Raptor’s Republican Rising

Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney said he would “add F-22s” to the Air Force’s inventory if he moves into the Oval Office. That was one of the defense-related moves he discussed during an interview with WAVY TV 10 of Virginia Beach, Va., posted at the station’s website on Sept. 8. The Air Force’s last F-22 rolled off Lockheed Martin’s assembly line in Marietta, Ga., in December (see The Last Raptor). Defense officials have said restarting the already shuttered production line would be a costly endeavor—perhaps prohibitively expensive. Beyond the F-22, Romney said he’d have the Navy build 15 ships per year—versus current plans for nine—and would retain some 100,000 Active Duty personnel that the Obama Administration intends to shed. Romney also blasted budget sequestration and the Obama Administration’s proposed defense cuts. “I think the idea of shrinking our military to try and get closer to balancing our budget is the wrong place to look,” he said. “I want to get our economy growing and get people back to work as the way to build the revenues of the government and get to a balanced budget. But shrinking our military is unacceptable to me.”