Mitt Romney solely blamed President Barack Obama on Monday for potential defense cuts that Republicans in Congress worked out with the White House and Democrats and left the misimpression that Obama has ignored free trade initiatives. A closer look at some of the Republican presidential nominee's statements in his foreign policy speech:
ROMNEY: "I will roll back President Obama's deep and arbitrary cuts to our national defense that would devastate our military."
THE FACTS: "Arbitrary" defense cuts do not belong to Obama alone but also to congressional Republicans, including his vice presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan. The first round of cuts in projected defense spending is the result of a bipartisan deal in August 2011 between Congress and the White House to wrestle down the deficit. Unless a new budget deal is reached in time, additional spending cuts will begin in January across government, and the cost to the Pentagon would be $500 billion over a decade. Lawmakers are working to avoid that. Separately, Obama wants to slow the growth of military spending, now that the war in Iraq is ended and the war in Afghanistan is drawing to a close. The Pentagon's budget, including war costs, is $670 billion this year, or about 18 percent of total federal spending. Even setting aside the costs of the wars, military spending has more than doubled since 2001.
At its heart, Romney's statement marks a disagreement with Obama over the proper level of military spending but also skips past a deficit-reduction deal that he recently criticized Republicans in Congress for negotiating.
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