Obama to congressional Republicans: Stop playing politics with our military
President Barack Obama speaks during the 113th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada.
July 23rd, 2012
10:31 PM ET

Obama to congressional Republicans: Stop playing politics with our military

Reno, Nevada (CNN) - President Obama spoke to thousands of veterans Monday at the National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, but he also delivered a message to congressional Republicans.

"Stop playing politics with our military," Obama told the crowd here.

Responding to recent congressional votes demanding details on the $1.2 trillion dollars in government spending cuts set to go into effect at the start of next year, President Obama tried to shift responsibility back to Capitol Hill.

"There's no reason that should happen because people in Congress ought to be able to come together and agree on a plan, a balanced approach that reduces the deficit and keeps our military strong," Obama said.

Last week in a landslide vote, the House approved a bill asking the Obama administration to spell out what agencies and programs would be cut. The Senate attached a similar measure to the farm bill in June. Republicans say the cuts would hurt national security and cost jobs as businesses that contract with the Defense Department warn they will soon have to begin layoffs.

To stave off the cuts, the White House and many congressional Democrats want Republicans to agree to increase taxes on wealthier Americans as part of a deficit reduction plan, something the GOP has steadfastly resisted.

"There are a number of Republicans in Congress who don't want you to know that most of them voted for these cuts," Obama told the crowd of veterans.  "Instead of making tough choices to reduce the deficit, they'd rather protect tax cuts for some of the wealthiest Americans even if it risks big cuts in our military."

House Republicans in turn accused President Obama of playing politics with the military.

"House Republicans have set forth a balanced plan that pays for the first year of automatic cuts to both defense and non-defense sectors by addressing the true drivers of our debt; mandatory spending," House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) said in a written statement.  "The President and Senator Reid are the only parties who still refuse to come to the table.  The President has a choice in how he deals with this crisis.  He can begin to treat our troops as heroes, or he can continue to use them as leverage."


soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Howard

    The military is too smart to buy into Obama's 11th hour pandering ... the Military hates Obama.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Name*Liz Carter

      You wish "the military" hated Obama, Howard. Where did you get that notion?? Oh, I know Jerry. The racist military members hate Obama!! They hate a black man, who has finally made President and Commander in Chief is NOW telling them what to do. You know white folks hate having to follow orders given by a black man!! That's what's wrong with YOU and Congress!! PERIOD!! Just get ready for 4 more years!! LOL!! Pathetic sickos!!

      July 24, 2012 at 12:46 am |
      • Lionel

        Thank you Liz for calling out Howard.

        I can't stand it when Howard and Jerry spins things around to blame Obama.

        They need help.

        Obama / Biden 2012

        July 24, 2012 at 1:25 am |
      • George

        Liz I'm probably the least prejudice person you will meet but the more people like you try to brainwash others into being racist against blacks the more convincing it becomes to us. I can tell you first hand because I was in the Army that the majority of service folks are conservative and hence are generally more right leaning wether that person is white ,black,or Asian...doesn't matter.If you use the donations given to the campains of all the candidates as a measure you will see overwellming support for one man ...more contributions from active service folks than all other candidates combined and it's not Obama and in fact is not Romney...That candidate,my friend, is Dr. Ron Paul. Don't believe me...you look up the facts!!

        July 24, 2012 at 4:03 am |
      • John

        Ask people who are in the military.

        July 24, 2012 at 8:43 am |
      • SoundFuture

        Liz,
        There are plenty in the military that don't appreciate the current leadership. It has nothing to do with race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.. There are plenty of idiotic bigots and racists, though that's definitely in the minority when you're talking about the military. Our military doesn't like being send to their deaths with no goals, period. A lot of them were hoping for the timeline President Obama offered when he was candidate Obama in 2008. That time came and went, and they were stuck halfway around the world without enough equipment or forces to make realistic offenses on the people they were supposedly supposed to be fighting. Meanwhile we squabbled about the President's use of drones, which is an entire other argument.

        There's a reason most of them supported Ron Paul, who the majority of the civilian population obviously doesn't like. But he offers to bring them home, stops asking for trouble, and wouldn't use their blood for politics. Our current President has left them in the middle east longer than he should have, and they want to come home. Democrats and Republicans have both talked about putting boots on the ground in Syria and Iran, and don't you know that another middle eastern country sounds great to them right about now. They don't hate him by any means, but they have shown they would prefer someone else.

        You don't need to be a racist to disagree with our President, he's done plenty of things wrong. Although I think it's funny you assumed racists had to be at fault for military member's dislike. I hope the ACLU wins their lawsuit against President Obama, because they deserve to.

        Regards,
        SoundFuture

        July 24, 2012 at 8:51 am |
      • Steveo

        @Liz The racist military members hate Obama!! They hate a black man, who has finally made President and Commander in Chief is NOW telling them what to do
        ---------
        Liz, was the reverse true? Did SOME black military members hate taking orders from Bush? Wake up and realize racism is not a party but an individual choice! Are you suggesting there are NO racist on the left, regardless of skin color? Pathetic, Liz! As usual, a lefty tosses the race card FIRST and a lefty (LIONEL ) congratulates you for doing so! Nice! Even Stevie Wonder can see this trend!

        July 24, 2012 at 10:40 am |
      • Obama Sucks

        Obama has cost us millions of jobs.. but you don't care, you only care about the color of his skin.
        Obama has driven up the cost of health care about 75% in 3 years.. but you don't care, you only care about the color of his skin.
        Obama has given us the largest budget deficit in human history.. but you don't care, you only care about the color of his skin.
        Cost of gasoline has doubled, our credit rating has been downgraded, we had the worst environmental disaster in our history, we set a new record for number of Americans in poverty.. but you don't care, you only care about the color of his skin.

        No.. we know exactly who the real racists are here. You!

        July 24, 2012 at 11:13 am |
      • Bill in STL

        The Race card get old liz.... do you suppose that someday you will be able to post without it?

        July 24, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Steveo

      Howard,
      Since the military is made of members of the overall society, yes there are members who are republicans, those who are independents and those who are Democrats. So it is wrong to broad brush anyone. In addition, I 'm pretty mch sick and tired of Liz's racist rants!

      July 24, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Ray E. (Georgia)

      While Howard may sound a little bit Crass he is pretty much correct. As a Retired Military Member for many years I will repeat some of what and old comadre once told me. I HAVE ALREADY BEEN THRU 3 WORLD WARS, TWO COUNTY FAIRS AND A SHEEP SHEARING CONTEST. JUST WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU CAN TELL ME. This Statement by Obama is so shallow that the fish are dying. And like it or not, he is selling the same old story. It was practiced in Vaudville many years ago. Obama says, WITH YOUR MONEY AND MY BRAINS, WE WILL GO PLACES. . Anybody buying that Snake Oil??

      July 24, 2012 at 10:28 am |
      • Steveo

        Ray, I too am a retired vet. I don't hate Obama! I have issues with his politics!

        July 24, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • 2020

      the country hates people like you.

      You should know it.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  2. Bill in STL

    Spin Spin Spin.... its a wonder he can still stand up.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Name*Liz Carter

      Bill, that's Obama talking to the VFW, not your guy Romney!! LOL!! "The Greatest Liar of All"!! "SpinMaster of All Time"!! LOL!!

      July 24, 2012 at 12:50 am |
      • John

        Obama is a con man and a liar. Let us take the most famous one – the state of the union speech when he was called a liar because he said "illegals won't be getting healthcare benefits". Well, a study came out of MA that over 300 million was spent on illegals who went to the ER. This is just MA so it is anyones guess how big this problem is.
        Romney will be able to fix our economy. That is what is needed.

        July 24, 2012 at 8:46 am |
      • Bill in STL

        Missed yo Liz... have not had a good laugh in a longtime!

        July 24, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  3. drake mallard

    when the killing stops in one place, it starts in another, but that's okay... 'cause you're killing for your country. But it ain't your country who asks you, it's a few men up top who want it. Old men start it, young men fight it, nobody wins, everybody in the middle dies... and nobody tells the truth! God's gonna make all that go away?

    July 23, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Name*Liz Carter

      I agree with you 100 percent!! That is the bottomline!! And you can bet we aren't going into any country, talking about invading unless we see where we can bring something out of there, back to those OLD MEN! Oil, drugs, or something that can be sold back here for the "high dollar"!!

      July 24, 2012 at 12:39 am |
      • Scott

        Obama is a failure, he lies to everyone, he lied about no tax increases yet look at Obama acre that was a tax increase. He constant spins and lies about Bain Capital, even thou the Washington Post and Fact Check that org say it is not true. He also gave stimulis money to compaines over seas, Our Debt keeps going up over 4 trillion, thanks to Obama we lost our credit rating, He gives guns to the Drug Cartels, so do not tell me he is so good, OBama is a failure and you are a fool for believing in his lies.

        July 24, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Steveo

      I'll chime in since you mentioned God. It is built into everyone of us to have the abillity to make choices, whether for good or Evil! The nut case in Colorado choose evil! Those who took bullets for their loved ones and those who saved lives choose to do good! We are asking God to do something all the while booting Him out of the public square, to include government! You asked a profound question: Will God make that go away? The answer is yes but in His time. Until then His people are to do good in His name! I am answering you from a Christian view point, realizing there are those who chose good and are not Christians.

      July 24, 2012 at 9:07 am |
      • Bill in STL

        Well said steveo.... well said!

        July 24, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
      • Steveo

        Thank you, Bill! I take it, your a Christian as well?

        July 24, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        And very proud to be one... Thanks for taking a stand steveo... Have not benn able to get in as much as I would like... Large project at work taking out about 70 hours a week.

        July 24, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
      • Steveo

        Bill,

        I am glad to know you are my brother! Much more important than anything we talk about here! May God bless!

        July 25, 2012 at 10:38 am |
      • Bill in STL

        Sorry Stevo... Work had to happen...LOL just figured out that I admitted last night that I am amaker and not a taker.... I suppose that will cause me problems here... Oh wait.... on second thought it won't make a bit of difference.... ;-)

        July 25, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  4. DEcember 2012

    LET THE AUTOMATIC CUTS HAPPEN. THEN WE WILL SEE JUST HOW MANY JOBS THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CREATE ACCORDING TO THE REPUBLITARDS.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    July 24, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • Steveo

      December,

      These cuts are automatic as BOTH parties agreed! BOTH parties share guilt! You poke at the "republitards" yet The "Libtards" helped formulate this nightmare! BOTH are EQUALLY guilty!

      July 24, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • DEcember 2012

      IT IS THE HEIGHT OF HYPOCRISY THAT THE REPUBLITARDS WOULD CARE ABOUT DEFENSE BUDGET CUTS. WHAT ARE YOU SO AFRAID OF? THE TRUTH SETTING IN? BY ALL MEANS, WE SHOULD LET ALL THESE GOVERNMENT SPENDING CUTS HIT MAX UNTIL THE ENTIRE ECONOMY IMPLODES.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
      • Steveo

        Are you telling me, the left in Congress had NOTHING to do with these proposed cuts? btw these cuts are going to gut military. i don't like it anymore than you do. Yet the fact remains BOTH PARTIES, BOTH PARTIES, BOTH PARTIES agreed to them! I said that three things on purpose to remind you it was BOTH PARTIES

        July 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        THIS IS WHY I CITE HYPOCRISY WITH THE REPUBLITARD MESSAGING ON THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT ON OUR ECONOMY. YES, BOTH PARTIES AGREED TO IT WHICH BEGS THE QUESTION, AT WHAT POINT DID THE GOP SUDDENLY GO INSANE WITH THEIR RHETORIC? NOW THEY ARE TRAPPED WITH THEIR RIDICULOUS LIES AND IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO SEE JUST HOW LONG THEY WOULD STICK WITH THEIR EQUALLY RIDICULOUS TAX PLEDGE.

        July 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
      • Steveo

        If your think there is no hypocrisy on the left, your insane!

        July 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        OH THERE IS ENOUGH HYPOCRISY TO GO AROUND. IT JUST SO HAPPENS TO REPUBLICANS HAVE CAUGHT THEMSELVES INTO THEIR OWN TRAP. IF ANYONE IN WASHINGTON IS TRULY SERIOUS ABOUT BALANCING THE BUDGET THEN EVERYTHING MUST BE ON THE TABLE. NO STUPID PLEDGES THAT HAS NO BASIS ON REALITY. I WOULD LOVE TO LOCK EVERYONE UP IN THE BUILDING UNTIL SOME KIND OF PROGRESS HAPPENS. OR THEY END UP KILLING EACH OTHER. WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.

        July 24, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
      • Steveo

        You want to lock them up? Sounds good but I have a better idea. Let's STOP sending the same do-nothings up there (BOTH side of the aisle).

        July 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        Okay December ... you need to go to the money section of CNN and read the what you will pay article... Please explain these

        1. why is the democratic plan much more complex?
        2. Why can taxe increases start for families that make 80k, I thought the lowest limit was 200/250k
        3. Why do democratic senators slap the president like this?

        he last one was for curiosity only...

        July 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  5. Roger

    Re-elect Obama and turn the House in 2012.

    July 24, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • SoundFuture

      I wouldn't mind the re-election, but I really hope he doesn't get re-elected and the Congress gets turned. Democrats tend to forget they are in the majority in the senate.

      I tend to be happiest when the executive and legislative branches are opposed to one another. Only bipartisan legislation gets through, there's no sweeping anything that could screw me over. The current setup shows you how much works need to be done to restore bipartisan politics.

      July 24, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  6. Steveo

    Truth be told BOTH parties play politics with the military. Now under THIS administration, military members can now march in gay pride parades while in uniform! Never ever happened before. The Navy is now building ships with no urinals! Why would that be? Politics!

    July 24, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  7. ataxed99er

    Obama gets far more donations from active military personnel than Romney. The GOP has consistently opposed pay raises for troops and VA spending. Their priorities are on spending in contracts to their private buddies (Haliburton anyone?) Dems cut spending on failed weapons programs and unneeded cold war technologies while GOP cuts wages and benefits.

    July 24, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  8. Al

    Obama's version of taking the fight to our enemies and renew our leadership in the world is to bend over, you might call it bowing to make feel better. Obama has no idea what veterans go through, he made it a point to only stay away from joining good men and women to serve. I view Obama's track record as completing a mission and not bringing our troops home and get them out of harms way, I view Obama as willing to continue to offer up our troops until 2014 as he said. And as far as Iraq goes, explosives went off yesterday and that was not a surprise other than it took this long to happen. So when are the Democrats going to stop using our military as pawns for their political wants, you can't have a strong military if the money to bring in modern day instruments is being moved forward to an unearned item in Obama's agenda.

    "Instead of making tough choices to reduce the deficit, they'd rather protect tax cuts for some of the wealthiest Americans even if it risks big cuts in our military." Hey that sounds like the Obama plan, cut to give money away to companies like Solyndra, or that auto maker in Finland, or oil drillers in Brazil. And let's not forget the amount of tax dollars that Solyndra took with them when they "folded" And the Debt, his he kidding me, all Obama has managed to do is add to the debt, he's made no attempt to lower the debt, oh he did, he wants to raise taxes, that does not mean that the tax increase will go towards the lowering of the debt. Only a foolish person would believe that Obama ever had a valid interest in bringing down the debt, he does not care for he's not going to pay for it.

    As a veteran, I would not back this type of leadership that belittles the Military and then when it's election time want to talk it up, he's not for the defenders of this country, he's not for the working tax payer of this country, and that is not what this country needs in such a powerful office. The person to lead has to be willing to work with companies that will offer jobs, not demonize a company, or penalize a company for doing what a company is created to do, and that is to do good and make money.

    Obama is right, it's time to move FORWARD and escort him out of my WHITE HOUSE, along with his entire klan.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  9. Qua

    Great to see Americans are developing a dialogue about how a politician to fix the economy BUT no one giving a thought HOW it can be fixed. Suggestions anyone? Wake up America..Obama is not a magician to make everything right after the economic fall of 2008 (I believed that was under the helm of a republican president). When are you all going to take accountability of your own actions in moving this recovery economy forward???

    July 24, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  10. Peter

    Didn't Dick Cheny just have to go to Capitol Hill last week to fight for defense funding which President is cutting defense and will take effect in January and Leon Panetta agrees with Cheney?

    July 24, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  11. DM

    It is so funny to hear President Obama lecture others about playing nice. He totally locked the Republicans out of the health care debate when that was occuring. He runs the country like a dictatorship, passing immigration laws and welfare laws without congressional input. He blames Bush for deficits, debt and unemployment but then increases them significantly. He says he will bring a gun if others bring a kife. Some 65-75% think the country is on the wrong track, and yet people want 4 more years of htat?

    July 24, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  12. bb

    The anti crist has spoken, thats all he does is lie. The repubs have always been pro military. This guy is such a weak example of this country. It has been one inept act after another, looks who with him Holden, Pelosi (pass it than read it) if that isnt stupid i dont know what is. I am not a repub, but if you think Oblunder and his evil crooks are doing ok you have to be plain stupid, pull your head out america get rid of this nitwit

    July 24, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  13. 2020

    John, you are as sick and crazy as the crazy killer Holms

    July 24, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Thats quite an accusation 2020... perhaps its tie for you to Chil

      July 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  14. Qua

    @Al – It's good to hear from a veteran's point of view about leadership. I'm a child of a forgotten war, Viet Nam, and I do not feel your perspective give credits to the man and women who gave their lives and displaced civilians lost their homes working under a leader who do not have a strategic plan to influence the world making the change to democracy. I would still be living in South Viet Nam hadn't America interference in our civil war. For once, I agreed with Obama military politics – GOP Congressional need to STOP leveraging our military to bring down the deficit. All these tax cuts will only hurt all of us in the long run after a leader's term ended (e.g. Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act 2001).

    July 24, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  15. judy

    Lots of military like our president and the fact that he and his wife are strong militARYfamily supporters. Don;t see what mittens could say to the Va after 3 dererments. Forward 2012

    July 24, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Steveo

      The major malfunction to your post is just last week we had similar conversations about this and a lefty mentioned that although Obama never served in uniform, he serves as Commander In Chief. That was true with Clinton and it will be just as true for Romney! What else you got?

      July 24, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  16. Trusts

    Maybe you have considered writing the e-book or invitee writing upon some other weblogs? I own a blog devoted to the same subject matter anyone discuss along with would really like to possess anyone reveal a few stories/information. I know our market would certainly value your hard work. If you are even from another location interested, you can deliver me personally the e-mail. Trusts http://bookpickorchestra.com/blog/manganosekaihe/2008/08/post_3.html

    February 6, 2013 at 4:15 am |