Romney: Rebuild defense, add 100,000 troops

By BRUCE SMITH | October 6, 2011 | 5:10 PM EDT

Republican presidential candidate former Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to supporters during a lunch stop at Seminole Wind Restaurant Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says America must rebuild its national defense system. He's proposing adding 100,000 active duty troops to the military and taking better care of the country's veterans.

The former Massachusetts governor spoke Thursday to veterans aboard the World War II-era aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in the conservative, early primary state of South Carolina.

His remarks were a preview of a foreign policy address he's to deliver Friday at The Citadel, the state's military college.

Romney said he would protect the United States by protecting the nation's military and cut spending at the Defense Department to reduce waste. But he said the nation would be mistaken to follow the example of European nations, which cut their military and then use the savings for social programs.