May 28th, 2012
04:17 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney: The world is 'not safe'

San Diego, California (CNN) – Speaking to an enthusiastic audience of several thousand on Memorial Day, Mitt Romney cast the presidential campaign as a choice between a candidate who supports a strong military and one who would shrink the defense budget and weaken the nation's armed forces.

The presumptive GOP nominee underlined the urgency of his message by warning supporters the world was "not safe."

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"I wish I could tell you that the world is a safe place today," he told an audience of roughly 5,000 people – many of them military families – at an outdoor park in San Diego. "It's not."

Romney offered a laundry list of geopolitical concerns from Iran's quest for a nuclear weapon, to Mexican drug cartels, to Russia's growing military.

"We have two courses we can follow," he said. "One is to follow the pathway of Europe, to shrink our military smaller and smaller to pay for our social needs."

As commercial planes rumbled overhead, descending toward a nearby airport, Romney suggested he would choose another path.

"The other is to commit to preserve America as the strongest military in the world, second to none, with no comparable power anywhere in the world. We choose that course," he said. "We choose that course for America not just so that we can win wars, but so we can prevent wars. Because a strong America is the best deterrent to war that ever has been invented."

While Romney did not mention President Barack Obama by name, the president's 2013 budget proposal called for cuts in military spending.

Before the event, Romney supporter Sen. John McCain joined the presumptive GOP nominee in a wreath-laying ceremony to honor the nation's fallen service members.

McCain, a former prisoner-of-war who directed a stream of military jokes to an audience filled with veterans, said Romney was "fully qualified to be commander-in-chief" and vouched for his candidacy.

"He believes in American exceptionalism," McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, said. "He believes that the 21st century will also be an American century. And I am confident of his leadership and I know of his support for veterans and their families."

A recent Gallup tracking poll showed Romney leading Obama among veterans by 20%.

Also see:

Gingrich's presidential advice: Raise money

Wisconsin recall's a 'test run,' DNC chair says

Giuliani gets over ego and praises Romney

Filed under: 2012 • California • John McCain • Mitt Romney • Veterans
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Little Jimmy Truth

    That's true. Romney, great job!!!

    May 28, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Lionel

    America will not be safe with Romney. He sounds like a pastor preaching.

    Obama / Biden 2012

    May 28, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Harrison

    Um which wars did we win? Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan? Where is this money going to come from, are you going to raise the tax rates on the wealthy? Who is going to fight these wars, the poor and middle class or the wealthy. You've taken quite enough Mittens, be on your way.

    May 28, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. kathy smelser

    what could be his reasoning behind thinking the would would be safer with him a President .......i think i hear the Etch A Sketch

    May 28, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. Adam RMD

    Or, the other option is to trim spending slightly as the President has proposed and the House Republicans once agreed to, so that instead of spending more than the next 10 countries combined on military, we only spend the next 9 countries combined plus a few billion pocket change.

    May 28, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Isn't that wonderful , more Neocon fear based propaganda. Several thousand white Mormons showed up.

    I'm glad he's in San Diego , hope his car elevator is working.

    May 28, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. jennymay

    You know what's scary? When a country with a strong army invades countries that pose no threat to them and occupies them for several years, killing countless civilians.

    May 28, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. GonzoinHouston

    This sounds a lot like the rationalization for the W administration: "he kept the country safe", which was a load of bull. This is a pure fear appeal. Yeah, the world is not safe and it hasn't been since about the Pax Romana. And if Obama is calling for a reduction in the military it may have something to do with the end of the war in Iraq and the eventual withdrawal from A-stan.

    May 28, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. pkbkr

    yeah, Mittens, how many of you sons served in the military? Huh? Oh, I get it......keep sending middle class boys off to war, pay for the war with middle class taxes.....certainly not the richies hit with more taxes......and the world will be safer with you as president... disgusting but true!

    May 28, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. pkbkr

    yeah, Mittens, how many of your sons served in the military? Huh? Oh, I get it......keep sending middle class boys off to war, pay for the war with middle class taxes.....certainly not the richies hit with more taxes......and the world will be safer with you as president... disgusting but true!

    May 28, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. jennymay

    The FED happily pushes war as an excuse to print up some more money out of thin air to loan to the government.

    May 28, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    A nation that spends money it does not have.....damages its industrial base....does not fund its technological education...does not care for its childrenls education or health.....will have spent money it does not have to build a military that cost more than the rest of the world's entire expenditure for it will be an exceptional nation.....exceptional like Natzi Germany.....exceptional like Rome in decay.....No such nation will stand for any length of time. Without a healthy economy and people, these agressive ideas are just foolishness as was the war in Iraq. We did not create a peaceful Iraq....we did not insure the health of Israel....we only made our enemies stronger and weaken our allies to the point they do not want to involve their fortunes and lives with our military adventueres. World Wars we were in were won with allies.....we did not do it alone or for selfish reasons.......Unlike the Republican garbage we are being handed out today. In fact, the Republicans did not want us to enter the World war I or II.

    May 28, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. mms55

    last week they said obama was ahead with vets now cnn is trying to say romney is.i don't believe anything coming out of cnn any more ,its like watching fox news.

    May 28, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. normajean @ verizon ,com

    So the man who has everything and does nothing but compl;ain finally realizes that there IS a world out there outside of the "cloud nine" he lives on......Right the world isn't safe and neither is a country that helps its millionaires get richer and the middle and lower economic society getting less and less while he talks boldly of what he will take away when he becomes president.!!!!....... .Right....... the world.. isn't least for poor Americans!!!

    May 28, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Blindersoff

    Romney is an Idiot . . . for sure!

    May 28, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. artraveler

    Hey Veterans, the money to buy more weapons and systems that the Pentagon doesn't want will come out of Veteran's benefits, Veterans Hopsitals allocations, and Social Secuiry. You can't say nobody p[ays taxes and keep spending like George W Bush who got the country as screwed up as it is on his own. Watch for the neocons behind Romney as they are already pushing for an attack on Iran and that will put the country in a depression as oil prices will hit $8+ a gallon while we could lose as many personnel as we lost in Korea. Iran isn't Iraq and they know how to fight and while they may not like their government, once you attack them, they are all Persians and there will be a costly fight. Just how nutty does the Republican candidate have to be? Romney is approaching Pope Santorium and off-the-wall Bachmann.

    May 28, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Mittens will make the world less safe if he ever gets anywhere near the levers of power. He knows nothing about foreign policy and surrounds himself with proven neocon idiots whose only goal is to start more wars, hand our more corporate welfare to their MIC buddies and see lots of Americans die. The neocons are vile people with no interest in America's best interests.

    May 28, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. vccove

    Censoring my conservative inputted comments, CNN? I wouldn't be shocked. It's what liberals resort to- ommiting the truth.

    May 28, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Peggy Munro

    We do not need to go there, not again!

    May 28, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. ChrisM

    So, the question is: What would romney do to make it a safe place? hmmmmm
    I wonder. Could it be that he wants to "Rule the world" with more wars and more dead American Men and Women?
    Thats what the last CEOs of the Bush Admin wanted to do (Bush and Chaney). You do know that Romney is hiring
    Bush advisors, dont you?

    May 28, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. ruemorgue

    what a surprise ... more fear-mongering from the master of fear-mongering ... satanic right-wing, liars.

    May 28, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    Robme wants to invade Iran and n.Korea - I don't think that will make us safe. Just have less money except for his wealthy friends in the War Business.

    I don't trust Robme.

    May 28, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. B.

    The World would certainly be a More dangerous place with Romney as President! The guy shoots his mouth off without any understanding about what he is saying, like so many other instances already like his comment about Russia.

    He will say Anything to impress the current audience and later try to undue the damage or lie about what he said.
    He actually has a more thoughtless mouth than McCain.

    May 28, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  24. Mr. 1% the "VULTURE CAPITALIST BUSINESSMAN" would outsource the poor, disabled, unemployed and elderly to China and sell America to the highest bidder!

    Mr. 1% and his trust fund babies avoid war, and yet he wants to send the children of the 99% off to be used as targets by some soon to be defined boogey man once he and GOP are returned to power?

    May 28, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  25. AKsteve

    FEAR! DOOM! DESPAIR! The end of the world is near. The only way to survive the end of civilization is vote for a hard core conservative with true American values.

    Grow up already. Only idiots must vote for such a load of crap. Heck Romney even said that Russia was our biggest danger.

    Go McCarthyism. It's a tried and true GOP value. Get real...

    May 28, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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