What’s interesting is that Perry was invited to speak at the same event three months ago and didn’t respond – until the VFW called him out.
Politico’s Maggie Haberman reports:
“The VFW also has a tradition of inviting the governor of the host state where its annual convention is being held to come and welcome and greet our convention delegates. Although Governor Perry was similarly sent an invitation 3 months ago, apparently our invitation was deemed not important enough for the governor’s office to at least accept or decline the invitation. Governor Perry’s candidacy for president does not provide him an excuse for bad manners. The White House and Governor Perry can rest assured that the 2 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries will remember this discourteous treatment for a very long time to come.”
Obama never changed course on attending, but Perry did the next day, and the VFW took note of it in a press release.
Jennifer Rubin from the Washington Post watched Romney’s address and was impressed. Here are a few of her comments:
Jennifer Rubin, before picking at the substance of Rick Perry’s VFW speech from yesterday, reports that the group had actually slammed him and President Obama for not attending in a press release on its web site on Aug. 22:
As those in and around the Mitt Romney campaign have explained privately and on the record, the frenzy about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s surge in the national polls hasn’t panicked them. They, of course, lived through the 2008 race when Sen. John McCain came from far behind, Rudy Giuliani melted and Fred Thompson turned out to be much to do about nothing. That isn’t to say they intend to sit back. Their game plan was in full view at the VFW speech today in Texas.
Whoever Romney has fired or hired to assist with speechwriting, the change was somewhat dramatic. Gone were equivocations and recycled stump speech lines. This is a more aggressive and more colorful Romney.
He began with the list of enemies — “Some are jihadists, some are communists, and some are simply tyrants who clothe themselves in any convenient political manifesto. And so once again, American heroes are called upon to defend liberty.” Notice “liberty,” a word that’s fallen out of fashion with many conservatives. If Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s speech was limiting (not “military adventurism” and only fight when “vital national interests” are at stake), Romney’s (again, not his usual style) was anything but.
Then came the quick shift to the economy, which remains Romney’s focus and, his team contends, his best issue. He told the crowd:
25 million Americans are out of work, or have stopped looking, or have only part time jobs but want full-time work. Home values have dropped more than they did during the Depression. National debt is almost as large as our entire economy, and we owe a huge chunk of it to China. Incredibly, unfunded government promises now total about $530,000 per American household. This cannot possibly stand as the legacy we will leave the next generation.
And the peril of this mismanagement may even be more imminent. We stand near a threshold of profound economic misery. Four more years on the same political path could prove disastrous.
I am a conservative businessman. I have spent most of my life outside of politics, dealing with real problems in the real economy. Career politicians got us into this mess and they simply don’t know how to get us out!
And that is his pitch both in the primary and the general election. He doesn’t mention Perry by name, and until the debates, I wouldn’t count on him doing so. But the message is that pols don’t get how the private sector works. They know about bailouts, crony capitalism, borrowing and spending. Expect to hear a whole lot about that in Nevada next week when he rolls out his jobs speech and in the fall debates.
Then it was back to foreign policy. Here, he put some meat on the bones. That’s going to be another theme you’ll see more of: He’s got answers, the other guys and gals have rhetoric.
Romney’s team has insisted that as voters turn the attention back to the campaign and the fall debates dominate the political news, we will see some robust policy pronouncements. This had the feel of a warm-up, an effort to lay down some markers and begin to introduce some themes. It was a different sort of speech than Perry’s, more specific and more attention paid to the economy. Expect more of that and a clearer delineation between the candidates, if not on ideology then on experience and capability.
(emphasis added) Read entire article here.
To see VIDEO of Mitt’s speech and read the TRANSCRIPT click here.
If you’d like to watch a quick little video of Mitt behind the scenes before speaking today, click here.
Proud to have the opportunity to speak today at the 112th #VFW National Convention in San Antonio
► Jayde Wyatt