Gov. Mitt Romney told veterans Thursday that as president, he would reverse the military cuts set to take place in the sequestration passed by Congress.
“I will stop it. I will not cut military funding,” he told an invitation-only crowd at American Legion Post 176 in Springfield.
“The first responsibility of the president of the United States is to protect the people,” said Romney. “You can’t do that with a weak, demoralized military. I will restore the strength of the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs. I want to have a military so strong no one wants to test it,” he said to loud applause.
Romney said the United States can’t continue to spend what it does not have. “I will make it my priority in my first 100 days to put America on track to balance the budget,” he said.
He also promised to create 12 million jobs by:
- Utilizing all energy resources in order to make North America energy independent.
- Seeking new markets for trade around the world. “I will finally do something with cheating China,” he said.
- Providing skills to success training programs for adults, updated to meet today’s technologies and linked to what employers need.
- Eliminating teachers unions in order to improve education.
- Balancing the budget.
- Championing small business with pro-growth tax policies, regulatory policies that encourage small business, and eliminating ‘Obama care’ so small businesses can afford to hire people.
“Gov. Romney has stated he would make sure funding is not taken away from the military and our veterans,” said Annandale resident John Sommer, who supports Romney for president. Sommer served 38 years in the military, including as an NCO Combat Medic in Vietnam. “I also believe he would take a strong stand in foreign policy, especially in the Mid-East where we have a lot of problems now,” said Sommer.
Leesburg resident Mackie Christenson is concerned about the economy. “I read somewhere that more than 70 percent of the unemployed are women,” said Christenson, wearing a pink ‘Women for Romney’ T-shirt. “Under Obama, more women have slipped under the poverty line,” she said. “Obama’s policies push women into poverty.”
Christenson, who serves as recording secretary for Loudoun County Republican Women, says she’s angered at the narrow-mindedness of people concerning the issue of contraception. “When did Romney ever say he was against contraception?” she said. “Romney is not a social conservative,” she said. “He goes along with the majority in the Republican Party, but that is not his emphasis.”
“The most important issues facing our country are the deficit, the economy and jobs,” she said.
Retired Chief Master Sergeant E9 Lonnie Eskeli spent 30 years with the Air Force. “I support Romney because I’m disappointed with President Obama’s policies and the way the county has gone,” he said. “I believe Gov. Romney would be a better manager of foreign policy issues and the economy. We’ve become less assertive than we probably ought to be, especially with the countries that don’t want us where we are,” he said. “Afghanistan, the Middle East, I’d be happy to see us get out of there.”
An Air Force captain from Springfield who did not want to be named said she supports Romney because he is more realistic that Obama. “At the moment the economy is the no. 1 issue,” she said. “The Administration is really struggling to make health care happen without the economy. Social issues are important, but getting the economy on track is more important,” she said.
“I think Romney falls more in the moderate camp [than Obama], so I’m putting my faith in that,” she said.
More from Romney's visit to Springfield:
- Live Updates: Gov. Romney Campaigns in Springfield
- Tweets from Gov. Romney's Springfield Visit