Romney pledges he will return US military resolve in speech to veterans

On the evening of the biggest day in his political career, Mitt Romney previewed GOP convention speeches focused on the Republican plans for defense and foreign policy.

Romney pledged to return “confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose, [and] resolve in our might” to the American military in a Wednesday address to the American Legion in Indianapolis. 

As is his custom, Romney emphasized that military issues and economic issues were inexorably connected, arguing that his policies would spur private sector growth and therefore make the military more secure.

Speaking of veterans and service members, Romney said that “overwhelmingly, their No. 1 concern can be summed up in one word: jobs.”

{mosads}”Our security and prosperity are connected,” Romney said. “The well being of our military is based on the well being of our economy.”

The candidate’s remarks came a day before he will accept the GOP nomination for president during a prime-time address to delegates and the nation. 

Defense and foreign policy haven’t been major issues in this year’s presidential race, but they will be the focus for part of Wednesday night, with former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) slated to discuss the Republican foreign-policy platform. 

Romney is returning from Indiana to the convention site in Tampa, Fla., later Wednesday. He gave few hints Wednesday about his own big speech, saying simply that “tomorrow it will be my privilege to tell the American people how we will get back on track.”

In Indianapolis, the soon-to-be-official Republican nominee said his commitment to the military went beyond reversing “the president’s failure to deliver an economic recovery.”

Romney pledged dramatic reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs, promising that under his administration, those who did not receive timely medical care from the VA could go to private providers on the government dime. And he pledged to address the “unspeakable and unacceptable tragedy” of military suicides, averaging nearly one a day.

Romney also tied veteran’s care to looming cuts to the Pentagon’s budget, the result of sequestration, and warned the proposal could “impair our solemn commitment that veterans get the best medical care.”

He went on to blast the sequestration as “arbitrary” and potentially ruinous for the American economy.

“The devastation will be felt here at home, where up to 1.5 million jobs could be lost,” Romney said.

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