On Friday morning, Fox News’ Bret Baier gave GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney a chance to explain why he did not mention the troops or Afghanistan once in his speech accepting his party’s nomination. Baier asked if he regretted the omission, which opened up a line of attacks many Democrats have employed since.
“No I regret you repeating day in and day out,” Romney said. “When you give a speech you don’t go through a laundry list. You talk about the things that you think are important. And I described in my speech my commitment to a strong military, unlike our president’s decision to cut our military. And I didn’t use the word ‘troops.’ I used the word ‘military.’ I think they refer to the same thing.”
Mother Jones‘ Adam Serwer points out:
The complaints that Romney didn’t praise the troops enough are the kind of trolling liberals would have hated between 2001 and 2008.
— AdamSerwer (@AdamSerwer) September 7, 2012
However, in a time of war Romney failed to give his opinion on the conflict in the most important speech of his campaign. Also, conflating the military with the troops indicates a trend in America to dismiss the fact that a small percentage of Americans actually serve in the military and fight our wars.
Republicans often use the tactic of questioning the media. That Romney had to do so on Fox News shows that he hit a right wing nerve by not at least paying lip service to the troops.