At VFW, Obama talks about promises kept
July 23rd, 2012
04:35 PM ET
10 years ago

At VFW, Obama talks about promises kept

(CNN) - President Barack Obama on Monday emphasized the fulfillment of his promise to end the war in Iraq and pointed to his administration's work for veterans over the last three and a half years.

"Four years ago I made you a promise. I pledged to take the fight to our enemies and renew our leadership in the world. As president, that's what I've done," he said while speaking in Reno, Nevada at the 113th convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Obama declared an end to the Iraq war in December, a decision he vowed to carry out during his 2008 presidential campaign.

"You don't just have my words, you have my deeds. You have my track record," he said. "You have the promises I've made and the promises that I've kept. I pledged to end the war in Iraq honorably, and that's what we've done."

The president also waded in to politics during his speech, pointing to the massive automatic defense cuts scheduled to kick in if Congress doesn't reach a deficit-reduction deal by the end of the year.

"Let's stop playing politics with our military," Obama said. "Let's get serious and reduce our deficit and keep our military strong."

Congress voted for the debt deal last year that put in place a series of across-the-board spending cuts after a congressional super committee failed to reach a compromise on a comprehensive deficit reduction plan.

Regarding the cuts, he added: "There's no reason that should happen because people in Congress ought to be able to come together and agree on a plan, a balanced approach that reduces the deficit and keeps our military strong."

Last week the House, in a landslide vote, approved a bill asking the Obama administration to spell out which agencies and programs would be cut. The Senate attached a similar measure to the farm bill in June.

Republicans, in particular, say the cuts would hurt national security and cost jobs as businesses that contract with the Defense Department warn they will soon have to begin layoffs.

The White House and many congressional Democrats want Republicans to agree to increase taxes on wealthier Americans as part of a deficit reduction plan, something the GOP has steadfastly resisted.

"There are a number of Republicans in Congress who don't want you to know that most of them voted for these cuts." Obama told the crowd of veterans. "Instead of making tough choices to reduce the deficit, they'd rather protect tax cuts for some of the wealthiest Americans even if it risks big cuts in our military."

Monday morning, Obama's campaign released a web video touting the president's achievement of ending U.S. involvement in Iraq.

The video also came the same day attacks across Iraq killed at least 44 people and wounded dozens more. While overall attacks have dropped off in Iraq since the height of violence in 2006, insurgents have routinely targeted Iraqi security forces and civilians since the United States withdrew its troops in December.

Conservative critics have opposed Obama's decision to end the U.S. military presence in Iraq, arguing that some American forces should remain to help the Iraqis maintain order.

Among other items, Obama also highlighted his fight to pass a new legislation for veterans. In 2010, Obama signed a $3.6 billion bill significantly boosting federal support for disabled military veterans and their caregivers. And in February of this year, he unveiled a new $5 billion veterans jobs plan that the administration said would put thousands back to work.

The president last spoke to the VFW in 2009. His Republican challenger Mitt Romney will address the group on Tuesday.

- CNN's Kevin Liptak, Deirdre Walsh and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • AFSCME • Iraq • Nevada • President Obama • Race to '08 podcast • Veterans • Veterans Affairs • Washington • Washington D.C.
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Kevin Kunzmann

    Conservatives are racist and they don't conserve anything good.

    July 24, 2012 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  2. dave

    Why not ask service man or women in iraq and see what they say

    July 24, 2012 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  3. Shaunte'

    He who is WITHOUT fault let him cast the first stone...... the fact here is that it take a brave and curagious individual to attempt to head this government in todays world. President Obama might not get all of what you think should be at the for front right but he has done something right. Its difficult to come behind someone else and untangle the mess they created. whether he makes it in for a second term or not i applaud his efforts and I salute his position. God Bless

    July 24, 2012 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  4. Zechariah14

    The president redeem former president Jimmy Carter its long over due when the former president Carter sent in Delta force
    to Iran remember that older American people when president Obama gave orders to go get bin laden its truely a brothers redemption of the president brotherhood
    I am very proud of president Obama and the first lady Mrs Obama

    July 24, 2012 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  5. larry5

    Obama claims to have ended the war in Iraq. What do they call all the killings and explosions going on right now, a tea party.

    July 24, 2012 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  6. Scott B

    "Let's stop playing politics with our military," Obama said. "Let's get serious and reduce our deficit and keep our military strong."

    More lies. These two goals are completely incompatible. We spend over 1 trillion on our military a year. Almost as much as the rest of the world combined. The only way the budget could be balanced while keeping up with this ridiculous spending would be if we shut down every other part of the government and solely became a war waging machine.

    July 24, 2012 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  7. Beezy

    yeah yeah obama, what ever. you have accomplished nothing. u got us out of iraq and what happened? innocent civilian deaths shy rocketed creating more terrorists that hate America. you did not close gitmo because you are a failure not because of the GOP. im glad u failed at that tho because those people are war criminals and do not have the rights we Americans do. "lets not play politics with our military"? that is all you have done. dont lie to the military anymore. we see right through you. good riddance come november.

    July 24, 2012 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  8. putusabackontop

    I've seen everything up to and including the race card (laughably) played on this site but to answer the primary question, no the Bain attacks are not working. I remember the outsourcing boom and Romney's name nor Bain was even a blip. This was the automotive companies, the telecommunications industry and companies like GE and Caterpillar. Obama has spend 125 million dollars trying to convince people that this election is about Bain and Romney's tax returns. That money has been used just as wisely as the stimulous money was in creating jobs. No one I know has been influenced by these ads and some of my contacts are Obama supporters. Even they acknowledge that the Obama campaign so far has been off track. Obama has had a poor 4 years, is out of ideas of how to fix anything and needs to stand down. Our country is too important to put someone back in the WH that has failed for 4 years already.

    July 24, 2012 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  9. blaster34

    Promises kept......LOL

    If increasing the wefare rolls by million is a promise
    If establishing 8.5% unemployment the new norm
    If downgrading America's financials are a promise
    If tripling the previous national debt is a promise
    If keep 14 million in long term employment is a promise
    If putting the federal government further and deeper into everone lives is a promise
    If maintaining a record low GDP for his entire term is a promise
    If keeping businness startups at a 60 year low is a promise
    If gutting Clinton's welfare reform a promise

    Well then..... obama has definitely kept his promises

    July 24, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  10. Willie12345

    That's nice. Now, let's talk about the promises broken. What, we don't have enough time before the weekend starts ?

    July 24, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  11. blaster34

    Not to worry libs,you'll have your chance to critcize President Romney's promises in 2016, just wondering if he'll still be blaming obama.......I doubt it

    July 24, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  12. Scott

    Typical response from the left...Claim the race card....It's not the man but his politics they don't like....Or should I say it's not the color of his skin, but the content of his character....

    July 24, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
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