It is no surprise Barack Obama’s campaign is running ads to highlight the support of former chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell. After all, for the most part, the military overwhelmingly supports Mitt Romney.
In October, a Military Times poll of active and reserve troops showed Romney beating Obama by a ratio of 2-1. On October 17, Romney released a list of high-profile endorsements from well over 300 retired generals and flag officers. Although President Obama has the endorsement of Powell and a few others, like General Wesley Clark, he has not yet released a list comparable to the one issued by the Romney campaign.
“I’m proud to support Mitt Romney,” says retired Gen. Tommy Franks. “I’m also proud to live in a country where Colin Powell is free to endorse who he chooses, God bless him. But I look at this election through the eyes of my grandkids. On their behalf, who’s going to make sure they have the best equipped, best manned, best lead military in the world? It’s Romney.”
General James Conway, former Marine Corps commandant, says that Romney “gets it” when it comes to national security.
“You can talk about tactical separations between Obama and Romney, but the real important difference is strategic,” he says. “It’s about basic philosophy. Romney believes in American strength and America leading, as it has always done. Obama believes that we want to be a part of things, but not in a leadership role.”
Admiral Timothy Keating says he supports Romney because he is “pleased with Romney’s plans for the Department of Defense and for our economic security,” especially because those plans include “a strong navy and Marine Corps.”
Keating was “flabbergasted” when, during the third debate, President Obama compared naval ships to waning “horses and bayonets.”
Admiral Leighton Smith, another Romney supporter and the former commander in chief of U.S. Naval Forces Europe says, “The budget cuts that President Obama is talking about are all going to come out of the hide of the fighting men and women. They’ll be getting less training, going on longer deployments, and their equipment will see less maintenance.”
“I sat with Governor Romney when he was at Virginia Military Institute recently and I can tell you, he is the real deal,” Smith adds. “He listened to us. He was attentive. And he knew what he was talking about.”