“Governor Romney has been outspoken in his commitment to our men and women in the military. Our troops need more support from Washington and Governor Romney will ensure that they have the resources they need to defend this country.”
“In February 2005, Romney filed legislation to increase benefits for Massachusetts National Guard members. Working with the state legislature, Romney developed the "Welcome Home Bill" which provides guardsman with reduced life-insurance premiums and free tuition and fees at Massachusetts universities and community colleges. The bill also increases daily state active-duty pay rate from $75 to $100, and increases the death benefit paid to families of Guard members killed in the line of duty from $5,000 to $100,000. Additionally, the "Welcome Home Bill" creates a $1,000 bonus for Guardsman and reservists called to active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan since the September 11, 2001 attacks and a $500 bonus for those who were activated for duty elsewhere. The legislation provides a $2,000 benefit for Gold Star spouses and increases the Gold Star parents' benefit from $1,500 to $2,000.
“High school diplomas will also be granted to veterans who dropped out to enlist in World War II, Korea or Vietnam wars. Romney signed the bill into law on Veterans Day 2005.
“In a November 3, 2006 press release, Romney stated that the account that funds the insurance benefits created in the "Welcome Home Bill" faced a deficit of $64,000. The Massachusetts legislature was out of session at the time of the shortfall. According to the press release, Romney transferred money from the governor's office budget to cover the deficit.
“Working with the legislature, Romney developed legislation to provide tax exemptions to disabled veterans and benefits to families of fallen and missing soldiers. Romney signed the Massachusetts Military Enhanced Relief Individual Tax (MERIT) Plan into law on August 14, 2006. The bill increases property tax exemptions for disabled veterans and grants spouses of veterans killed or missing in action since September 11, 2001 full property tax exemptions for five years. After five years the spouses receive an annual $2,500 exemption under the legislation.
“Romney was also the first governor in Massachusetts history to appoint a secretary of veteran's affairs to his cabinet.
“Romney's efforts to assist Massachusetts servicemen were recognized by the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, which presented him with the Pro Patria Award and the 2006 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.”
Commanding Officer Capt Dennis E. Fitzpatrick gives the Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney a tour of the conventionally powered aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy in May 2005 as part of celebrating Armed Forces Day.
“First, American foreign policy must be prosecuted with clarity and resolve. Our friends and allies must have no doubts about where we stand. And neither should our rivals. If the world knows we are resolute, our allies will be comforted and those who wish us harm will be far less tempted to test that resolve.
“Second, America must promote open markets, representative government, and respect for human rights...
“Third, the United States will apply the full spectrum of hard and soft power to influence events before they erupt into conflict. Resort to force is always the least desirable and costliest option. We must therefore employ all the tools of statecraft...
“Fourth, the United States will exercise leadership in multilateral organizations and alliances. American leadership lends credibility and breeds faith in the ultimate success of any action, ... But know this: while America should work with other nations, we always reserve the right to act alone to protect our vital national interests.
“In my first 100 days in office, I will take a series of measures to put these principles into action... Among these actions will be to restore America’s national defense. I will reverse the hollowing of our Navy and announce an initiative to increase the shipbuilding rate from 9 per year to 15. I will begin reversing Obama-era cuts to national missile defense and prioritize the full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic missile defense system. I will order the formulation of a national cybersecurity strategy, to deter and defend against the growing threats of militarized cyber-attacks, cyber-terrorism, and cyber-espionage...”
1.) We Need A Stronger Military. Our military suffered a dangerous decline under the Clinton Administration and has faced serious strains as we confront Jihadist threats following 9/11. To support our troops, we need to ensure we have the personnel and resources needed to maintain a strong America and safe world...
2.) America Must Become Energy Independent. Our economic and military strength require that we end our strategic vulnerability to an oil shut-off by nations like Iran, Russia, and Venezuela, and that we address environmental concerns...
3.) We Must Transform And Strengthen Our Civilian International Efforts To Meet A New Generation Of Challenges. Many of our civilian national security and foreign policy structures were created decades ago to confront Cold War threats...
4.) We Need To Strengthen Old Partnerships And Alliances, And Inaugurate A New One, To Address The Threat Of Jihadism. The failures of efforts such as the United Nations Human Rights Council have given multilateralism a bad name. But America's strength is amplified when it is combined with the strength of other nations...
“Romney said he would like non-combat defense spending to rise from 3.8 percent of gross domestic product to 4 percent... commission new ships and aircraft, as well as grow the ranks of active duty personnel by about 100,000.”
“HILLSDALE, Mich. - In a speech to Hillsdale College graduates yesterday about confronting a world filled with evil, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said America should combat radical Islam by bulking up its military.
“ "There is no safe place if evil is unrestrained," the former Massachusetts governor said during his address at the campus 80 miles northwest of Toledo.
“ "The weak may hide, but they become weaker still, until at last they are discovered and easily conquered. History teaches us this: The best ally of peace is a strong America."
“Mr. Romney proposed adding 100,000 troops and keeping defense spending at 4 percent or more of America's gross domestic product, a remark that garnered applause from the families and friends of Hillsdale's 306 listed graduates. With $580 billion projected to cover the U.S. military and Iraq war this year, defense spending already is above the 4 percent mark.”
“Newsmax is pleased to present exclusive excerpts from Gov. Romney’s just-released book, “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness." In “No Apology,” Gov. Romney exposes how the Obama administration and even the Republican Party are failing to confront budget deficits, declining global competitiveness, a weakened military, inadequate healthcare, failing education, and our energy needs...
“There are some who may question the national objective I propose. I make no apology for my conviction that America’s economic and military leadership is not only good for America but also critical for freedom and peace across the world. Accordingly, as I consider the various issues before the nation, I evaluate our options largely by whether they would make America stronger or weaker.
“In my first chapters, I consider geopolitical threats and lessons from the history of great nations of the past. In subsequent chapters, I describe domestic challenges to our national strength and propose actions to overcome them. My final chapter is intended to provide a means for future Americans to gauge whether we have been successful in setting a course that will preserve America’s greatness throughout the twenty-first century. It describes as well the source of my optimism for America’s future...
“The world is a safer place when America is strong. Ronald Reagan remarked that “of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.” America’s strength destroyed Hitler’s fascism. It stopped the North Koreans and Chinese at the 38th parallel and allowed South Koreans to claim their freedom and reach prosperity. American strength kicked Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, and later pulled him out of his spider hole.”
(A viral video that has had millions of views in 3 weeks)
Obama Adds Military Heroes to 'Enemies List'
“President Barack Obama has added military heroes to his “enemies list,” singling out veterans’ groups such as Special Operations for America and Veterans for a Strong America on his campaign website, much as he singled out donors to Republican rival Mitt Romney for attack. Several veterans’ groups have spoken out against the Obama administration’s habit of taking credit for the Osama bin Laden raid and leaking military secrets for political gain--so the Obama campaign is trying to shoot the messenger...
“Left-wing groups aligned with the Obama administration have even gone so far as to call the U.S. Navy Seals “gutless” for their participation in criticism of Obama.
“Ryan Zinke, a member of the Montana state Senate and a U.S. Navy SEAL from 1985 to 2008, told Breitbart News: “It's a sad time for America when a President has to resort to bully tactics, intimidation, and misleading personal attacks against anyone who dares to speak out and be heard...
“Joel Arends, recipient of the Bronze Star and chair of Veterans for a Strong America, said:
“The president's team is more serious about labeling a group of veterans as “swift boaters” than they are about going after the leakers in his administration. The reality is as simple as it is disturbing - American lives are now in danger because this White House under the leadership of President Obama have leaked vital national security secrets. And instead of appointing a special prosecutor - this President dispatches his campaign team to smear a group of vets looking out for their buddies in uniform...”
“The administration has taken various states to court to block voter ID laws on the grounds it will disenfranchise voters. But it has no qualms about the disenfranchisement of military voters overseas through its failure to comply with and enforce the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, passed by Congress in 2009 and signed into law by President Barack Obama.
“The law acknowledges the difficulties caused by time and distance for deployed soldiers in exercising the right to vote they put their lives on the line to protect. One of the key provisions required each military branch to create an installation voting assistance office (IVAO) for every military base outside an immediate combat zone.
“Last week, however, the Pentagon's inspector general reported that attempts to locate and contact IVAO offices at overseas military installations failed about half the time.
“ "Results were clear. Our attempts to contact IVAOs failed about 50% of the time," the inspector general reported. "We concluded the Services had not established all the IVAOs as intended by the MOVE Act because, among other issues, the funding was not available."
“The estimated cost of establishing functioning IVAOs at all overseas military bases not in combat zones is estimated at between $15 million and $20 million a year. We wasted $530 million on Solyndra...
“An administration that constantly talks about voter disenfranchisement appears unconcerned that a study by the nonpartisan Military Voters Protection Project found that in 2008 less than 20% of 2.5 million military voters successfully voted by absentee ballot. In 2010, that participation shrank to a scandalous 5%...
“It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that John McCain won 54% of the military vote in 2008 or that a May 2012 Gallup poll showed Mitt Romney pulling 58% to President Obama's paltry 34%.
“The law also requires that states mail absentee ballots to their servicemen 45 days before an election so there's enough time to return and count them. The Department of Justice can file suit to ensure compliance but in 2010 was content to grant failing states waivers. As a result, about one-third of overseas troops who wanted to vote in 2010 couldn't, according to testimony at a House committee hearing in February.
“The administration showed its true appreciation for military service when on July 17 the Obama for America Campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party filed suit in that swing state to strike down part of a state law governing voting by members of the military that gives them three extra days to cast their ballots. The Democrats objected that it discriminated against nonmilitary voters.
“The National Defense Committee, a veterans organization, notes that "for each of the last three years, the Department of Defense's Federal Voting Assistance Program has reported to the president and the Congress that the number one reason for military voter disenfranchisement is inadequate time to successfully vote." ”
After long voting lines in 2004, Ohio added early voting for all voters, and still allows early voting for all voters.
In 2008, just under 6% of early voters (and just under 2% of all voters) waited until the 3 days before the election to vote:
"More than 1.7 million people in Ohio voted before Election Day in 2008, accounting for about 30% of all ballots cast. About 100,000 of them voted in person in the final three days before the election."
But due to election clerks potentially becoming overwhelmed in the days immediately before the election (Newsbusters.org),
and also due to cost and inconsistencies, in 2011, Ohio changed early voting, offering 3 less voting days for the general public:
"Prior to changes in the law passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature and by Governor John Kasich, everyone could submit an early ballot in person or by mail all the way through Monday, but access over the weekend for in-person voting was inconsistent in Ohio’s 88 counties. The counties would have to pay overtime over these weekends to keep offices open, which is probably why some didn’t do so. The new law restricted early voting to the Friday before the election, but left an exception for military members to cast votes in person through Monday."
But in keeping with the spirit of the federal law to provide special voting accommodations for military and overseas citizens, Ohio preserved the 3 days before election day as early voting days for military:
“Under the new Ohio laws, registered voters who fall under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act may vote early, in person, through the day before Election Day, which is a Tuesday.”
Obama's support has eroded, and the 2012 election will be much tighter, and Obama will lose the military vote by a larger margin in 2012. (Romney is already leading Obama in polls of vetrans by 58% to 34% - USNews.com.)
Polls show the 2012 presidential election too close to predict, and Ohio too close to predict, with Ohio being one of the few battle-ground states that will likely determine the winner (CNN.com - Electoral Map).
During the height of the campaign, Obama files suit against the military having 3 more early voting days than other voters, asking for an injunction, claiming he is trying to expand voting days for non-military rather than restrict the military's voting.
However, even in his own motion to intervene, filed August 1st, the Obama campaign recommends a possible course of action for the courts, which is to restrict the military's voting days:
"One remedy it reasonably may consider imposing—and which the State itself may advocate—would be to reduce the time period for early voting by members of the military to the earlier civilian deadline. The U.S. Supreme Court has held, “[W]e have never suggested that the injuries caused by a constitutionally underinclusive scheme can be remedied only by extending the program’s benefits to the excluded class.” ...
"Thus, a plaintiff’s success in an Equal Protection case reasonably may lead to “withdrawing the statute’s benefits from both the favored and the excluded class.” "
A successful case very likely would restrict the military's voting days rather than expand non-military early voting days.
Even if a successful case resulted in more early voting days for non-military voters in Ohio (a must win state for Obama) resulting in a few more non-military votes being cast, the demographics indicate this will still help Obama by watering down the effect of the military vote, which is already under-represented and more opposed to him.
It appears obvious that under the guise of expanding voting rights, Obama is playing politics, hoping for a result that at best will disenfranchise military voters and at worst water down their effect by getting more non-military votes for himself.
This maneuvering at this time, rather than filing the suit last year or even earlier this year if he was truly concerned about voting rights or leveling early voting opportunities to match the military, seems clearly for the purpose of personal gain in a tight election.
This maneuvering against the crucial battle-ground state of Ohio, rather than suing against the federal law granting military special opportunities in early voting, further indicates attempts at mere political manipulation.
In addition, Brig Gen Jim Mungenast, USAF Ret, sent this message:
“I am a retired AF Brig Gen who enthusiastically supports Gov Romney for President. Especially impressed with MA awarded the ESGR [Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve] Freedom Award during his tenure as Governor; only 15 employers a year receive this honor.”
Military Times Poll: 2/3 for Romney, 1/4 for Obama
“The professional core of the U.S. military overwhelmingly favors Mitt Romney over President Obama in the upcoming election — but not because of any particular military issues, according to a new poll of more than 3,100 active and reserve troops...
“The 3,100 respondents — roughly two-thirds active-duty and one-third reserve component members — are about 80 percent white and 91 percent male. Forty percent are in paygrades E-5 through E-8, while more than 35 percent are in paygrades O-3 through O-5...
“And they are battle-hardened; almost 29 percent have spent more than two cumulative years deployed since 9/11, while a similar percentage has spent one to two cumulative years deployed...
“Poll results indicate that about 66 percent of those surveyed support Romney, compared with about 26 percent who say they will vote to re-elect President Obama.”
“General Marks said, "Governor Romney has been outspoken in his commitment to our men and women in the military. Our troops need more support from Washington and Governor Romney will ensure that they have the resources they need to defend this country. I am proud to be joining Governor Romney's campaign. On national security issues, the Governor has distinguished himself as a true leader ready to invest in our national defense." ”
"Major General James Marks Retired From Active Duty In October 2004 After More Than 30 Years Of Service To Our Country. A graduate of the United States Military Academy, General Marks has more than three decades of experience in the Intelligence field. During his career, he held command and staff assignments from infantry platoon leader and infantry company commander in the 101st Airborne Division to senior intelligence officer for the Coalition Land Forces during combat operations in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He concluded his career as the Commanding General of the United States Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Currently, he resides in Virginia and is the President and CEO of Global Linguist Solutions, Falls Church, Virginia. He is a contributor to the BBC and was also a military analyst for CNN.
"His awards and decorations include: the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, the Korean Defense Service Medal, and the NATO Medal."
Supporting Mitt Romney as a counter-intelligence policy advisor is -
“Former Lieutenant General John "Soup" Campbell: Gen. Campbell retired after a 32-year career in the United States Air Force (USAF). In his last assignment, he served as the Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Military Support for the CIA. In this position, Gen. Campbell was the senior military representative at the CIA. Prior to this assignment, he served as the Vice Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency and as the first commander of the Joint Task Force – Computer Network Defense. He also served on the Joint Staff as Deputy Director for Operations. Gen. Campbell is the recipient of numerous military and intelligence community awards. Currently, he is the Executive Vice President of Government Affairs at Iridium Satellite. He had previously served at Applied Research Associates (ARA) as Principal, Defense and Intelligence.”
“Brigadier General Mikolajcik said, "Governor Romney's record on veterans' issues is very strong. He firmly believes that the commitment to our troops doesn't end when their service is finished and that we must take care of those who have sacrificed to protect us. I look forward to telling my fellow veterans in South Carolina of his plans to keep America secure." ”
"Brigadier General Thomas R. Mikolajcik Is An Air Force Academy Graduate With 27 Years Of Military Service. General Mikolajcik served in the Air Force as a pilot, staff officer and held numerous command positions. He retired in 1996 as United States Air Force Director of Transportation and is a consultant in logistics and transportation. The General is an adviser to the Metro Chambers Military Relations Policy Council and was awarded the South Carolina Order of the Palmetto in 1994."
“Lieutenant General Watts said, "Governor Romney understands the nature of the threats facing our nation and will make sure that our men and women in uniform have the very best training and technology to get the job done." ”
"Lieutenant General Claudius "Bud" Elmer Watts III Served As Comptroller Of The U.S. Air Force And President Of The Citadel. General Watts' Air Force career spanned 31 years during which he served in numerous flying positions, amassing more than 7,000 flying hours and commanding various units up to wing level. He also held numerous staff positions, culminating as Comptroller of the United States Air Force in 1986. General Watts was named the 17th President of The Citadel in 1989 and served in that position until his retirement in 1996."
“Gov. Romney is the only candidate to offer a detailed plan to restore our military and provide the weapons and equipment our troops need to win wars decisively and come home safely. He will reverse President Obama’s dramatic defense cuts and increase our naval shipbuilding rate. Rather than reducing the defense budget, he will reduce the duplication of efforts and apply those savings to strengthening our military posture. And he will restore as a top priority the deployment of a multilayered national ballistic-missile defense system.”
“Mitt Romney has been a strong advocate for veterans and will work to ensure that those who have heroically sacrificed for our country receive the care that they deserve,” said Lt. General Bud Watts, former President of the Citadel. “We need a Commander-in-Chief who will support our veterans and troops, strengthen our military, and strengthen our national defense. Mitt Romney believes in America and in the founding principles that make our country great, and he is the kind of steadfast leader we need during these challenging times.”
“Our nation is at a crossroads, and Mitt Romney is the best choice to lead our country through these challenging times,” said Greenville County Council Chairman and retired Brigadier General Butch Kirven. “He is a strong leader who we can trust to restore limited government to Washington, cut spending, grow our economy, and get our nation back on the right track. I was looking for someone who reflects my values, is strong on national defense, and knows how to get the economy going again. Mitt Romney is the leader who can positively do that, and he can win in November.”
Harvey Schiller, Former Brigadier General US Air Force
“Dr. Schiller is a former Executive Director and Secretary General of the United States Olympic Committee and a pilot in the U.S. Air Force who saw combat service in Vietnam and attained the rank of Brigadier General. He is currently the Chairman and CEO of Global Options Group, a leading risk mitigation company.”
“Mitt Romney today announced the support of 40 recipients of the Medal of Honor...
“ “I have dedicated much of my life to the service of my country, and I want it to be in good hands for the next four years and beyond,” said Medal of Honor recipient Leo Thorsness. “In Mitt Romney, I believe we have a leader who can address the problems we face, while restoring America to its place on the world stage. Governor Romney understands the needs of our servicemen and women, and he will ensure that those who have fought for us abroad will not have to fight for a good job and good healthcare when they come home. We need that sort of leadership in the White House.” ”
Mitt Romney today announced the support of Medal of Honor recipients Sergeant John F. Baker, Jr. (U.S. Army, Ret.) and Captain John James McGinty, III (USMC, Ret.) ...
“America is a truly exceptional nation,” said Sergeant John F. Baker Jr. “Mitt Romney understands our special place in the world and knows that a strong America is the greatest deterrent to war and upheaval. He is committed to building up our armed forces, so that no nation will ever dare challenge us. I am proud to support him.”
Announcing his support, Captain John James McGinty, III said, “It is my pleasure to endorse a patriot like Mitt Romney. He has a deep understanding of the complex world our current military faces and will be ready to assume the duties of commander-in-chief on day one. For those who are looking for a candidate with the knowledge to navigate in an unpredictable world, they need to look no further than him.”
Mitt Romney today announced the support of Medal of Honor recipients Colonel Lee Mize (U.S. Army, Ret.) and Colonel Leo K. Thorsness (USAF, Ret.).
“America is a nation like no other,” said Colonel Lee Mize. “Mitt Romney understands our great country is truly exceptional and knows that a strong America is the greatest deterrent to war and upheaval in the world. He is committed to building up our armed forces, so that no nation will ever dare challenge us. That is why I am proud to support him.”
Announcing his support, Colonel Leo K. Thorsness said, “I am so pleased to support Mitt Romney. No other candidate has as deep an understanding of the complex world our current military faces and will be ready to assume the duties of commander-in-chief on day one. Our world faces grave threats but I know that Mitt Romney has the knowledge and capability to lead us.”
“DeNoyer said, “At the Veterans of Foreign Wars' 113th National Convention in Reno, NV on July 24th, while serving as Commander-in-Chief, it was my distinct honor to introduce Governor Mitt Romney. I found the Governor most impressive. His proposals to restore our economic and military strength, while reasserting our moral strength abroad, are what this country desperately needs right now. This is not the time to shirk from our role as leader of the free world, nor is it the time to deal drastic cuts to our military. There are still those who would do us harm, and we must be ever vigilant against those threats. I am confident that Mitt Romney is the man to meet that challenge.” ”
Anthony Principi, The Secretary Of The Department Of Veterans Affairs (2001-05)
Jim Nicholson, The Secretary Of The Department Of Veterans Affairs (2005-07)
Principi and Nicholson issued a joint statement: “Mitt Romney cares about our men and women in uniform, our nation’s veterans, and their families. He has spent his career leading organizations and strengthening their performance, and under a Romney administration those who have served our country can be assured their Department of Veterans Affairs will be there for them. We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history. Governor Romney will ensure that veterans receive the world-class medical care and benefits they deserve, and supply the men and women in uniform today the military they need to win wars and come home safe.”
*Frank Carlucci: National Security Advisor, 1986-87; Secretary of Defense, 1987-89
*Stephen Hadley: National Security Advisor, 2005-09; Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, 1989-93
“Governor Romney understands that America’s future security depends on restoring our economy and maintaining a military and diplomatic posture that advances both American interests and American values. Indeed, in the tradition of Ronald Reagan, Governor Romney grasps the deep interconnection between the two. I had the honor of serving President Reagan and I know something about his extraordinary leadership abilities. Mitt Romney has similar extraordinary qualities as a leader. At this moment of great global uncertainty, we urgently need him in the White House.”
“Having worked for many years at the highest levels of the U.S. government, I recognize in Mitt Romney the makings of a great president. Over the course of his career, Governor Romney has tackled a wide variety of problems and challenges, and at every step of the way he demonstrated discipline, intelligence, judgment, and courage.”
Conference Call that starts with Reagan cabinet member Ambassador Rich Williamson, then goes to Secretary John Lehman and Under Secretary of Defense Dov Zakheim:
Secretary John Lehman:
“Well, first, the reason that I have been actively supporting Governor Romney is I’ve spent a lot of time with him. And he is, without question, the Republican who really gets it in defense. He has a strategic mindset. He understands the way of the world works. And he understands the importance of strong deterrence. He has been able to grasp, I think very quickly, what is so severely wrong with the way we’re procuring weapons, which is just out of control and is unilaterally disarming us.”
“What attracted me to Governor Romney frankly is that he’s grounded. I mean this is a person who really has both feet planted on the ground. Who’s very practical, who understands national security, who understands international relations, who knows the importance of our allies, who knows why a defense posture that is viable and strong is critical, not only to deterring enemies but frankly to reassuring allies. And they’re both very, very important. And that’s why he supports a strong national defense posture.”
• John Lehman was Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, from 1981-1987. (John Lehman)
• Dov S. Zakheim spent 6 years in the Reagan administration, including a Deputy Undersecretary of Defense from 1985-1987. He was the Undersecretary of Defense from 2001-2004. (Dov Zakheim)