Veterans, National Security Experts Take Romney to Task For American Legion Speech

Portland, Oregon–(ENEWSPF)– and the National Security Network (NSN) responded to the heavy political rhetoric imbued in Governor Romney’s speech at the American Legion convention Tuesday afternoon, and the invasion of neocon Bush Administration foreign policy speakers at the convention, like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Ambassador John Bolton. Major General (ret) Paul D. Eaton, a thirty-year veteran of the U.S. Army and NSN Senior Advisor, and Iraq Veteran and Chairman of Jon Soltz took issue with the Romney/Ryan agenda is at odds with our veterans, allies and security interests.   

Retired Major General Paul Eaton on Romney’s speech:

“Sadly, today Governor Romney fell short of the American Legion’s standards of leadership and service. Governor Romney continues to treat U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran as predominantly, if not purely, military events and to address Russia as our primary enemy.  A strong leader does not seek enemies; he seeks to lower the threat threshold with diplomacy while reserving force as the last resort.  Men and women who have fought our wars understand that.  As for service, our uniformed military leadership is willing to play its part by putting Pentagon spending on the table  – because it understands that the basis of our national power is a strong economy and our human capital development.   The governor told the Legionnaires today that he and Paul Ryan ‘have a plan’ to keep America safe, but from his speeches at home to his disastrous trip abroad last month, Governor Romney continues to confuse rhetoric with strategy. I regret that shortcoming. ” Chairman and two-time Iraq War veteran Jon Soltz on Romney’s speech: 

“It’s rather offensive that someone who thinks they can be president can stand up in front of a group of veterans and not honestly talk about veterans’ issues.  Behind all the rhetoric is one simple fact:  Mitt Romney has said he supports cutting funding for veterans, and supports virtually every veteran paying a higher tax rate than he does.  He’s clearly backed the Paul Ryan budget -and even picked the author as his VP.  That’s a budget that cuts veterans care by 13 percent of what President Obama proposed.  Mitt Romney can say all the right words, but the fact is, if he is President, he has already made clear that the promise to American veterans will be broken, and broken badly.”

Eaton on foreign policy at the convention: 

“I am troubled by Republicans’ choice to hand what little platform for national security they have over to Condoleezza Rice and John McCain, while Romney advisor Ambassador John Bolton spoke today on the sidelines of the convention. While I respect Secretary Rice’s talents, the Bush-Rumsfeld-Rice team perpetrated what I consider the most egregious U.S. national security failure of the last half-century, namely, the disastrous decision to invade Iraq without the resources or exit strategy needed to execute a responsible military campaign.Romney’s choice today to outsource discussion of foreign policy to neoconservative ambassadors to last decade’s reckless security catastrophes is deeply concerning to the military community.”

Soltz on foreign policy at the convention: 

“After avoiding any mention or memory of President Bush at the convention, the one time Mitt Romney wants to do so is to highlight one of the neo-con architects of the war in Iraq, one of the people who sold false intelligence to the American people to lead us into a war we never should have fought.  Mitt Romney is telling the American people that if you loved what the war in Iraq did to our military and security, you’ll love what I have in store.”

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