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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Mitt Romney Delivers Remarks in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Aired September 8, 2012 - 14:05   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY, R-MASS., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Thank you. Virginia really knows how to say hello. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: Thank you Governor and Jeanine for being here and welcoming me and happenings to all of you for braving the warm weather today to give me such a welcome. And thanks to our veterans. I see a number of them in the audience here today. Thank you for your service.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: I know this has not been a week of a lot of good news. You saw the reports that we're not creating as many jobs that would even keep up with our population growth. And you saw that for every net new job created last month, four people dropped out of the warning force. So not the news the American people were hoping for and deserve.

But I'm here to tell you things are about to get a lot better.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: But that's going require you doing something important, and that's electing me the next president of the United States.

CROWD: USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

ROMNEY: You know, it's moving to be in this place and to see the aircraft and know the men and women that have helped defend liberty for America time and time again. It's moving to see the flag out there and the flags you've been waving inside this room. I remember as a boy, I was in the fourth grade.

Somehow in my mind, I remember being there in the fourth grade in front of the blackboard, we had an American flag pinned above the blackboard. And every day we stood, lined up in front of that blackboard and we recited the pledge of allegiance. Do you remember it? "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: When I make a promise, I intend to keep a promise, and I've done that throughout my life. When I made that promise time and time again in my pledge of allegiance to the flag, I remember that flag to this day. For me the pledge of allegiance and placing our hand over our heart reminds of the bloodshed by our sons and daughters fighting for our liberty and sharing liberty with people around the world.

The promises that were made in that pledge are promises I plan on keeping if I'm president, and I've kept them so far in my life.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: That pledge says "under God." I will not take "God" out of the name of our platform.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: I will not take "God" off our coins and I will not take God out of my heart.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: "One nation, indivisible." I will not divide this nation. I will not apologize for America abroad and I will not apologize for Americans here at home.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: "With liberty and justice for all." With liberty, I will not to get that for to us have liberty here, for us to be able to protect ourselves from the most evil around the world, for to us share liberty with our friends around the world. Friends, we must have a military second to none, so strong no one will ever think of testing it.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: And I'm sure you know what's happening to our military. Our number of ships has gone from roughly 600 down, when the Navy said they had to have at least 313 ships minimum to carry out the missions that are given to our nation. And we're already down to about 282, something of that nature, and we're only creating about nine new ships a year. I'd increase that to 15 ships.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: Do you realize our Navy is smaller than any time since 1917. That's unacceptable. It's time to have a rebuilding of our Navy to make sure it's the strongest in the world and it fulfills our missions.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: Our air force is older and smaller than any time since 1947. Our troops have been stretched to the breaking point in the conflicts they've been endure, and our hearts go to those in far off places today particularly in Afghanistan who are in harm's way. We honor them, we love them, we respect them. (APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: But to preserve liberty, we must have a commitment not just to more ships and more aircraft, but also in my view to more members of our armed forces. I will not cut our military. I will maintain our military commitment.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: Now, you listen to the governor talk about the cuts the president has put in place for our military and then the sequestration cuts that the White House came up with, that's the idea of sequestrations, so we're talking about $1 trillion in cuts. The estimates of the kind of numbers of jobs lost in Virginia is between 100,000 and 200,000. It's unthinkable to Virginia, to our employment needs, but it's also unthinkable to the ability and the commitment of America to maintain our liberty. And there if I'm president of the United States, we'll get rid of those sequestration cuts and rebuild America's military might.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: So with liberty for all, but also with justice for all. With justice for all -- I don't think it's just to the next generation for us to pass on massive debts that we've amassed and pass on to them $16 trillion in debt, pass to them is wrong and it must end.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: I also don't think it's justice for all when a nation is as prosperous as ours is, most prosperous nation in the history of the earth, to have one out of six people now who have fallen into poverty, 47 million on food stamps. When the president took office, there were 32 million on good stamps. How can a nation so prosperous stand by with such a national tragedy? That is not justice for all.

Now with the unemployment level having stuck above eight percent for 43 straight months, we remember the president promised that if we let him borrow almost $1 trillion, he would never let it reach eight percent. It's been above eight percent ever since. This president has not fulfilled his promises.

And then he went to the Democrat convention and spoke at great length and had a lot of wonderful things to say, but he didn't say what he would do to help get jobs or come out of unemployment or to get people that are poor back to the middle class. He doesn't have a plan, he doesn't have any ideas, and we have to make sure he doesn't have any more days in the White House after January.

(APPLAUSE)