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Romney Promises New Focus On Afghanistan

A new campaign promise, and an attack on Obama. He'll be reporting back, he says.

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MANCHESTER, N.H. — Responding to a question at a town hall at St. Anslem College, Mitt Romney accused President Obama of failing to keep Americans informed of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

"When our men and women are in harm's way, I expect the presidents of the United States to address the nation on a regular basis... and explain why we're there," he said.

The question, asked by a military veteran, was what Romney "was going to do about this damn mess in Afghanistan."

Romney didn't address his solution to the war at legnth, but said Obama "ought to be reporting to [soldiers'] parents."

The Republican nominee, who agrees with the president's 2014 timeline for troop withdrawal but has criticized him for making the plans public, promised to regularly address the conflict in Afghanistan until the local military had taken complete control of the effort.

"When I become commander-in-chief... I will address the American people about these issues, and I will do everything within my power to transition from our military to their military," Romney said.

Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, added that when he voted to approve the war in Iraq he took the vote "very seriously, very solemnly." Then, he criticized Democrats for proposing cuts to the defense budget.

When soldiers are in conflicts abroad and generals on the ground ask for resources to keep them safe, Ryan said, "You give them what they ask for. It’s very important."

McKay Coppins is a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News politics team, and the author of The Wilderness, about the battle over the future of the Republican Party.

Contact McKay Coppins at

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