SPRINGFIELD, Va.—For the third straight day, Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama campaigned in the same state, with Romney arguing before an audience of military veterans that potential cuts to the defense budget are "unthinkable and devastating."
Speaking in the battleground state at an American Legion post outside Washington, D.C., Romney blamed Obama for planned defense cuts agreed to under a 2011 vote to raise the debt ceiling, known as sequestration, calling it a "kind of a gun-to-your-head opportunity" that will kill jobs in Virginia.
"They would make devastating cuts to our military. It's a strange proposal in the first place, even stranger that it's being put in place," Romney said. "The impact will be immediate, and significant right here in Virginia: 136,000 jobs will be lost in Virginia as a result of this move."
The White House has pointed out that Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney's running mate, and other Republican congressional leaders supported sequestration when it was proposed. Romney has previously said it was a "mistake" for Republicans in Congress to back the deal.
But speaking in Virginia, Romney put the blame squarely on Obama—arguing the president is cutting the military at a time of turmoil around the world.
"It is still a troubled and dangerous world. And the idea of cutting our military commitment by a trillion dollars over this decade is unthinkable and devastating," Romney declared. "And when I become president of the United States, we will stop it. I will not cut our commitment to the military."
Romney spoke at approximately the same time Obama held his own campaign event in Virginia Beach. A recent Fox News poll found Obama leading Romney by 7 points among likely Virginia voters, 50 to 43 percent.