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

    Typical republican attempt at trying to create a wedge issue. I wasn't aware that removing the word God was an issue in this year's elections but...Romney is trying once again to stretch things to the limit. Interesting too that he is all of a sudden praising the military...

    September 9, 2012 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  2. Logic N LA

    So keeping a fairly recent phrase on money and then spending that money on the military are Romney priorities.
    Maybe bringing troops home, securing an income for everyone with those dollars and putting the tax rate back to where it can help reduce the debt should be his top priorities.
    But then tlaking about those thigs wouldn't have pandered to the crowd he was addressing.

    September 9, 2012 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  3. Donkey Party

    Too little, too late, Romney, you pandering liar. Show your taxes, and explain why you're a draft dodger, and why none of your five bratty kids enlisted into service, otherwise, stfu.

    September 9, 2012 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  4. stars

    Pat Robertson is satan brother from the same mother as Mitt Robme. I cant belive ppl listen to this demon Pat Robertson.

    September 9, 2012 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  5. Marry

    ….Romney and Ryan blame President Barack Obama for insisting on “irresponsible defense cuts” during last year’s budget negotiations…
    Here a little info on that:
    The 2009 U.S military budget accounts for approximately 40% of global arms spending. The 2012 “defense” budget is 6-7 times larger than the $ 106 billion of the military budget of China, and is more than the next twenty largest military spenders combined. The US and its close allies are responsible for two-thirds to three-quarters of the world’s military spending (of which, in turn, the U.S. is responsible for the majority. Military spending in the US makes up over 20% of the US federal spending.
    So how high do Romney/Ryan want “defense spending” to go? They still not making enough money from it? Would it not be nice to have jobs that DO something positive to benefit the people directly? Like infrastructure? Education? Healthcare? Or perhaps as Romney puts it: maintain our liberty, with liberty for all (that think like we do?)!!!! Oh, never mind!
    Obama/Biden 2012!!! Please, go out and vote a strait blue ticket despite GOP propaganda and voter suppression! Get the party of "NO" out of the way!!!!

    September 9, 2012 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  6. GI Joe

    The man makes me sick with his lies and innuendos.

    September 9, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  7. The fact is

    Mitt Romney and GOP just like wars and benefit the defense manufacturers and gun-makers.

    September 9, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  8. MikeinTexas

    Romney equates the number of dollars you spend for defense as strength, not how you spend it. This is the thought process of many war hawks.

    September 9, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  9. Conspiracies R-us

    More tax cuts for the wealthy, and two trillion more than the military has asked for. Fiscal planning, by the crazies.

    Forget the fact, that the US military budget is almost equal to every other country on the planet, combined.

    But we desperately need Reagan Star Wars to attack the Obama space aliens. Obama is an illegal space alien with fake birth certificate.

    September 9, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  10. ronb

    Willard, unfortunately, the "pledge" you have taken is NOT the Pledge of Allegiance!! You've pledged to work for Grover and every other right wing organization out there. Military families don't respect you for that. Then, you come before them and preach about the Pledge of Allegiance?! You must think they are fools...

    September 9, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
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