BRIDGE BRIEFING: Mitt Romney On Osama bin Laden

Romney Said It Was “Not Worth Moving Heaven And Earth” To Capture Osama Bin Laden Because America Would See An “Insignificant” Increase In Safety After His Capture. In an interview with Liz Sidoti of The Associated Press, Romney said, “the country would be safer by only ‘a small percentage’ and would see ‘a very insignificant increase in safety’ if al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was caught because another terrorist would rise to power. ‘It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person,’ Romney said. Instead, he said he supports a broader strategy to defeat the Islamic jihad movement.” [The Associated Press, 4/26/07]

Romney Attacked Obama For Promising Unilateral Action Against Al Qaeda Targets in Pakistan. Accoridng to Retuers, “Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized Democrat Barack Obama on Friday for vowing to strike al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan if necessary as the Obama camp issued a strident defense of his plan. What had been an internecine foreign policy battle between rival Democrats Obama, an Illinois senator, and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, spilled into the Republican arena in the heavily contested state of Iowa. ‘I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours… I don’t think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort,’ Romney told reporters on the campaign trail. Obama on Wednesday said if elected president in November 2008 he would be willing to launch military strikes against al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan with or without the approval of the Pakistani government of President Pervez Musharraf. ‘If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will,’ Obama said.” [Reuters, 8/4/07]

Romney Said Using U.S. Troops In Pakistan Was Not “Civilized.” According to the Associated Press, “Romney spoke at a luncheon meeting of young Republicans in Des Moines and later with reporters who asked for his reaction to Obama’s comments. In a speech this week, the senator from Illinois issued a warning to Pakistani leaders that if they didn’t do a better job of rooting out terrorists who use that country as a sanctuary, the U.S. might intervene with force. Instead of issuing threats, the U.S. should work with nations to root out extremist forces which may exist, Romney said. ‘We want as a civilized world to participate with other nations in this civilized effort to help those nations reject the extreme within them,’ Romney said. ‘That doesn’t mean that our troops are going to go all over the world.’” [Associated Press, 8/3/07]

Read more after the jump.

BRIDGE BRIEFING: The Truth About Mitt Romney’s Defense Cuts Claim

Mitt Romney Wrote That One Of The Agendas For A Free And Strong America Was To “Add At Least 100,000 Troops To Our Ground Forces…” In his book “No Apology” Mitt Romney wrote that one of the agendas for a free and strong America was to “Add at least 100,000 troops to our ground forces; provide top quality care and benefits to our veterans.” [“No Apology” 2011 Pg. 320]

Mitt Romney Wrote That One Of The Agendas For A Free And Strong America Was To “Return Our Navy And Air Force To The Levels Needed To Meet Their Respective Missions.” In his book “No Apology” Mitt Romney wrote that one of the agendas for a free and strong America was to “Return our navy and air force to the levels needed to meet their respective missions.” [“No Apology” 2011 Pg. 320]

In 2007, Romney Ran A Campaign Ad Promising To Increase The Military By 100,000. According to First Read, the TV ad ran in Iowa and Romney said, “It’s this century’s nightmare, Jihadism – violent, radical Islamic fundamentalism. Their goal is to unite the world under a single Jihadist caliphate. To do that, they must collapse freedom-loving nations like us. As President, I’ll strengthen our intelligence services. Increase our military by at least 100,000. And monitor the calls Al-Qaeda makes into America. And we can and will stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.” [First Read, 10/12/07]

In 2007 Romney Wrote That He Supports Increasing The Military By 100,000 Troops. Romney wrote, “First, we need to increase our investment in national defense. This means adding at least 100,000 troops and making a long-overdue investment in equipment, armament, weapons systems, and strategic defense.” [Foreign Affairs, July/August 2007]

Read more after the jump.

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney And Sequestration

Romney Showed No Leadership On Debate Leading Up To Sequestration

Romney Refused To Comment On Debt Ceiling Negotiations

Romney Was Criticized By Other Republican Presidential Candidates For Staying On The Sidelines During Debt Ceiling Talks. According to The New York Times, “Mr. Romney, who has been criticized by fellow Republican candidates for remaining largely on the sidelines during the recent debate over the nation’s debt ceiling, defended himself by saying that he had maintained a consistent, if quiet, position throughout the partisan bickering in Washington, favoring the ‘cut, cap and balance’ plan passed by the House and defeated by the Senate. ‘I didn’t react day to day to every negotiation because my position was clear,’ he said. ‘Cut, cap and balance was the right way for America to deal with this financial distress.’” [The New York Times, 8/8/11]

Romney Was Criticized By Santorum And Pawlenty’s Campaign For Showing No Leadership On The Debt Ceiling Fight. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Republican presidential candidates have used the debate over raising the nation’s borrowing limit to score points with conservative voters and insert their views into Washington’s thorniest political dispute. But Mitt Romney, the Republican front-runner, has taken a subtler tack, avoiding the issue of the debt ceiling as he presses a more general assault on President Barack Obama’s economic record. That has attracted the attention of his GOP challengers, who have begun to accuse him of ducking the most vital issue of the campaign so far. ‘The current debate is about what kind of leadership you’re going to show,’ former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said in an interview Monday. ‘If you’re running for president, you’ve got to show how you would handle a situation like this.’ ‘The debt ceiling is a gut-check time for all Republicans on spending and size of government,’ said Alex Conant, spokesman for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. ‘Apparently, Gov. Romney is still checking his gut to figure out where he should stand.’” [The Wall Street Journal, 7/12/11]

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TPM: Romney Spit-Balls His Way To Privatizing Veteran’s Benefits

On November 11, 2011, Talking Points Memo reported:

Over barbecue and sweet tea with 12 veterans here Friday, Mitt Romney appeared to brainstorm a fundamental change to the way the nation pays back the people who put their lives on the line in the military.

Talking with the veterans about the challenge of navigating the Veterans Affairs bureaucracy to get their health care benefits after they leave active duty, Romney suggested a way to improve the system would be to privatize it.


The plan did not go over well with one veteran among the 12 discussing the VA with Romney. Auston Thompson, a veteran of the Iraq War and former Marine, told TPM after the session that though the idea of the plan was sound to his fiscally conservative ear, the implementation would likely lead to problems.

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Romney Wants To “Add At Least 100,000 Troops To Our Boots On The Ground Capability”

ROMNEY: If, if there are some [bases] that are, that no longer have strategic significance for us, then those clearly can be closed, and we can bring troops home here, I don’t believe in reducing the number of troops, I would add at least 100,000 troops to our boots on the ground capability. I also don’t believe in cutting the military budget. You might say ‘but isn’t there a lot of waste in the military budget?’ Absolutely, and I would go after that waste and streamline to the extent possible our defense op-operation, but I would use those funds to, one, expand our number of troops and number two to update our Navy and our Air Force.

Washington Post: Allen criticized for voting against equipment for soldiers in Senate

On July 14, 2011,  the Washington Post reported:

“Former governor and senator George Allen was captured on video while campaigning in Franklin on Wednesday talking to a soldier’s father about the need to properly equip troops with body armor.

Allen, a Republican, said it was “deplorable” that the soldier’s family had to provide his own equipment, specifically gloves.


But American Bridge 21st Century, the Democratic-leaning group that has been tracking Allen while he is campaigning for the U.S. Senate next year, pointed out that the former senator voted at least twice against equipment for soldiers during his one term.

See the video after the jump.

Mitt Romney On Defense And Homeland Security

Mitt Romney Wrote That One Of The Agendas For A Free And Strong America Was To “Add At Least 100,000 Troops To Our Ground Forces…” In his book “No Apology” Mitt Romney wrote that one of the agendas for a free and strong America was to “Add at least 100,000 troops to our ground forces; provide top quality care and benefits to our veterans.” [“No Apology” 2011 Pg. 320]

Read more after the jump.