The White House and President Obama's campaign are criticizing Mitt Romney for not mentioning the troops in his convention address Thursday night.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said he was surprised Romney didn't mention troops in Afghanistan, while the Obama campaign knocked the GOP candidate for not finding the time to talk about the troops during a 45-minute address that closed the GOP convention.
“I can simply speak for myself that I was surprised not to hear mention of the 70,000 men and women who are serving in Afghanistan, executing a mission that is profoundly important to America’s national security in a conflict that was the direct result of an attack on the United States by al Qaeda,” Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter echoed this sentiment in a conference call with reporters on Friday.
“In an almost 45-minute speech Romney didn’t find time to mention our troops in Afghanistan,” she said.
Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg shot back, saying President Obama had "failed in his duty as commander in chief."
“The day before his convention speech, Gov. Romney traveled to the American Legion national convention — an invitation the president declined — because Gov. Romney views any opportunity to stand with those who have served as a privilege,” she told The Hill in an email. “In contrast, President Obama has failed in his duty as commander in chief to win the home front. Unlike any wartime president in memory, he has failed to consistently and forthrightly speak about the war in Afghanistan to the American people. The Obama campaign's attack on Gov. Romney today is another attempt to politicize the war in Afghanistan, a war in which President Obama has dangerously based his decisions on political calculations, endangering our mission.”
President Obama is traveling to El Paso, Texas, on Friday to meet with troops in a roundtable session before addressing an audience at Fort Bliss.
The trip coincides with the two-year anniversary of another Obama trip to Fort Bliss in which he talked about his commitment to ending the war in Iraq.
Also on Friday, the president signed an executive order aimed at improving access to mental health for military veterans.