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Romney doubles down on troop speech omission

The Ed Show -- Sep 7, 2012

interview with Jon Soltz, chairman of

link to clip

automated transcript (annotated):

>>> Welcome back to "The Ed Show."   Governor Mitt Romney is actually trying to defend his decision to omit any mention of our troops in his acceptance speech. here's the explanation.
[Mitt Romney:]  when you give a speech, you don't go through a laundry list. you talk about the things you think are important. I described in my speech, my commitment to a strong military, unlike the president's decision to cut our military. and I didn't use the word troops, I used the word military. I think they refer to the same thing.
>> Romney says when he gives a speech, he talks about things that are important. he didn't talk about the troops in his acceptance speech. therefore, by Romney's own definition, he didn't think the troops are very important. 6,473 troops have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. 49,746 Americans have been wounded in those wars over the last ten years. Suicides among veterans are a serious problem. July set a record for a record high for the number of suicides in the united states military. then there are the multiple deployments that families go through, the military moms and dads waiting for their spouses to return home. Romney said he spoke to the American Legion and VFW, but that doesn't cut it.

This is the party that practically coined the phrase, we support the troops. This is the party that demonized people who wouldn't wear the flag lapel pin. this is the party that always claimed to have the upper hand on protecting the country and national security and love of country. and accusing President Obama of not being American enough and not loving the country, but Mitt Romney can't bring himself to in insert a paragraph about the troops in harm's way right now and have been there multiple times in his acceptance speech? I think it is the ultimate dis-qualifier. Here's senator John Kerry addressing the issue last night.

[John Kerry:]  No nominee for president should ever fail in the midst of a war to pay tribute to our troops overseas in his acceptance speech. Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney was talking about America. They are on the front lines every day, defending America and they deserve our thanks.
>> Tribute is the correct word. let's turn to Jon Soltz, chairman of . Jon serves in Iraq in 2003 and again in 2011. Jon, your response to the lack of attention given to our troops and especially our troops in theater right now at the republican convention.

>> I'm still shocked at governor Romney's response. I can't believe he said that this morning. In regards to what happened at the republican convention, he has a very, very unpopular position on Afghanistan. the president's position isn't popular. Mitt Romney doesn't have a timeline to end the war. He would commit 100,000 troops there for an indefinite period of time, basically involved in a type of insurgency that is more related to the future of the Afghan democracy than what happened with American security.

He's got the neoconservative George Bush advisers around him who frankly never served, who wants to talk about a policy position that isn't supported by the military and isn't supported -- maybe is only supported by 15% of the country? and they didn't mention or talk about what they were going to do to help the veterans returning home. that's probably because governor Romney supporting his running mates budget, which is an $11 billion cut to veterans and almost 13% compared to what the president is proposing.

>> so in a sense, he supported the budget, but Paul Ryan, $11 billion cuts to vets by not mentioning the vets and not mentioning the troops in Afghanistan. What message does that send to the men and women in uniform?

>> It's terrible. when you listen to the comment, I mentioned the military. this is sort of a conservative talking point, weapons systems. and there's this debate about weapons systems versus taking care of the military. will there be an attempt to take away the military pensions. when you have the president and he's thanking the troops, that's different than the military complex. Just in the microcosm of what he said this morning on television about laundry lists. it's great to know our troops are considered part of a longer laundry list.

if you want to talk about the priorities, they have chosen to talk about the top 2% of Americans who are in a lower tax bracket that who serve the country like you do, and president Obama and the vice president talk about the 1% of the people who are the troops who go and do the work. there's a huge disconnect about them understanding what we do in the military.

>> you think what they did at their convention and what the democrats did at theirs, a very lofty tribute, a very sincere, very detailed, and connecting it to policy and what they're going to do for veterans and the troops in our military, do you think that will affect this election?

>> it affects this election with voters who care about the military. the perception with independent voters or undecided voters or Americans want to know these kids have been fighting in a war for the past ten years and they have an administration that's not going to turn their back on them, and that goes a long further than just how veterans feel. it's very important. I think the other thing is it connected to the people. John Kerry was superb last night when he made the statement about: Ask Osama bin Laden if he's better off today than four years ago. It was the largest cheer in the room. I think they focused in on things that connect to how Americans felt. when the Vice President stood up last night and mentioned the exact number and amount of troops killed and wounded, he has a personal connection to the issue. I think if you talk to Beau Biden, he'll tell you his father is his best friend and they lived that experience together when Beau went to Iraq. there's one party close and understanding the sacrifice of the young men and women who fight, and then you have another party where you have the presidential candidate who says something like my sons are serving the country because they're working for my campaign and a Vice Presidential candidate who says I know something about war because I voted for it twice in Congress. It plays exactly into their sort of inability to communication to regular Americans and their sacrifice.

>> Jon , thanks for your time tonight. appreciate it so much.

Here's a concept for you, Mr Haven't a Clue CEO:

-- the Military is NOT synonymous with the Troops.

Just like Corporations are NOT synonymous with People.

Only Troops, only People, have to endure the consequences and the pain, that results from your clueless CEO spreadsheet decisions, made from your well-insulated Office bubble-from-Reality.

Mr Willard Romney get this one idea, if you get nothing else:

Our Troops are NOT a "Laundry List"  --  Our Troops are Heroes.

A concept of which, you obviously haven't a clue ...

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Comment Preferences

  •  One Party does support the Troop (7+ / 0-)

    One Party just supports "the Military" ...


    link to video

    Published on Sep 6, 2012 by LouieLudwig

    One party has demonstrated a commitment to veterans with more than thanks and ribbons. That's why I'm voting Democratic this year

    Dear GOP: No, You Can't
    by Crashing Vor -- Sep 07, 2012

    Thanks Crashing Vor -- great work!

    Are you ready to Vote? Are you still 'allowed' to Vote?
    -- Are you sure?

    by jamess on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:34:51 AM PDT

  •  No more Mr. Weathervane (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark

    He also doubled down on his Olypmics comments. And I say, "way to go, Mitt." Show the people that you can be consistent and aren't afraid to take unpopular positions.

    As for the military flap, the Republicans certainly have it coming after all their execrable rhetoric about 'supporting the troops' during the Bush years. But don't expect me to really care. I, for one, find our national reverence for the military a bit nauseating. Certainly they are deserving of respect and even honor, but so are lots of people who get lots less of it.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:38:37 AM PDT

  •  Money as a weapon system (4+ / 0-)
    >> It's terrible. when you listen to the comment, I mentioned the military. this is sort of a conservative talking point, weapons systems. and there's this debate about weapons systems versus taking care of the military.
    It's explicit. Money is a weapons systems. And weapons systems are money.

    Money as weapon system gets an acronym, and standard operating procedures. It's doctrine.

    Money as a Weapon System - Afghanistan (MAAWS-A) Commanders Emergency Response Program (CERP) Standard Operating Procedure.

    •  I had a Civics teacher once (6+ / 0-)

      (-- I know, Civics, What's that? )

      He said something to my still young and impressionable mind, way back in the day:

      If we took all the money we are spending on this pointless war,
      and dumped all those billions out of planes,
      instead of our Bombs

      -- The war would be instantly over!

      No one would have anything to fight over anymore.

      Those incisive words, have stuck with me to this day.

      If only ...

      Are you ready to Vote? Are you still 'allowed' to Vote?
      -- Are you sure?

      by jamess on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:51:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's good to see (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        'Civics' becoming topical again ...

        American Citizenship and the long lost 'Users Manual'
        by jamess -- Sep 07, 2012

        Are you ready to Vote? Are you still 'allowed' to Vote?
        -- Are you sure?

        by jamess on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:58:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  More doctrine (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        U.S. firepower is highly concentrated. When we shoot the $1-million-caliber money gun, we shoot it at

        The leaders of one of the largest Pashtun tribes in a Taliban stronghold said Wednesday that they had agreed to support the American-backed government, battle insurgents and burn down the home of any Afghan who harbored Taliban guerrillas.

        Elders from the Shinwari tribe, which represents about 400,000 people in eastern Afghanistan, also pledged to send at least one military-age male in each family to the Afghan Army or the police in the event of a Taliban attack.

        In exchange for their support, American commanders agreed to channel $1 million in development projects directly to the tribal leaders and bypass the local Afghan government, which is widely seen as corrupt.

        New York Times (2010)

        three guys.

        I love the part about how directly funneling $1 million to a small group of people, bypassing normal procedure, is considered anti-corruption.

        The disperse-and-spread-the-money-from-an-airplane plan really is better.

  •  January....'Romney's a terrible candidate but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, blue aardvark

    everyday in every way...he's getting better and better.....April......'Romney's a terrible candidate but everyday in every way...he's getting better and better.'....August....'Romney is a terrible...blah blah blah'......September....'See if those lifeboats have holes in them.'

  •  Let me double down on deriding Romney (7+ / 0-)

    The single best way to support the troops is to NOT send them to war unless you really don't have a choice.

    Increasing the military budget isn't supporting the troops unless they actually need what you buy.

    Romney economics: Feed our seed corn to the fattest pigs and trust them to poop out jobs.

    by blue aardvark on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:57:14 AM PDT

  •  We have to get used to two somewhat (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, Garrett, RunawayRose, myboo

    contradictory things about conservatives.  The first is that they are very literal people.  So, when Willard tells us to "Believe in America," what he means is that we're to believe America, not him.  He's not to be trusted.  Which is what the phrase, "In God we trust," tells us, as well.
    When everything was supposed to be sacrificed for "the national interest," that was a distinction without a difference.  An amorphous entity, concept or idea is to take precedence over real people. Ideas come first. That, according to the ideologues, is what identifies George W. Bush as an idealists.  Ideas are more important than people.  So, of course, an artificial construct such as a corporation is more important than people.

    The second thing is that conservatives are wedded to the euphemism.  Maybe it's because their mothers told them "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything," and the blabbermouths simply can't shut up, so there's nothing to do but lie.
    "Euphemism" means something sounds nice, even if it isn't. So, for example, because "control" actually means "kill" as in pest control and climate control, birth control simply can't be accepted, although population control, since the population subject to being killed isn't specified, is OK.
    So, what we see here is that the euphemism hasn't just muddled their thinking but, to a certain extent has made it impossible to think.
    The shifting euphemisms do provide a hint that they don't know what they are talking about.  But then, neither would you, if you had to keep saying nice things about things you hate. Nothing is as it seems.

    The "honorable gentleman from South Carolina" is neither honorable nor a gentleman and the people in South Carolina, whom he has been hired to represent, know that.  But, because everybody says all those nice things, there's obviously nobody willing to stand up for their truth, so they might as well give the bully what he wants and try to stay out of his way.  And then Democrats wonder how come there's no trust in South Carolina.

    Liars lie because deception works to their advantage. Lies are disrespectful and it may be hurt pride that keeps us from exposing them as we ought.  It's embarrassing to have our President disrespected.  Embarrassment is intimidating and that's the point. Liars lie because the want to exercise unjustifiable power. We mustn't let them do that.
    Humility is, like obedience, a virtue -- but not when it's extorted.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 10:02:54 AM PDT

  •  In Mitt world corperations are people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but the military is just the military.  Just another group to dismiss along with imigrants, women, union members and public servants on his way to the job he seems to think he is entitled to.  How did the GOP ever sink this low to have this total tool as standardbearer.

    Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

    by J Edward on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 10:05:06 AM PDT

  •  Notice Romney Avoiding talking about the troops... (8+ / 0-)

    ...just the same way he's avoiding talking about his taxes, about the specifics of his budget, about his stand on birth control, gay marriage, etc.  Why?  Because what he has to say, is what he knows his listeners won't like.  

    Regarding the troops, if Romney speaks about our service members, he will have opened up the topic of Afghanistan and his plans for Afghanistan.  He would be asked questions about his policies and plans that he is working very hard to avoid:

    He might be asked why 70 percent of his foreign policy advisers worked for Bush, including neocons like John Bolton...

    ...Bolton is one of eight Romney advisers who signed letters drafted by the Project for a New American Century, an influential neoconservative advocacy group founded in the 1990s, urging the Clinton and Bush administrations to attack Iraq...

    ...a comprehensive review of his (Romney's) statements during the primary and his choice of advisers suggests a return to the hawkish, unilateral interventionism of the George W. Bush administration should he win the White House in November... On some key issues, like Iran, Romney and his team are to the right of Bush...

    ...If we take the candidate at his word, a Romney presidency would move toward war against Iran; closely align Washington with the Israeli right; leave troops in Afghanistan at least until 2014 and refuse to negotiate with the Taliban...

    Romney knows these neocon views aren't exactly popular with American voters--even republican and independent voters:  
    ....Fifty-two percent of Republicans believe the war in Afghanistan is not worth fighting, an all-time high. Seventy-one percent of self-identified conservative voters are worried about the war’s costs, and 57 percent agree that “the United States can dramatically lower the number of troops in Afghanistan without putting America at risk...”

    But the neocons really, really want a do-over, and Romney's listening to them.  Even the American conservative admitted that Romney won't discuss Afghanistan:

    So Romney can’t have much of an advantage on the war in Afghanistan when he refuses to talk about it in any detail. Did Schake not see Kerry destroy what little credibility Romney had on this issue with his criticism last night? Kerry accused Romney of holding “every position,” which is a fair description...

    Romney’s statements on the war in Afghanistan is a perfect example of what happens when a habitual panderer is caught between the demands of his own party’s hard-liners and the preferences of the voters: incoherence and confused leadership that leaves him at the mercy of his hawkish advisers.


    Romney doesn't want to talk about the troops, because then he'd have to answer their questions about their future-and that's something he's been avoiding his whole campaign--answering questions.

    •  Wow (5+ / 0-)

      It nothing else should keep Mitt from coming to power,

      this should be the meme, that stops him in his tracks:

      the Neocons really, really want a do-over, and Romney's listening to them.

      OMG, can you imagine it ?

      Thanks kurious

      Are you ready to Vote? Are you still 'allowed' to Vote?
      -- Are you sure?

      by jamess on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 10:20:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  not to mention cuts to the VA (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, kurious, Eric Nelson

      which are in the Ryan budget, as detailed in the diary.

      This is the party that pushed through cuts to the VA the VERY DAY we started bombing Iraq, when everyone was distracted by the fireworks show on TV.

      I've probably posted that last sentence 10 times on this site. It's because I never quite got over it, and it was ignored by the media.

    •  Here's a partial list of some gee oh pee (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, kurious, Eric Nelson


      2012 US Presidential Candidates:
       Rick Perry:  Captain, Pilot, USAF
       Mitt Romney: Did not serve; Mormon missionary in France
       Ron Paul:  Captain, USAF
       Newt Gingrich: Did not serve
       Michelle Bachmann:  Did not serve
       Herman Caine: Did not serve
       Rick Santorum:  Did not serve, past Member of US Senate Armed Services Committee
       John Huntsman:  Did not serve
       Gary Johnston:  Did not serve
       Buddy Roemer: Did not serve

      Other Republicans with Notable service records:
       Ronald Reagan:  Army Reserves, served in WWII making movies
       George H.W. Bush:  Lt., US. Navy, Pilot
       Spencer Abraham: Did not serve
       Eliot Abrams: Did not serve
       John Ashcroft: Did not serve
       Roy Blunt: Did not serve
       Michael Bloomberg: Did not serve  
       George W. Bush: Texas Air Nat. Guard; AWOL
       Jeb Bush: Did not serve
       Saxby Chambliss: Did not serve. (Attacked Triple Amputee Max Cleland's patriotism during 2006 Senate Campaign)
       Dick Cheney: Did not serve - 5 Student Deferments
       Christopher Cox: Did not serve
       Tom DeLay: Did not serve  
       Bob Dornan: Enlisted after fighting was over in Korea
       John Engler: Did not serve
       Douglas Feith: Did not serve
       Bill Frist: Did not serve
       Rudy Giuliani: Did not serve
       Lindsey Graham: National Guard attorney
       Phil Gramm: Did not serve
       Dennis Hastert: Did not serve
       Tim Hutchison: Did not serve
       Jack Kemp: Did not serve. ("Knee problem," Played NFL football for 8 years)
       Jon Kyl: Did not serve
       Trent Lott: Did not serve
       Mitch McConnell: Did not serve
       John McHugh: Did not serve
       George Pataki: Did not serve
       Richard Perle: Did not serve
       Dan Quayle: Indiana National Guard Journalism unit  
       Tom Ridge: Army Staff Sgt. in Vietnam, Bronze star
       Dana Rohrabacher: Did not serve
       Karl Rove: Did not serve
       Arnold Schwarzenegger: AWOL from Austrian army base
       Richard Shelby: Did not serve
       Peter Roskam:  Did not serve
       JC Watts: Did not serve
       Vin Weber: Did not serve
       Paul Wolfowitz: Did not serve
       Rush Limbaugh: Medical Deferment (Anal Cyst - a Real Pain   in the A$$)
      Eric Cantor - Did not Serve
      Paul Ryan - Did not Serve
      Scott Walker - Did not Serve

      "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

      by sfcouple on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 12:09:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  when you're explaining................... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, wasatch

    you're losing.............................

    And Romney sure is a loser.

    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 10:30:52 AM PDT

  •  pleased check out (0+ / 0-)

    my follow up post -- based on the insightful comments of kurious, upthread:

    Romney's Neocon advisers want a Do-over
    by jamess -- Sep 08, 2012


    Are you ready to Vote? Are you still 'allowed' to Vote?
    -- Are you sure?

    by jamess on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 12:33:45 PM PDT

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