2012-05-29 (China Military News cited from AP) — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, on the brink of clinching the Republican nomination, promised Monday to maintain an American military “with no comparable power anywhere in the world.”
Romney spoke a day before Texas voters were likely to give him enough delegates to formally clinch the Republican presidential nomination, a formality that cements his status as President Barack Obama’s general election opponent.
“It’s a big day tomorrow,” Romney said late Monday. “I’m looking forward to the good news.”
Texas’ Tuesday primary offers 152 delegates, and Romney is just 58 delegates shy of the 1,144 needed to become the nominee. Romney will be in Las Vegas on Tuesday attending a fundraiser hosted by celebrity real estate mogul Donald Trump.
Trump earlier in the week returned to the controversy over where Obama was born.
Romney has declined to repudiate Trump for embracing the fringe view, saying Monday evening that while he doesn’t agree with all the people who support him, he appreciates their help to get him at least 50.1 percent of the vote in November.
Trump again contended this week that Obama was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia, pointing to information in a catalog from a literary agency that represented Obama two decades ago. That view has been debunked repeatedly. Obama released his long-form birth certificate in April 2011 showing he was born in Hawaii while Trump weighed entering the Republican primary race.
Earlier Monday Romney faced a San Diego crowd estimated at 5,000 in what was billed as a Memorial Day service paying tribute to the nation’s war dead, not a campaign rally.
Without naming his general election rival, Romney drew clear contrasts with Obama on the issue of defense.
The Democratic president has proposed reducing the size of the military following the end of the U.S. combat role in Iraq and plans to remove troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
“We have two courses we can follow: One is to follow in the pathway of Europe, to shrink our military smaller and smaller to pay for our social needs,” Romney said outside the Veterans Memorial Center and Museum. “The other is to commit to preserve America as the strongest military in the world, second to none, with no comparable power anywhere in the world.”