Corrected: Romney tells vets dangerous world demands powerful military

SAN DIEGO, California Tue May 29, 2012 4:18pm EDT

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses supporters during a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire April 24, 2012. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses supporters during a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire April 24, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Dominick Reuter

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SAN DIEGO, California (Reuters) - Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney chose Memorial Day to proclaim to the American people his conviction that the world is a dangerous place, and the United States must remain its most formidable military power.

"The world is not safe," Romney told veterans on Memorial Day. He was joined by Senator John McCain, in a speech to honor the veterans of America's wars.

The United States now has two paths forward, Romney said. He called one "the pathway to Europe," suggesting Europe had acquiesced to geopolitical threats. "To shrink our military smaller and smaller to pay for our social needs."

The other path, Romney said, is "to commit to preserve America as the strongest military in the world, second to none, with no comparable power anywhere in the world."

Romney, expected to face off against President Barack Obama in November, joined the 2008 Republican presidential nominee in thanking the nation's veterans.

Romney, who has focused his campaign on the struggling U.S. economy, changed his focus on Monday in his warning about the dangers of the world outside America's borders, indirectly criticizing Obama's foreign policies.

"I wish I could tell you that the world is a safe place. It's not," Romney said.

Romney ticked off Iran, Pakistan, China and Russia, among other countries, as threats as he transformed his message from economic warnings of the United States becoming like Europe to a military warning that America was becoming weaker.

McCain introduced Romney to the 5,000 people gathered as a "man who I believe is fully qualified to be commander-in-chief."

"He believes in American exceptionalism," McCain said. "He believes the 21st Century will also be an American century."

American exceptionalism is a political philosophy that assigns a unique and unprecedented place to the United States as the leading global proponent and exemplar of liberty, freedom and equality around the world.

(Reporting By Sam Youngman; editing by Todd Eastham)

(This has been corrected in the lead to read Memorial Day)

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Comments (44)
MrHappy wrote:
Bush Jr. used this same argument to get reelected. Look where that got us. Somehow I have faith in the American people to have enough common sense to know this is baloney. Two wars put us where we are. And Romney’s new wars with Iran, Pakistan, China and Russia, among other countries will just further sink our struggling economy, likely never to recover.

May 28, 2012 9:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
RangerDan wrote:
Romney said that? The concientious objector, with five non-military sons said that? This guy’s a fake, a liar, and his sons are powder puffs. Before he declares world war three I want to see his kids on the front lines. Middle class – tell the rich to fight their own wars.

May 28, 2012 9:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
WCR wrote:
I know Romney hasn’t served in the military. Has anyone in his family history every served?

May 28, 2012 9:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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