Mitt Romney delivered a major foreign policy address this week before the Veterans of Foreign Wars. While the speech was notable for lacking in substance and facts, Romney also ignored one important constituency sitting before him: veterans.
Romney did warn that spending cuts “would weaken an already stretched VA system” but that was about it, leading one VFW official to point out that Romney hasn’t laid out any specifics of how he’d deal with veterans issues, Reuters reports:
But many veteran advocates are still waiting for Romney to spell out how he would do better than his opponent.
“We haven’t … heard any specific plans yet from Governor Romney or his campaign,” said Bob Wallace, executive director at the Washington office of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, echoing the sentiment of many advocates.
Indeed, Romney hasn’t said what he would do for the nation’s veterans should he become president. He created a “Veterans Policy Advisory” group but it hasn’t issued any policy recommendations to the public. Romney dabbled in veterans issues late last year when he proposed privatizing the VA system but retreated from that position after receiving considerable backlash from veterans groups.
Reuters said it asked the Romney campaign for more information but “the campaign provided a single-page document” that lacked any concrete proposals.
By contrast, in his speech before the VFW this week, President Obama announced an overhaul of job training and transition services for veterans returning from war. Reuters said in a separate report today that life for veterans has “grown more challenging under Obama’s watch,” but CAP’s Lawrence Korb and Alex Rothman noted in February that “Obama has made much progress in tackling veteran unemployment” while urging Congress to pass the president’s $6 billion vets jobs corps program. In March, Obama announced a housing plan to help military vets who were victims of illegal foreclosures and First Lady Michelle Obama said that companies had pledged 15,000 jobs for military spouses as part of the administration’s “Joining Forces” program. (HT: Lauren Jenkins)