While campaigning on behalf of Republican Presidential Candidate Monday at the American Legion Post 351 in Utica, Arizona Sen. John McCain slammed President Barack Obama for looming military cuts and a high unemployment rate for veterans.
“There is a 14 percent unemployment rate for veterans nationwide,” said McCain, compared to an eight percent unemployment rate in the U.S. “We should be embarrassed,” he added.
McCain, joined by Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-District 10), first held a round table discussion with eight people ranging from local veteran coordinators to military defense contractors.
The 2008 GOP presidential nominee told the group that Obama’s “draconian cuts to military spending will not only affect the military, but also military contractors.”
The cuts, mandated by the Budget Control Act, were made in last summer’s congressional deal to cut military spending in exchange for a $2.4 trillion increase in the federal debt ceiling, ABC News reported.
Romney’s campaign has been blasting the Obama administration about the cuts since the president’s visit to Virginia last week, according to ABC
After the roundtable, McCain answered questions from a group of about 200 veterans and GOP supporters.
He told the group that the GOP would work on getting more relief for veterans who return to civilian life by connecting veterans with people who are eager to hire them.
“We do a lot for veterans and I am proud in what we do in caring for them,” McCain said. "But no veteran wants our pity or sympathy. They want to come back, work and live their lives, and raise their family as we do."
Michael Weaver of Sterling Heights, a U.S. Navy veteran, told Patch he is hoping McCain, a veteran himself, will be able to help Romney put better veteran policies in place.
“I had a real tough time finding a job and transitioning from military life to civilian life,” he said after returning to Michigan in 2003 from a tour in Iraq.
During the hour-long event, McCain also criticized Obama’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“I worry about American Leadership and this president that believes in leading from behind,” he said as a round of applause followed. “All we talk about is withdrawal rather than victory."
Dave Aschliman, a retired Shelby Township businessman said he is just hoping that if Romney is elected, he will be able to help small businesses flourish.
“The poor business people have no planning horizon,” he said. "I would like to see us go back to good planning and economic sense."
U.S. State Rep. (R-Utica) Jeff Farrington told Patch that when it comes to creating jobs and understanding how investments work, Obama can't compete with Romney.
Obama plans to be in Ohio Monday telling voters that Romney’s tax proposals would spur job growth in foreign countries, including China, ABC reported.