Romney Camp Explains Lack of War Talk in Romney's Convention Speech

Jonathan Miller

A senior aide for Mitt Romney declined to say whether it was an oversight that the former Massachusetts governor declined to discuss the war in Afghanistan or make a mention of the troops fighting overseas in his convention speech.

Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior campaign aide said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday that in giving a talk to American Legion in Indianapolis, Romney had mentioned Afghanistan and possible defense cuts.

 “Governor Romney thought it was a privilege to be speaking to people who had served,” he said, “and in that speech, he talked about Afghanistan, and he also talked about the $1 trillion in defense cuts taking place under this president.”

The Romney camp had been criticized by prominent conservatives, among them Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol, for not mentioning either the troops or the war in his convention speech. The Associated Press noted this weekend that Romney was the first Republican nominee since 1952 to accept his party’s nomination without mentioning war.

When pressed on whether it was an oversight, Fehrnstrom again demurred. “Governor Romney's speech was an opportunity for him to introduce himself to millions of voters who were seeing him for the first time and in that speech he accomplished what he meant to do,” he said, including showing his “personal side and what motivates him.”

Concluded Fehrnstrom: “We thought that speech was a home run.”

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