SPRINGFIELD, VIRGINIA -Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney called today’s revised GDP numbers showing slower growth “unacceptable.”
“Look at the numbers that just came out on the growth of our economy,” Romney said at an American Legion Post in Springfield, Virginia, “1.3% versus Russia at four percent. China at seven to eight percent. We’re at 1.3% – this is unacceptable. It is not working.”
The overall economy grew at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the spring, down from its previous estimate of 1.7 percent growth, according to data released Thursday by the Commerce Department.
The revised numbers gave Romney room to draw a comparison between himself and President Obama.
“I know what it takes to get us working,” he said, “This is a real challenge for us. And this is not just one quarter. This has been going on now for years. China’s growing much faster than we, Russia’s growing faster than we. Our economy needs to be reinvigorated.”
The economic news complimented the main message of the governor’s visit with veterans today, to hammer the administration on the looming and drastic $500 billion in defense cuts, among other feral spending cuts, that will take place next year due to sequestration if Congress does not find a way around them.
“You have to have a strong economy to build a strong military,” he said, blaming the Obama administration. “The White House proposes sequestration, kind of a gun to your head opportunity which is that congress couldn’t get the job done properly and the president couldn’t lead them…strange proposal in the first place, even stranger that it’s being put in place.”
Romney did not mention that some of his Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill were the ones that helped negotiate the deal with the White House and who ultimately voted the deal through Congress.
Virginia, which is home to the Pentagon, is poised to be hit especially hard by the cuts.
Over 136,000 jobs from major defense sites in the state of Virginia could be cut if Congress does not figure out an alternative. Romney said the job loss would be as “devastating” as the effect on the nation’s security if sequestration is allowed to happen.
“It is still a troubled and dangerous world,” Romney said, “And the idea of cutting our military commitment by a trillion dollars over this decade is unthinkable and devastating.”
Romney asked for help in the battleground state, noting that “we’ve got to win in Virginia.”
The governor told a story that would appeal to his audience, getting choked up when he spoke about a veteran he met while greeting an Honor Flight that he met on the tarmac on Toledo, Ohio last night. The group flies WWII and Korean War veterans to Washington, D.C. for a day to visit the monuments. Romney said one of the last veterans he met last night, an elderly World War II veteran in a wheelchair, really touched him.
“He turned to go through this long alleyway that had been set up with flags and people who were there to recognize each of the veterans. But he stopped the person who was pushing them, pushing him in the wheelchair. And then he reached inside his coat and took out a flag. And waved it. And we all applauded.”