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. jerry

    the prison in Cuba(above post) is not closed because there is no other option...the countries where these thugs came from will not take them back and prosecute them. obama, the fraud, knew this when he ran for president...he lied to us, as he has consistently done. He also has severely restricted the force our troops can use and it is costing American lives and limbs...he, as I said is a fraud and lier!

    July 23, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  2. Silence majority

    Obama has done a great job let us not forget the do nothing congress he has to deal with it , they were only to cause problems instead of working for the good of the country. After all they are responsible for the bad economy that happen under Bush and they never did or said nothing!

    July 23, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  3. knowledge

    President won that Nobel Peace Prize fair and square. He will win reelection. If a duck can pull a truck, shut the f$%# up and hook that sucka up!

    July 23, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  4. bob

    "decades of trillion dollar deficits"..... "energy prices will necessarily skyrocket"....

    those are the only 2 he's keeping, that I can count.

    July 23, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  5. bill

    Let us be Americans, let us hold our place in the greatest nation on earth. We are very futunate to be in a country that is the pivot of democracy. I love this country, as I know you all do. Try travelling to other countries and I promise you, you see that we here are in paradise. This country will go through changes just like other part of world, because we are living in a global economy. Let us get to gather and support our country, let us lift each other up and be proud of our achievement. Our president was the best man for the job in 2008. Because of our love for this country we turned back wars, economic deseaster, religious wars, colpse of the world economy and our pride both here on all around the world.

    July 23, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  6. freedom

    I am sick of people sayi'ng if you don't like Obama it because he is black. I would love to see the real first black American president who would be a real American. Obama did not grow up in the states and has very different ideas on what America should be! I believe he was born here but not raised here. I don't trust him at ALL. Wake Up People!

    July 23, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  7. tkret

    Darryl, It's is not as simple as you state. The right would like to see this POTUS out of a job in January. But not because he is black. He doesn't have a clue how to run a business, much less a country, he lies more than most politicians, and his hidden agenda will be the downfall of this country. If you doubt me, I suggest you investigate his associates including axelrod, jarrett, plouff, gibbs and carney.

    July 23, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  8. stew

    Everyone I served with is my brother it doesn't matter what color as we all bleed the same, this President was done a remarkable job given his ablities and experience. Name a President in the last 45 years that has done better, I don't believe one, I salute the President.

    July 23, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  9. Namejake

    i fly a rebel flag on my front porch but i will vote fer the man..he a whole lot better then a republican makein me poorer...

    July 23, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  10. Obamasgay

    Talks about promises kept????? That must have been the shortest speech ever.....

    July 23, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  11. T'sah From Virginia

    There were a lot of promises kept for the last four years and for the next four years, more will be accomplished!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    July 23, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Here is the real CHALLENGE for Obama.  More and more people are realizing that the Democrat Party is NO LONGER the party of the working middle class, not by a long shot. They are now the party of the illegals, the blacks (except blacks with jobs) , the welfare queens, the public unions, and a few other FRINGE groups.  Their "We are for the middle class" is being seen as BS, which is exactly what it is.  

    Wisconsin was a very blue state, but now its red, after this next election, at least 28 states will have republican governors, and the trend is continuing. Obama has lost almost all the white male voters, except for the shrinking group of "White Guilt" "please dont hurt me, I support you" losers.  

    People are really starting to look around at the republican states vs the democrat states, and the difference is STARK. The republican states have lower taxes, less rules, regulations and laws, and higher employment. The democrat states are constantly calling for "More Taxes".

    July 23, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  13. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't know what Romney really is going to do to cut the debt, but he is all for military spending without cause and reason. It seems to me that Obama has tried to get the veterans some help. It clearly isn't enough, but it is a start.

    July 23, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  14. Nean, atlanta ga

    obama is not a king or detector.the closing of guantanama was one of the frist prmmises kept by obama,if not for the gop voting against the bill. most americans don't follow what is hapening in washington or don't know the seperation of power in this government.

    July 23, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  15. Tracy Walters

    Funny, I see comments such as: " The President has killed more terrorists than.... " and "I kept my promise to get Usama bin Laden..."

    Really? And I guess he was there with the Seal Team and the soldiers on the ground taking out the terrorists.

    Such an ego...and such a lack of understanding of the real world. But then, he 'feels' that he did a good thing, just like most 'feel good' liberals.

    ....queue the whining....

    July 23, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  16. Derek Hodgson

    i never vote. As a swiss resident i can only say that by the end of Bush's era nobody in switzerland wanted to travel to usa due to his ways. Obama race has made the american dream seem possible again, at least his manner is more humble than GOP candidates. I find strange to own a company and not know about its business while my name is still in it... Also is common knowledge in switzerland, when wealthy person or companies have assets or accounts there is due to low tax. Regarding blind funds and holdings.. He knows not where they invest... What does he know then about investing... Or business. The image of the USA is better know than years back. Romney looks a lot more insensitive to the common worker. I would have guessed as an economic expert he would be the first to show income tax for last 20 to proove it was mostly well earned. Although politics is not encouraged in the Bible states that he will judged as a father to all below him, wouldnt like to be in that position... Because sometimes the choices they have on a situations are wrong either way.. To see truth simply think if everbody doest it all the time what is the outcome. Regarding Obamacare. I read the usa spends the most per person in the world, i can tell you hospitals and medicare center over there are way better and everyone there is covered. If the americans pay the most at least they should have the best. Spend less in military use it wisely for helping in reforesting, helping at catastrophies etc etc etc. Send diplomats to secure good fair deals on oil. God can save every soul no need of exploiting, there is enough for everyone in ever department, i wish politicians would first think what would God do, then really blessing would happen. Its not what comes into you that defiles you but what comes out. I've lived almost equally in time in three countries, England, Ecuador and switzerland currently in Orlando. We are all residents of the world, not american or brazilian. We are all equals. I hope nobody is offended with this long comments. Love above all. Good trip. Enjoy food and keep commandments ingraved in your concience, we all have them.

    July 24, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  17. sayer

    This vet is voting for Obama.

    July 24, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  18. ondeck

    The President has been the best friend the military has had in the White House for decades.

    July 24, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  19. woody

    I do not have any faith in him or any other politician. Lies on top of lies. How many veterans that needs help cannot get it. It is just lies, lies, and more lies. And by the way Carter was a better president than Obama cud even dream about being and Carter sucked!

    July 24, 2012 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  20. charles

    The leader of the free world did fullfil most of his promises and then some in spite of the Republicans. And yes, the best leader since Clinton no matter what the right says. A very good friend and neighbour to Canada.

    July 24, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  21. cgs

    Obama hasn't lowered the sea levels like he said.

    July 24, 2012 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  22. mike52

    The republicans start wars and the democrats end them. The democrats gave us the gift of healthcare and the republicans will take it away. The democrats balanced the budget and the republicans destroyed the budget and the economy. Sounds like one party wants to destroy America, its obvious which one.

    July 24, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  23. narnzen

    Are u kidding me... when u look at it he will never win... he is trying to make everyone happy and he will never be able to do that.. beacuae he has all of us smart conservative people pointing out what he is obvi doing wrong... also mr.obama there are more ways to getting rid of the debt... its not just the war grow up were all smarter than that QUIT SPENDING MY MONEY!!

    July 24, 2012 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  24. silentcount

    Hooray for our side, boo for their side... is that how it works? Instead of democrats and republicans, we should simply pick the guy who can improve the economy for everybody. Mister Obama had his shot and his policies just made things worse. Raising taxes is certainly not the answer. Time to give the other guy a chance.

    July 24, 2012 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  25. Name g. nagbe

    He's the most scrutinize president ever in this country history, just for one simple reason, but time will come he will be remember as one of the good president in modern history. God bless you mr president

    July 24, 2012 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
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