Romney doubles down on troop speech omission
The Ed Show -- Sep 7, 2012
interview with Jon Soltz, chairman of VoteVets.org
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 VoteVets.org . 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
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 ...