Mitt Romney seized on the possibility of defense cuts taking effect soon as he tried to woo voters in a once-red state that’s heavily tied to the military. He also reminded voters that Democrats had removed a reference to God from their party platform before restoring it later.
In a state with relatively low unemployment – 5.9% in July – the Romney campaign has pounced on the possibility of defense cuts as one component of a strategy to win over the working class, white voters and move Virginia to Mr. Romney’s column. In 2008, President Barack Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate since the 1960s to win the state.
Virginia, home to the Pentagon, defense contractors and military bases, could face a blow to its economy if Congress doesn’t act to prevent a $500 billion cut to the Pentagon’s budget in January.
“It’s unthinkable to Virginia, to our employment needs, but it’s also unthinkable to the ability and the commitment of America to maintain our liberty,” Mr. Romney said at a rally at the Military Aviation Museum here Saturday.