DAYTON, Ohio — President Obama twice chastised Mitt Romney on the trail today for failing to mention veterans in Monday night’s debate, in a further attempt to drive a wedge between Romney and supporters of the military.
The criticism comes on the heels of repeated observations by Democrats that Romney failed to mention U.S. troops in Afghanistan during his acceptance speech at the Republican convention.
“By the way, I just want to point out, in the same way that Governor Romney didn’t mention the Afghan war or our troops in his convention speech, Governor Romney didn’t even mention our veterans last night,” Obama told supporters at a rally in Delray Beach, Fla., today. “Now, he may write off half the country as victims behind closed doors, but the men and women and their families who have served this country so bravely — they deserve better from somebody who’s applying to be commander-in-chief.”
“When our veterans come home, let’s put them back to work in some of these jobs. Let’s make sure we’re serving them as well as they’ve served us. Governor Romney did not even mention our veterans last night,” the president reiterated at his campaign event in Dayton.
For his part, Obama uttered the word “veteran” six times at the third presidential debate.
“As commander-in-chief, I will maintain the strongest military in the world, keep faith with our troops and go after those who would do us harm. But after a decade of war, I think we all recognize we’ve got to do some nation building here at home, rebuilding our roads, our bridges and especially caring for our veterans, who sacrificed so much for our freedom,” he said Monday night.
In response, the Romney campaign notes the GOP nominee mentioned the contributions of the greatest generation during the debate.
“We’ve been blessed by having a nation that’s free and prosperous thanks to the contributions of the greatest generation. They’ve held a torch for the world to see — the torch of freedom and hope and opportunity. Now, it’s our turn to take that torch. I’m convinced we’ll do it,” Romney said.
–Jake Tapper and Mary Bruce