Romney taps former President Bush, Dole to lead veterans group

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday named former President George H.W. Bush and former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) to serve as honorary co-chairmen of the campaign’s veterans coalition.

The group, dubbed “Veterans and Military Families for Romney,” includes many prominent GOP military veterans, including current lawmakers Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and James Inhofe (Okla.). 

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been named one of four national chairmen.

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"Veterans and their families sacrifice so much for our country; it is important that we recognize and honor the work that they do to keep us safe and free," said Romney in a statement posted on his campaign website's blog.

"As president, I will be an advocate for veterans and their families and will always fight to ensure that they get the opportunities and care they have earned,” he said.

"I have full faith in Gov. Romney's commitment to ensuring a bright future for our brave men and women who have served America with integrity and distinction," said former President Bush. 

Both Romney and President Obama's campaigns have made strong efforts to court veterans and military families in the 2012 race.

In April, Obama's team announced plans to engage military voters through the "Veterans and Military Families for Obama" effort. The president and first lady Michelle Obama released a video touting the administration’s work "supporting veterans" and said they would continue to make "military families a top priority."

In May the campaign released an ad that spotlighted the president’s call to end the Iraq war, authorization of the mission that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and policies to help veterans find employment and access to mental and physical healthcare. 

On Independence Day, the president and first lady will host a picnic on the South Lawn of the White House for military families. 

A Gallup poll released in May showed Romney holding a strong edge among former military service members. The poll found Romney receiving the support of 58 percent of veteran registered voters to Obama's 34. Among male veterans, Romney held a bigger lead, 60 percent to 32.