Romney skirts mention of war in acceptance speech

AP News
Posted: Aug 31, 2012 2:26 PM
Romney skirts mention of war in acceptance speech

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney did not mention the war in Afghanistan, where 79,000 US troops are fighting, in his speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday. The last time a Republican presidential nominee did not address war was 1952, when Dwight Eisenhower spoke generally about American power and spreading freedom around the world but did not explicitly mention armed conflict. Below are examples of how other Republican nominees have addressed the issue over the years, both in peacetime and in war.

1956: "No one is more aware than I that it is the young who fight the wars, and it is the young who give up years of their lives to military training and service. It is not enough that their elders promise 'Peace in our time;' it must be peace in their time too, and in their children's time; indeed, my friends, there is only one real peace now, and that is peace for all time." — Dwight D. Eisenhower

1960: "Because we have already paid a terrible price in lives and resources to learn that appeasement leads not to peace, but to war, it will, indeed, take great leadership to steer us through the years, avoiding the extreme of belligerency on the one hand and appeasement on the other." — Richard Nixon

1964: "Yesterday it was Korea. Tonight it is Vietnam. Make no bones of this. Don't try to sweep this under the rug. We are at war in Vietnam. And yet the president, who is commander in chief of our forces, refuses to say — refuses to say, mind you — whether or not the objective over there is victory." — Barry Goldwater

1968: "When the strongest nation in the world can be tied down for four years in a war in Vietnam with no end in sight ... then it's time for new leadership for the United States of America." — Nixon

1972: "Standing in this convention hall four years ago, I pledged to seek an honorable end to the war in Vietnam. We have made great progress toward that end. We have brought over half a million men home, and more will be coming home." — Nixon

1976: "Two years ago America was mired in withdrawal from Southeast Asia. A decade of Congresses had shortchanged our global defenses and threatened our strategic posture. Mounting tension between Israel and the Arab nations made another war seem inevitable. ... Today America is at peace and seeks peace for all nations. Not a single American is at war anywhere on the face of this Earth tonight." - Gerald Ford

1980: "Four times in my lifetime America has gone to war, bleeding the lives of its young men into the sands of beachheads, the fields of Europe and the jungles and rice paddies of Asia. We know only too well that war comes not when the forces of freedom are strong, but when they are weak. It is then that tyrants are tempted. We simply cannot learn these lessons the hard way again without risking our destruction." — Ronald Reagan

1984: "Today our troops have newer and better equipment; their morale is higher. The better armed they are, the less likely it is they will have to use that equipment. But if, heaven forbid, they're ever called upon to defend this nation, nothing would be more immoral than asking them to do so with weapons inferior to those of any possible opponent. ... None of the four wars in my lifetime came about because we were too strong. It's weakness that invites adventurous adversaries to make mistaken judgments." — Reagan

1988: "We have a new relationship with the Soviet Union. The INF treaty — the beginning of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the beginning of the end of the Soviet proxy war in Angola and with it the independence of Namibia. Iran and Iraq move toward peace. ... Weakness and ambivalence lead to war. Weakness tempts aggressors. Strength stops them. I will not allow this country to be made weak again." — George H.W. Bush

1992: "This convention is the first at which an American president can say the cold war is over, and freedom finished first. ... And while the U.S. postwar strategy was largely bipartisan, the fact remains that the liberal McGovern wing of the other party, including my opponent, consistently made the wrong choices." — George H.W. Bush

1996: "And furthermore, the lesson has always been clear, if we are prepared to defend, if we are prepared to fight many wars and greater wars than any wars that come, we will have to fight fewer wars and lesser wars and perhaps no wars at all." — Robert Dole

2000: "Little more than a decade ago, the Cold War thawed and, with the leadership of Presidents Reagan and Bush, that wall came down. But instead of seizing this moment, the Clinton-Gore administration has squandered it. We have seen a steady erosion of American power and an unsteady exercise of American influence. Our military is low on parts, pay and morale." — George W. Bush

2004: "This election will also determine how America responds to the continuing danger of terrorism, and you know where I stand ... We are staying on the offensive, striking terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home." — George W. Bush

2008: "We face many threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them. I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better and what it should not do. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't. I know how to secure the peace." — John McCain