Romney tells military-friendly crowd: ‘We’ll rebuild military might,’ keep God on U.S. currency
September 8th, 2012
04:33 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney tells military-friendly crowd: ‘We’ll rebuild military might,’ keep God on U.S. currency

Virginia Beach, Virginia (CNN) – Mitt Romney revved up a Virginia Beach audience heavy on military families Saturday by pledging to “rebuild America’s military might” and keep the word “God” on U.S. currency.

“Our pledge says ‘under God,’” Romney told thousands of energetic supporters at the Military Aviation Museum. “I will not take God out of the name of our platform. I will not take God off our coins. And I will not take God out of my heart.”

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Democrats took heat during their national convention after omitting a reference to God in the party’s platform. The word was hastily reinserted in the ensuing public outcry.

Romney campaign adviser Kevin Madden said Romney was not referring to any push to remove “God” from U.S. currency, but said the candidate was referring “to an example of where a principle like ‘In God We Trust’ is already on public display.”

Romney also focused heavily on patriotism in his remarks to the flag-waving, cheering audience, framing his speech around the pledge of allegiance.

“For me, the pledge of allegiance and the placing our hands over our hearts reminds us of the blood that was shed by those fighting for our liberty,” Romney said to thunderous applause from the audience, many of whom raised their hands when asked whether they were veterans.

Romney - whose own convention speech provoked controversy when he failed to mention the conflict in Afghanistan - said Saturday American troops were “stretched to the breaking point” and offered full-throated support for the armed forces, “particularly those in Afghanistan who are in harm’s way.”

He then launched into a withering critique of President Barack Obama over congressionally-mandated military cuts, called sequestration, which could kick in next year.

“It’s unthinkable to Virginia, to our employment needs, but it’s also unthinkable to the ability and the commitment of America to maintain our liberty, with liberty for all,” Romney said of the cuts, which were part of a congressional deal to force lawmakers to take action on the national debt. “And therefore if I’m president of the United States we’ll get rid of those sequestration cuts and rebuild America’s military might.”

Before his speech, a campaign aide said Romney spoke with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and controversial evangelist Pat Robertson.

Democrats seized on Romney’s speech and his appearance with Robertson, who did not speak at the event.

“It’s disappointing to se Mitt Romney try to throw a ‘Hail Mary’ by launching extreme and untrue attacks against the president and associating with some of the most strident and divisive voices in the Republican party,” Obama campaign spokesman Lis Smith said, who criticized Romney for being joined at the rally by evangelist Pat Robertson. “This isn’t a recipe for making America stronger, it’s a recipe for division and taking us backward.”


Filed under: 2012 • Military • Mitt Romney • Virginia
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Lynn

    He insists he belongs to a church that recognizes God, but if so, what is so secret behind their doors nobody can enter unless they also are a Mormon?

    September 8, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. lou

    He was in Iowa yesterday and the paper interviewed people who came to see him. They were from the religious orientated side of the party. All of them said they couldn't vote for him because of his stance on abortion for rape victims. One young woman said, either you think it is murder or you don't. He has to stand by his convictions or they aren't convictions. They wanted to vote for him, but I'm betting a lo of the religious right will sit this one out.

    September 8, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    "Before his speech, a campaign aide said Romney spoke with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and controversial evangelist Pat Robertson."

    Pat Robinson, huh? There you go again, Mitt Romney ... pimping GOD for votes.

    Disgusting.

    September 8, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. Machine

    Can anybody say:war with Iran lol?

    September 8, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Karl Jonas

    Funny, I wasn't aware our military is in such dire straits that it needs "rebuilding." Our defense budget is larger than the next 10 countries combined.

    As for the sequestration, that was mandated by the congress, including his running mate, when the two sides couldn't reach a compromise (largely due to the House Tea Party contingent). So if he says he'll get rid of those, exactly how will he do that? He can't do it on his own.

    Now I see where Lyin' Ryan takes his cues – from Lyin' Romney.

    September 8, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Thomas

    ” And keep the word “God” on U.S. currency.
    And send your children to war , not mine.

    Five sons all avoided voluntary military service.

    Mitt there is more to God then the green dollar , and there is more to people the corporations .

    September 8, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. Phillygirl

    I am a Christian and very proud of my faith. But who is suggesting that wording on our currency be changed AND what does that have to do with this election or the state of our country?! Can this man stop making up pretend issues and deal with the very real ones at hand?!

    September 8, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. onlyfacts

    Prior to his election, Obama made good faith promises. This tax cheat makes up crap as he goes, only to mislead. What are these republicans thinking are they all that dumb or do they just have to be in control. This is downright weird and sad.

    September 8, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    Our God? Or the God of his planet, Kolob?

    September 8, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. Beeger

    Romney also recited & led Pledge of Allegiance at the rally without putting his hand over his heart. Trying to out do Gabby Giffords at DNC, What a sad PR placation. Romney FLUNKED. Even Gabby with a crippled arm put her hand over her heart. Romney gave a brief salute to our troops down in Virginia. Romney is a day late & a dollar short.

    ROMNEY SAYS HE WILL NOT CUT DEFENSE & WILL REBUILD THE NAVY ON TOP OF IT!! (INCREASING DEFICIT) There is that Carl Rove industrial war machine talking for sure. HE FORGOT, when you recite the pledge of allegiance you put your hand over your heart. Maybe if it was a spreadsheet he would have remembered.

    Romney, 1st Presidential candidate in HISTORY to leave the troops out of his acceptance speech while troops are on front lines AND forgets or doesn't know the proper way to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. MAYBE WE NEED TO SEE HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE??

    September 8, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Romney 1040 or Obama 2012.

    Romney seems a lot like Nixon. "I am not a Crook"!

    Let's see those tax returns.

    September 8, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. carrotroot

    You know ... Romney never once thanked the troops in his nomination acceptance speech. Obama thanked the troops several times in his.

    September 8, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    Don't trust a man like Romney who needs handlers to explain or spin what he just told an audience. Seems Romney can't decide whether to take marching orders from the Mormon Church or evangelical Christians like Pat Robertson...maybe do one of his famous flip flops?

    September 8, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. carrotroot

    Who is Romney planning to fight? The Soviets?

    September 8, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  15. Debbie

    Governor Romney: IF you actually believed in the military you would have not been a draft dodger in the Vietnam War. IF you actually believed in the military 1 out of 5 sons would have served at the very least in the National Guard. Governor Romney by saying you will "rebuild our military might" you are saying our current military is not up to the task. Shame on you! Our military right now is the best in the world. Shame on you! As for God on our currency and in our pledge...no one has spoken of removing God! No one! Again, shame on you! I realize this is a political season but IF you are a Christian as you profess then to lie and slander another is not Christian. Stop being a Judas and follow Christ!

    September 8, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  16. Michael

    I do not think the military is this stupid! although, when I was in the military before retiring, I had several supervisors who were KKK card carriers! One even showed me his card! So, I wouldn't be supprised at support for Robme and Lyin Ryan by some military!

    September 8, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. Kevin M.

    Lis Smith from the Obama camp did something amazing: She managed to alienate evangelicals AND Roman Catholics simultaneously with, “It’s disappointing to se (sic) Mitt Romney try to throw a ‘Hail Mary’ by launching extreme and untrue attacks against the president and associating with some of the most strident and divisive voices in the Republican party." because he had met with Pat Robertson. Freedom of association and freedom of religion are targets of the hard-core Leftists who control the Democratic Party in 2012, but (thank God!) Obama is 60 days away from becoming a one term proposition.

    September 8, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. Martha

    What God are you referring to??

    September 8, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  19. fullclarity

    The military budget must not be about defense industry employment. That's the tail wagging the dog, Mitt! I'm so glad that you could wrap yourself in the flag and play up to our military in your bid to become president. How, about doing the same for the common folk?

    September 8, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. incredulous

    What a crock. No one is talking about taking the word "God" off of currency. Of course it doesn't matter if the word God is printed on the money if Americans don't have enough money to build a decent life with. As for Romney's heart, he can take it to whatever foreign country he's stashed his money in.

    September 8, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. thesandpiper

    Obama campaign spokesman Lis Smith said, who criticized Romney for being joined at the rally by evangelist Pat Robertson. “This isn’t a recipe for making America stronger, it’s a recipe for division and taking us backward.” WOW and look who is Pres. Obama's mentor...Rev. Jeremiah Wright (a radical, liberal pastor who is quoted as saying "...not God Bless America. God damn America.") talk about taking us backwards.

    September 8, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  22. thesandpiper

    Obama campaign spokesman Lis Smith said, who criticized Romney for being joined at the rally by evangelist Pat Robertson. “This isn’t a recipe for making America stronger, it’s a recipe for division and taking us backward.” WOW and look who is Pres. Obama's mentor...Rev. Jeremiah Wright (a radical, liberal pastor who is quoted as saying "...not God Bless America. God dam America.") talk about taking us backwards.

    September 8, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. MaryM

    Not one mention of Americas men and women in uniform in Mitts speech.And this man wants to be CIC. NOT gonna happen Mitt. Now he thinks he can make up for his unacceptable mistake. NO. He did NOT CARE about Americas military in his speech and he sure does NOT care now.

    September 8, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  24. BCInNV

    Rebuild!! What! Our military is the best in the world you dumb ______

    September 8, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. Chipster

    Seriously? What planet is Romney from? He plans to "keep God on U.S. currency?" That's an easy promise to keep since absolutely no one has made any attempt to remove it! "Rebuild our military might?....another easy promise to keep because our military is still the most powerful in the world and no one has attempted to change that. I've never heard any of our leaders say, "Gee, you know what I'd like to do? I'd like to weaken our military!" Geez, what an idiot! Yet, Republicans in Congress have tried to prevent our military from wasting money on outdated weapons, aircraft, ships, and replace them with better technology. GOP members of Congress have tried to protect defense contracts in their districts, even though our military commanders prefer to use funds on newer and better equipment The DOD requested $4 billion less than Congress wants to spend! The Defense Secretary said, “Some of the bills seek to reverse the decisions to eliminate aging and lower-priority ships and aircraft. My concern is that if these decisions are totally reversed, then I've got to find money somewhere … to maintain this old stuff.”

    September 8, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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