CONCORD, N.H. – Mitt Romney said on Thursday he hasn’t been watching the Democratic National Convention and has no plans to tune in for President Obama’s speech, although he acknowledged that he’s heard some details about what the president will address.
“If it's another series of new promises that he's not going to keep, I have no interest in seeing him, because I saw the promises last time," he told reporters. "Those are promises he did not keep, and the American people deserve to know why he did not keep his promises."
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Veterans, Romney said, were among those who received promises. After meeting with veterans who have been phone-banking on his behalf, Romney defended his commitment to the military and said it is Obama who has let down those who served in the armed forces.
Romney was recently criticized by members of both political parties for failing to mention the war in Afghanistan or the troops deployed there in his convention speech. Romney brushed off the criticism, pointing to a speech he gave to members of the American Legion in Indianapolis on the day before his convention speech.
“Promises were made to veterans when the president was running for office four years ago, that his support of veterans would be unwavering, that he would not balance the budget on the backs the veterans,” Romney said during an unannounced stop at the launch of a new coalition group, New Hampshire Veterans and Military Families for Mitt. “And yet he has now proposed a dramatic increase in the payments they have to make under Tricare. And these veterans are not happy, and they are getting out to phone bank to make sure the veterans across New Hampshire know the president didn’t keep his promise.”
The Obama campaign has said that spending for Tricare, the military's health care program, has more than doubled since 1999 and that a moderate increase in premiums will protectn its sustainability while ensuring that military retirees pay less for coverage than other private- or public-sector options.
The New Hampshire group is the latest military or veterans group affiliated with the Romney campaign. Others are in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and a campaign spokesman said there would be more to come.