In dueling speeches before the VFW Convention in Reno, both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney made promises to court the veterans vote.
According to reporting by MSNBC:
President Obama promised that departing service members would have access to a “reverse boot camp” that offers new veterans more. Last August, the president convened a task force to overhaul TAP (Transition Assistance Program) for the first time in 20 years.
The new initiative extends TAP from a three-day workshop to five to seven days, which includes a financial planning seminar, a redesigned employment workshop and a planning session in which service members can explore career options and talk to experts.
Service members will be also be able to meet with a counselor to discuss their career goals as well as VA benefits and resources.
“We’ll provide the training they need to find that job, or pursue that education, or start that business,” Obama said. “And just as they’ve maintained their military readiness, we’ll have new standards of career readiness.”
That training will also include the option to take a course tailored to a service member’s specific career interest, whether it be a higher education degree, credentials in certain skills or small-business ownership.
The Christian Science Monitor reports on Mitt Romney:
Proclaiming, “I am not ashamed of American power,” Governor Romney told the VFW convention, that he is “guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion” – that the 21st must be “an American century” if peace, justice, and hope are to advance in the world. He then pledged that “if I become commander-in-chief, the United States of America will fulfill its duty, and its destiny.”Romney followed President Obama by a day in addressing the veterans. But unlike Mr. Obama, who in his remarks Monday made no mention of his presumptive Republican rival, the former Massachusetts governor focused on the incumbent he hopes to prevent from winning a second term.
Under Obama, America has lost its leadership position in the world, Romney said, warning that a second Obama term would lead to devastating cuts in the defense budget.
Perhaps recognizing that Obama receives some of his highest marks from voters on national security issues, Romney tried to sow doubts about Obama’s stewardship of the nation’s security – in particular by charging that the White House, for political gain, has leaked sensitive intelligence information concerning the Osama bin Laden raid and other classified operations.
Calling the leaks “a national security crisis,” Romney said such activity “betrays our national interest” and “compromises our men and women in the field.” He demanded that the leaks be investigated and that whoever provided information to the media “seeking political advantage for the administration, must be exposed, dismissed, and punished.”
Reports surfaced in the media last month of a White House “kill list” of international terrorists. Other reports provided detailed information about a US role in cyberattacks on Iran.