistan. As commander-in-chief, I will have a solemn duty to our
men and women in uniform. A president owes our troops, their
and the American people a clear explanation of our mission, and a
commitment not to play politics with the decisions of war.
have been critical of the President’s decision to withdraw the surge
troops during the fighting season, against the advice of the commanders
on the ground. President Obama would have you believe that anyone
disagrees with his decisions is arguing for endless war. But the
to more war – and to potential attacks here at home – is a politically
president, my goal in Afghanistan will be to complete a successful
transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014. I will
evaluate conditions on the ground and solicit the best advice of our
military commanders. And I will affirm that my duty is not to my
political prospects, but to the security of the nation.
face another continuing challenge in a rising China. China is
attentive to the interests of its government – but it too often
disregards the rights of its people. It is selective in the
it allows; and, as with its one-child policy, it can be ruthless in
crushing the freedoms it denies. In conducting trade with
permits flagrant patent and copyright violations …
businesses from competing in its market … and manipulates its currency
to obtain unfair advantage. It is in our mutual interest for
be a partner for a stable and secure world, and we welcome its
participation in trade. But the cheating must finally be brought
stop. President Obama hasn’t done it and won’t do it. I will.
need that same clarity of purpose and resolve in the Middle East.
America cannot be neutral in the outcome there. We must clearly
for the values of representative government, economic opportunity, and
human rights. And we must stand against the extension of Iranian or
is at the center of this historical drama. In many ways, it has
power to tip the balance in the Arab world toward freedom and
modernity. As president, I will not only direct the billions in
assistance we give to Egypt toward that goal, but I will also work with
partner nations to place conditions on their assistance as well.
Unifying our collective influence behind a common purpose will foster
the development of a government that represents all Egyptians,
maintains peace with Israel, and promotes peace throughout the region.
The United States is willing to help Egypt support peace and
prosperity, but we will not be complicit in oppression and instability.
is no greater danger in the world today than the prospect of the
ayatollahs in Tehran possessing nuclear weapons capability. Yet
all the talks and conferences, all of the extensions and assurances,
can anyone say we are farther from this danger now than four years ago?
same ayatollahs who each year mark a holiday by leading chants of
“Death to America” are not going to be talked out of their pursuit of
nuclear weapons. What’s needed is all the firmness, clarity, and
courage that we and our allies can gather. Sanctions must be
without exception, cutting off the regime’s sources of wealth.
Negotiations must secure full and unhindered access for
As it is, the Iranian regime claims the right to enrich nuclear
material for supposedly peaceful purposes. This claim is
by years of deception. A clear line must be drawn: There must be
full suspension of any enrichment, period.
at every turn, Iran must know that the United States and our allies
stand as one in these critical objectives. Only in this way can
successfully counter the catastrophic threat that Iran presents.
pledge to you and to all Americans that if I become commander-in-chief,
I will use every means necessary to protect ourselves and the region,
and to prevent the worst from happening while there is still time.
is a mistake – and sometimes a tragic one – to think that firmness in
American foreign policy can bring only tension or conflict. The
path to danger is always weakness and indecision. In the end, it
resolve that moves events in our direction, and strength that keeps the
will not surrender America’s leadership in the world. We must have
confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose, and resolve in our
is very simple: if you do not want America to be the strongest nation
on earth, I am not your President. You have that President today.
century can and must be an American Century. It began with terror, war,
and economic calamity. It is our duty to steer it onto the path of
freedom, peace, and prosperity.
members of the Greatest Generation are with us today – and they can’t
hold the torch as high as they have in the past. We must now
torch they carried so gallantly and at such sacrifice. It is an eternal
torch of decency, freedom and hope. It is not America’s torch alone.
But it is America’s duty – and honor – to hold it high enough so that
all the world can see its light.
Believe in America.
Thank you and God Bless the United States of America.
FACT SHEET: THE ROMNEY
PLAN FOR AN AMERICAN CENTURY
Today, Mitt Romney delivered an address on foreign policy and national
security at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Reno,
Nevada. Below are policies included in Mitt Romney’s foreign policy and
national security strategy.
American military power is vital to the
preservation of our own security and peace around the world. Mitt
defense spending cuts with the goal of setting a core
defense spending floor of 4% of GDP.
100 days, put our Navy on the path to increase its
shipbuilding rate from nine per year to approximately fifteen per
year. Maintain a fleet of 11 aircraft carriers.
in the Department of Defense procurement process and
bureaucratic staff to reinvest in the force.
the aging inventories of the Air Force, Army, and Marines,
and selectively strengthen our force structure.
active duty troops.
100 days, begin reversing Obama-era cuts to missile defense
and commit to a robust multi-layered national ballistic-missile defense
system to deter and defend against nuclear attacks on our homeland and
Romney believes it is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear
weapons capability and will adopt a comprehensive strategy to prevent
that scenario. He will:
100 days, make clear that the military option is on the table
by ordering the regular presence of an aircraft carrier task force in
both the Eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf region
simultaneously. He will also begin talks with Israel to increase
military coordination and assistance and enhance intelligence sharing.
with Arab allies in the region and conduct more
naval exercises in the region as a demonstration of strength and
targeted at Iran’s Central Bank and its petroleum
industry. Cease the Obama Administration’s practice of issuing
exemptions from sanctions to nations such as China that fail to
meaningfully reduce their oil imports from Iran.
of existing U.S. laws that bar commerce with Iran, such
as the exportation of refined petroleum products to Iran.
of Iran and work to indict Iranian President
Ahmadinejad for incitement to genocide under the Genocide Convention.
opposition by improving the flow of information to the
Iranian population about its own government’s repressive activities and
refusing to stand silent while the Iranian regime ruthlessly terrorizes
its own people.
negotiated agreement must entail the internationally
recognized redline of full suspension of enrichment activities by the
Iranian regime. In addition, call for intrusive and unannounced
inspections, unfettered access to all officials and scientists who have
participated in Iran’s nuclear program, removal of enriched uranium
stockpiles from Iran, and a full accounting of past weaponization work.
on-time completion of a fully capable missile defense system in
Eastern Europe and retain the option of reverting to a swifter
implementation plan. Mitt Romney will deny Russia any control or veto
over the missile defense system.
Afghanistan & Pakistan Policy
Romney will cease President Obama’s practice of politicizing decisions
on troop levels and transition timetables. Mitt Romney will:
100 days, order a full interagency review of our transition
in Afghanistan toward the goal of a successful transition of combat
operations by the end of 2014. He will review our military and
assistance presence to determine the level required to secure our gains
and to train Afghan forces to the point where they can protect the
sovereignty of Afghanistan on their own. Withdrawal of U.S. forces from
Afghanistan under a Romney administration will be based on conditions
on the ground as assessed by our military commanders.
Afghan government and Pakistan and use U.S. leverage to ensure
that those nations are fully contributing to the success of our
mission. He will make clear to Afghan President Hamid Karzai that our
commitment must be met with reciprocal efforts to crack down on
corruption in his government, respect free and fair elections as
required by the Afghan constitution, and coordinate with the United
States on fighting the narcotics trade that fuels the insurgency. Mitt
Romney will work with Pakistan to sever any connection between
insurgent forces and Pakistan’s security and intelligence agencies.
Romney will implement a strategy that makes the path of regional
hegemony for China far more costly than the alternative path of
becoming a responsible partner in the international system. Mitt Romney
capabilities in the Pacific to guarantee that trade
routes remain open and East Asia’s community of nations remains secure
among regional partners like India and build
stronger ties to influential countries like Indonesia.
serious policy must confront the fact that China’s Communist regime
continues to deny its people basic political freedoms and human rights.
Mitt Romney will support and engage civil society groups within China
that are promoting democratic reform, anti-corruption efforts,
religious freedom, and women’s and minority rights. These efforts will
provide them with greater access to information through a stronger
Internet freedom initiative.
on issues of trade, Mitt Romney will lay out a clear series of steps
that the Chinese must take to become a responsible participant in the
global economy, and a clear series of consequences that would accompany
failure to make rapid progress down that path, such as:
If China continues to block government procurement
from foreign firms:
government procurement from China
If China continues to manipulate its currency:
China to be a currency manipulator
China continues to unfairly subsidize its domestic producers,
interfere with foreign competitors, and pursue an “indigenous
innovation” policy by coercing and stealing from foreign firms:
tariffs on Chinese products for which China provides
developed nations to impose intellectual property sanctions,
blocking the transfer into China of technologies that China has
In response to all of these practices:
Zone to confer benefits on genuine free trading nations
from which China is excluded so long as its unfair practices continue
Middle East Policy
Romney administration will pursue a strategy of supporting groups and
governments across the Middle East to advance the values of
representative government, economic opportunity, and human rights. And
it will oppose any extension of Iranian or jihadist influence. Mitt
organize all diplomatic and assistance efforts in the
greater Middle East under one regional director with unified budgetary
and directive authority who will train our soft power on ensuring the
Arab Spring does not become an Arab Winter.
assistance to transitional governments to promote
democracy, good governance, and sound financial management.
that brings together world leaders, donor groups, and young
leaders of civil society groups in nations in transition.
Mitt Romney will restore our relationship with our
closest ally in the Middle East. He will:
the destination of his first foreign trip as president.
first 100 days, reaffirm as a vital U.S. national interest the
existence of Israel as a Jewish state.
with Israel to maintain its strategic military edge and
increase military assistance.
that would frustrate direct negotiations between Israel and
the Palestinians. Mitt Romney will make clear to the Palestinians that
the unilateral attempt to decide issues that are designated for final
negotiations is unacceptable.
the Palestinians if they continue to pursue United
Nations recognition or form a unity government that includes Hamas, a
terrorist group dedicated to Israel’s destruction.
is in many ways the fulcrum of the Arab world. Mitt Romney will
U.S. policy to encourage the development of an Egyptian government that
represents all Egyptians, maintains peace with Israel, and promotes
peace throughout the region. He will:
billion in U.S. military assistance to Egypt on maintaining
its peace agreement with Israel. Place conditions of good governance
and peaceful relations on the $250 million in economic assistance, $1
billion in debt cancelation pledges, and $1 billion in OPIC loan
guarantees the United States grants to Egypt.
partners, the World Bank, and the European Investment Bank to
their collective influence and place conditions of good governance and
peaceful relations on the billions they have pledged to Egypt.
America’s humanitarian and strategic interests would be served by the
departure of Bashar al-Assad. Mitt Romney will make clear that
must go and that no way forward in Syria will include Assad. He will:
to call on Syria’s military to protect civilians rather
than attack them, drive a wedge between the Assad regime and the wider
Alawite minority and other minorities, assure them of a role in a
post-Assad Syria if they abandon the regime, and increase the chances
for reconciliation with the majority Sunni population after Assad’s
the United States and our allies will support the Syrian
opposition when the time comes for them to forge a post-Assad
partners to identify, organize, and arm opposition groups
aligned with U.S. interests.
Romney will reset President Obama’s “Reset” with Russia and implement a
strategy to discourage aggressive or expansionist behavior on the part
of Russia and encourage democratic political and economic reform. He
of the New START treaty and other decisions by the
Obama Administration regarding America's nuclear posture and
arms-control policies to determine whether they serve the best
interests and national security of the United States.
reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian sources of energy. He
will explore increasing technical assistance to the Eastern European
nations currently developing the Turkey-to-Austria Nabucco natural gas
pipeline and work with the private sector to spur access to untapped
shale energy resources in Western Europe.
to its south by enhancing diplomatic ties, increasing
military training and assistance, and negotiating trade pacts and
educational exchanges with Central Asian states.
Russian government over its authoritarian practices. Mitt
Romney will increase the flow of information into Russia that
highlights the virtues of freedom and a government free of corruption.
He will bring more leaders of Russian civil society to the United
States on exchange programs.
Latin America Policy
Romney administration will support democratic allies and market-based
economic relationships, contain destabilizing internal forces such as
criminal gangs and terrorists, and oppose destabilizing outside
influences such as Iran. Mitt Romney will:
100 days, launch a vigorous public diplomacy and trade
promotion effort in the region—the Campaign for Economic Opportunity in
Latin America (CEOLA)—to encourage trade and investment between the
United States and Latin America and draw a stark contrast between the
virtues of democracy and free trade and the ills of the authoritarian
socialist model offered by Cuba and Venezuela.
existing anti-drug and counterterrorism initiatives to form
a unified Hemispheric Joint Task Force on Crime and Terrorism to
coordinate intelligence and enforcement among allies to combat regional
terrorist groups and criminal networks and sever connections to foreign
terrorist entities like Hezbollah.
the need for enhanced military-to-military training
cooperation and intelligence sharing to combat our mutual challenge of
drug cartels and criminal gangs. Complete a high-tech fence to secure
the southern border.
North Korea Policy
Mitt Romney will commit to eliminating North
Korea’s nuclear weapons and its nuclear-weapons infrastructure. He will:
to institute harsher sanctions on North Korea, such as
cracking down on financial institutions that service the North Korean
regime and sanctioning companies that conduct commercial shipping in
and out of North Korea.
enforcement of the Proliferation Security Initiative to
constrain North Korean illicit exports.
China to commit to North Korea’s disarmament. Mitt Romney
will discuss with China how the international community will address
the humanitarian and security issues that will arise should North Korea
disintegrate. And by reinvigorating our military and
counter-proliferation relationships with South Korea, Japan, and others
regional allies, he will demonstrate to the Chinese that they should
join the coordinated effort or be left behind.
Diplomatic & National Security Institutions
Romney will empower our diplomatic, assistance, and national security
institutions to best secure our enduring national interests and ideals.
and assistance agencies to foster joint regional
strategic planning by placing unified budgetary and directive authority
under one official responsible for all diplomatic and assistance
programs within a particular region. This structure will mirror the
regional military combatant command structure.
100 days, order a full interagency initiative to formulate a
unified national strategy to deter and defend against the growing
threats of militarized cyber-attacks, cyber-terrorism, cyber-espionage,
and private-sector intellectual property theft.
to combat homegrown terrorism by redoubling efforts to
work with state and local authorities to share intelligence
“vertically,” enhance partnerships with Muslim-American communities to
identify threats and suspicious activity, and develop our database of
knowledge about the hallmarks of radicalization and recruitment. The
strategy will contain measures to preserve privacy and our
to update the chief source of statutory authority for the
war on terrorism to authorize the use of force against any foreign
terrorist entity that is waging war against the United States.
Congress to unify the over 108 authorizing committees in
Congress that oversee the Department of Homeland Security.
Tone: Eight Actions for the First Hundred Days
Restore America’s Naval Credibility
an initiative to increase the naval shipbuilding rate from nine per
year to approximately fifteen per year and sustain the carrier fleet at
eleven. This will restore America’s presence and credibility on the
high seas with a view toward deterring aggressive behavior and
maintaining the peace.
Strengthen and Repair Relationships with Steadfast Allies
swift measures to restore and enhance relationships with our most
steadfast allies. Actions include reaffirming as a vital national
interest Israel’s existence as Jewish state, declaring the U.S.-U.K.
special relationship to be a foundation for peace and liberty, and
beginning talks to strengthen cooperation with Mexico on the shared
problem of drugs and security.
Enhance Our Deterrent Against Iran
that Iran’s possession of a nuclear weapon is unacceptable. Order the
regular presence of a carrier task force in both the Eastern
Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf region. Begin discussions with
Israel to increase levels of military and intelligence coordination and
Commit to a Robust National Missile Defense System
process of reversing Obama-era budget cuts to national missile defense
and raise to a top priority the full deployment of a multilayered
national ballistic-missile defense system.
Establish a Single Point of Responsibility for All Soft Power Resources
in the Middle East
with Congress and relevant Executive branch agencies to organize all
diplomatic and assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one
Regional Director with unified budgetary and directive authority. One
official with responsibility and accountability will set regional
priorities and direct our soft power toward ensuring the Arab Spring
realizes its promise.
Launch Campaign for Economic Opportunity in Latin America
on the benefits arising from the ratification of the Colombian and
Panamanian free trade agreements to launch a robust public-diplomacy
and trade promotion campaign in Latin America that contrasts the
benefits of democracy, free trade, and economic opportunity with the
ills caused by the authoritarian model of Venezuela and Cuba.
Conduct a Full Review of Our Transition in Afghanistan
a full interagency review of our military and assistance presence in
Afghanistan to determine the presence necessary to secure our gains and
successfully complete our mission. The review will involve discussions
with generals on the ground and the delivery of the best
recommendations of our military commanders.
Order Interagency Initiative on Cybersecurity
a full interagency initiative to formulate a unified national strategy
to deter and defend against the growing threats of militarized
cyber-attacks, cyber-terrorism, cyber-espionage, and private-sector
intellectual property theft. U.S. defense and intelligence resources
must be fully engaged in this critical aspect of national defense.
STRATEGY FOR RESTORING FAITH WITH OUR VETERANS
MA – Mitt
Romney addressed the VFW National Convention today at the Reno-Sparks
Convention Center in Reno, Nevada. Below is his strategy to reform the
Department of Veterans Affairs and restore faith with our veterans.
Restore Faith With Our Veterans
president, Mitt Romney will implement reforms to the Department of
Veterans Affairs to restore faith with our veterans. The system has
struggled to keep up with the needs of our returning warriors. Since
2008, the backlog for disability benefit claims has doubled, veteran
suicide rates have sharply increased, and the unemployment rate for
returning veterans remains high above the national average.
Get Veterans Working Again
Romney will unleash the American economy to grow again and create
well-paying jobs. He will cut taxes, lift job-killing regulations, and
slash debt to encourage job creators to invest and grow their
businesses. He will reverse President Obama’s defense cuts that could
force 200,000 troops out of the service. With the unemployment rate for
returning veterans at unacceptable levels, it is vital that veterans
aren’t sent from the front lines to the unemployment lines.
Make the System Work
Romney will not allow an entire generation of veterans to lose faith
with the VA. Because veterans strongly prefer to receive care within
the VA system, focus will be directed toward improving and
strengthening that system.
Modernize the VA
Romney will reduce the backlog of benefits claims by eliminating
unnecessary bureaucracy, implementing a reliable electronic claims
processing system, and ensuring that the VA is able to handle the more
complex claims arising from the post-9/11 wars.
Simplify Claims for Common Injuries
disability claims that require less documentation to prove injuries, an
expedited application process for disabilities commonly incurred or
aggravated by military personnel should be created.
Make World-Class Health Care Available
To All Veterans Who Need It
Romney will expand the footprint of the VA health system to reach more
of the 41 percent of veterans that live in rural areas and speed the
availability of Internet-based consultations, tele-homecare, and
tele-monitoring. He will ensure that the VA health system can meet the
unique needs of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with
Reverse Obama-Era Defense Cuts
Obama signed legislation that cut half a trillion from the military,
while submitting a budget request that grew nearly every other federal
agency. Mitt Romney will prioritize restoring, preserving, and
protecting the proud Armed Forces that our veterans built. That means
reversing cuts that could:
thousands of troops out of uniform and onto an overburdened Department
of Veteran Affairs.
training, equipment, and leadership needed by our deployed forces in
· Shrink the
military to the smallest Navy since 1916, the smallest Army since 1940,
and the smallest Air Force in our history.
Make National Defense and Veterans A
Obama’s first term was marked by significant cuts to our wartime
military, but expansive growth to the rest of the government. Mitt
Romney believes that keeping the American people safe from harm is our
Republic’s most sacred responsibility. Defense and veteran spending is
less than 20% of the federal spending, but has absorbed over 50% of
deficit reduction efforts to date. Governor Romney will rebuild,
revitalize, and restore a military that has been worn ragged by ten
years of war and systemic budget cuts. Mitt Romney will:
our Navy on the path to increase its shipbuilding rate from nine per
year to approximately fifteen per year and maintain a fleet of 11
and replace the aging inventories of the Air Force, Army, and Marines,
and selectively strengthen our force structure.
· Add 100,000
active duty troops.
the first 100 days, begin reversing Obama-era cuts to missile defense
and commit to a robust multi-layered national ballistic-missile defense
system to deter and defend against nuclear attacks on our homeland and
More PRESS RELEASES from Romney for
AMB. ERIC EDELMAN: “GOVERNOR ROMNEY SET OUT
A VISION OF DETERMINATION AND CLARITY OF PURPOSE”
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman today made the
following statement on Mitt Romney’s speech to the VFW:
Romney’s speech to the VFW convention was Reaganesque. In contrast to
Barack Obama’s policies of vacillation and hesitation, Governor Romney
set out a vision of determination and clarity of purpose. In place of
Barack Obama’s apologies for America, Governor Romney set out
principles and goals founded on our country’s enduring tradition of
peace through strength. Our friends around the world who are looking
for American leadership will be heartened by Romney’s plan for another
American Century. The suggestion by Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of
the Senate Intelligence Committee, that the White House was behind
recent leaks of highly classified secrets, highlights the urgent need
SEN. NORM COLEMAN: “ROMNEY WILL RESTORE AMERICAN LEADERSHIP AND ENSURE
ANOTHER AMERICAN CENTURY”
– Former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman today made the
following statement on Mitt Romney’s speech to the VFW:
power abroad is rooted in our strength at home. Barack Obama has
singularly failed to breathe life into the U.S. economy, and has set
the U.S. military on a path toward budget cuts that his own Secretary
of Defense has called ‘devastating’ to our national security. Mitt
Romney’s speech to the VFW shows that with the right leadership our
country need not follow a path of decline, but instead a path of
leadership. Governor Romney will restore American leadership and ensure
another American Century. And Governor Romney would never tolerate a
White House staff that leaks America’s national-security secrets, as
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has
found to be the practice under Barack Obama.”
AMB. RICH WILLIAMSON: MITT ROMNEY WILL
RESTORE AMERICAN STRENGTH AND RESOLVE
U.S. Ambassador, and former Reagan Administration official, Rich
Williamson today made the following statement on Mitt Romney’s speech
to the VFW:
today believe that American decline is an inevitable fate that must be
managed, not prevented. They fail to recognize that a strong
is the best ally world peace and prosperity has ever known. As Mitt
Romney powerfully argued in his speech to the VFW, we need to restore
American strength and resolve in order to maintain the peace, protect
our interests, and preserve our ideals. When it comes to foreign and
defense policy, the choice between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney could
not be starker. It is nothing less than a choice between American
decline and another American Century. Mitt Romney is committed to
defending America. He would never allow his subordinates to leak
top-secret information, as Sen. Dianne Feinstein now says the Obama
White House has been doing.”
SEN. KELLY AYOTTE: “ROMNEY WILL PROVIDE THE
STRONG LEADERSHIP THAT THIS PRESIDENT HAS FAILED TO DELIVER”
– Senator Kelly
Ayotte today made the following statement on Mitt Romney’s speech to
Romney understands America's role as the leader of the free world. He
will restore American influence and respect by bolstering our economy
and ensuring that we have the strongest military in the world.
Unfortunately, President Obama has abdicated his responsibility as
Commander in Chief by sitting on his hands while our military faces
draconian defense cuts, which will hollow out our force and leave our
country increasingly vulnerable to determined enemies. Similarly
troubling, the President's administration has presided over a series of
reckless intelligence leaks that have compromised national security and
put Americans and our allies in danger. We can't afford four more years
of a president who believes America should ‘lead from behind.’ Mitt
Romney will provide the strong leadership that this president has
failed to deliver.”
Truman National Security Project
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement on Mitt Romney’s VFW Remarks
attacks, distortions, and accusations; short on substance.
National Security Project spokesman David Solimini released the
following statement in response to Mitt Romney’s remarks at the VFW
convention in Las Vegas:
Governor Romney had the opportunity to define his approach to foreign
policy and national security and failed to take it. Beyond predictable
political pabulum and a barrage of false statements, he outlined no new
policy positions today.
Governor Romney insists on differing with the President by rhetoric
while agreeing with him on policy, a disappointingly deceptive tactic.
We saw it firsthand when Romney discussed Afghanistan and Iran: he
endorsed a 2014 Afghanistan pullout timeline, offered no new actions on
Iran, but attacked nonetheless.
American people deserve to hear the plans of a man as inexperienced at
world affairs as Governor Romney. Being Commander-in-Chief is not
something he can finesse with sound bites.
a candidate, President Obama took nine day overseas to outline his
views. Hopefully Romney will use his own trip to do the same. The
American people are going to start wondering if Romney has any
substance on national security.”
The Truman National Security Project is a leadership
institute promoting 21st century national security policy.
More at www.TrumanProject.org.
# # #
RELEASE from Obama for America
Statement from Vice President Biden on Mitt
Romney's VFW Remarks
President Joe Biden issued the following statement in response to Mitt
Romney’s remarks to the VFW National Convention today:
“Over the past three years, President Obama has
taken the fight directly to America’s enemies, confronting al-Qaeda
head on and taking out Osama bin Laden. He ended the war in Iraq
responsibly and has a plan to do the same in Afghanistan.
He has done more for Israel’s security than any President since Harry
Truman, led international efforts to put the most pressure in history
on Iran, protected the people of Libya from a brutal dictator and
helped rebuild our alliances across the globe. He
saved our economy from collapse with bold decisions, including the
rescue of the automobile industry – which has made us stronger abroad.
Because of President Obama’s leadership, Osama bin Laden is dead and
General Motors is alive.
“Today, Governor Romney had an opportunity to
fulfill a long-standing promise by laying out his foreign policy vision
and agenda. He had a chance to say how he would lead as
Commander-in-Chief. Instead, all we heard from Governor Romney
was empty rhetoric and bluster. He reflexively criticizes the
President’s policies without offering any alternatives. When he
venture a position, it’s a safe bet that he previously took exactly the
opposite position and will probably change his mind
again and land in the wrong place – far out of the mainstream. Or
mischaracterizes our record to create a non-existent contrast.
“Governor Romney supported the President’s
timeline to end the war in Afghanistan, then he opposed it and now it
is hard to know where he stands. His misguided criticism of the
President’s new defense strategy is undermined by the fact
that strategy was designed with and supported by the entire Defense
Department senior leadership, uniform and civilian. It provides
more agile, flexible force, better able to confront aggressors and
project power, with strong partnerships to share the
burden and smart investments in cutting edge capabilities. We
a budget to fully fund that strategy and keep faith with our veterans.
“When it comes to Russia – which he recently
called “our number one geo-political foe” – Governor Romney remains
mired in a Cold War mindset. We have serious disagreements with
Moscow, but our cooperation has made the American people more
secure. Russia cancelled the sale of cutting edge radar to Iran and
joined us in imposing the toughest sanctions in history on
Together, we negotiated a major nuclear arms reduction treaty – New
START – that virtually the entire Republican foreign
policy establishment supported but Governor Romney and a very small
group of Cold War holdovers opposed.
On Poland and missile defense:
“On the eve of his trip to Poland, the Governor is
either profoundly misinformed – or misinforming the American
He asserts that the President abandoned a missile defense system in
that country. President Obama asked me to secure
Allied support for a new missile defense plan for Europe. Who did
ask to host its main components? Poland, along with Turkey,
Germany and Spain. These countries and all of NATO embraced our
approach because it protects more of Europe more quickly
than the old plan.
“Governor Romney continues his long litany of
untruths about our administration’s policies toward Israel. We’ve
provided record levels of security assistance, funding for the Iron
Dome missile defense system that intercepted nearly 80
percent of the rockets recently fired from Gaza, close collaboration on
longer range missile defense systems, the largest joint military
exercises in history, the most consistent and comprehensive exchanges
ever between our top political, defense, security
and intelligence officials. And, contrary to Governor Romney’s
outrageous accusation that the President joined in the chorus of
insults levied against Israel at the United Nations, President Obama
has stood up repeatedly, publicly and often alone against
efforts to delegitimize Israel at the U.N. and around the world.
“On Iran, Governor Romney does a compelling job
laying out exactly what the Administration is already doing. The
step he seems to think we should take that we are not already taking is
to launch a war. If that is what the Governor
is for, he should tell the American people.
On al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden:
“One thing the Governor did not talk about today
was al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. That’s not surprising.
When he last
ran for President, Governor Romney was asked what he would do about bin
Laden. He said then: ‘it is not worth moving
heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one
person.’ We know how Obama answered that question: by
intelligence services to leave no stone unturned in the hunt for bin
Laden, and then authorizing one of the highest
risk missions ever to capture or kill our number one enemy.
“Thanks to President Obama’s leadership, bin Laden
is dead and General Motors is alive -- and everything we have learned
from Governor Romney today and during this campaign tells the American
people that a Romney presidency would have resulted
in just the opposite.”