Mary Altaffer / AP
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, left, vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan, and their wives, Ann Romney, second form left, and Janna Ryan, greet supporters Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan went to military country Saturday and promised those serving our country that if elected, they would not cut the military budget.
"Now there’s only one place -- there’s only one place this president’s willing to cut, and not just a little. He wants to cut a trillion dollars out of our military budget," Romney told the crowd to boos. "Look, that’s bad for jobs and it’s bad for our national security. The world is not a safer place right now, not with Iran trying to become nuclear, dangers throughout the world. If I’m president and Paul Ryan’s vice president we will not cut our military budget."
While Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, continues to campaign against these pending defense cuts, he in fact voted last summer for the Budget Control Act of 2011, resolving the debt-ceiling debate, that included this defense sequester.
Romney and Ryan spoke here in Jacksonville, which has the third-largest naval presence in the country.
"I look around here and I see veterans, I see Air Force, I see Marines, I see Army over there, I see a lot of Navy," Ryan said before the roughly 5,000-person crowd. "Thank you for your service to our country. You make us proud."
The GOP ticket has been trying to reach out to different pockets of the electorate in the past week to try bridging the gap for Romney as he trails President Barack Obama in polls. The GOP nominee’s wife, Ann Romney, held events geared toward both women and Hispanics. Mitt Romney traveled to Indianapolis on Wednesday to address veterans at The American Legion.
The military vote, which according to exit polls went for Republican candidate John McCain 54 percent to 44 percent in 2008, could help Romney defeat Obama this fall.
Romney advisers concede the state of Florida -- which even hosted the Republican National Convention this year -- is all but essential for a Republican victory on Nov. 6.
"Ladies and gentlemen, it is in our hands, it is in your hands. Florida, Floridians, you have a major say so, you have a big responsibility and a big opportunity," Ryan said, speaking at The Landing on a very hot day. "If Florida goes the right way, America goes the right way."