While Donald Trump has repeatedly called for an increase in spending on the nation’s military, he told a rally in Greenville, North Carolina on Tuesday night that if elected as President, he would ask the Congress to lift the spending caps known as the “sequester” in order to boost defense spending.
“I will ask Congress to eliminate the sequester and immediately re-invest in our military,” Trump said.
“Right now, we have the smallest Air Force since 1947, the smallest Army since 1939, and one of the smallest Navy’s since 1917,” he added.
“We have no choice, we have to have – maybe more than ever before – a strong and powerful military,” Trump said to cheers.
Trump said nothing on Tuesday night about the domestic side of sequestration, spending limits on the budget which most Democrats have opposed, while most Republicans have urged an end to tighter budget limits on the military.
The GOP nominee is expected to further discuss his plan on how best to build the military during a speech in Philadelphia on Wednesday as well.
Trump has been on both sides of the sequester – just a few years ago, Trump said on Fox News that he believed the Pentagon could easily weather budget cuts under sequestration.
“I think you’re going to have to do a lot more cutting,” Trump said back then.
One interesting note – if you listen to the end of that interview from February of 2013 – Trump is asked on Fox News if he is thinking about a run for President in 2016.
Trump doesn’t really answer the question, but he expresses the hope that President Obama will make things better – and in Trump’s words – “take back our country and make it great again.”
Back then, his campaign refrain wasn’t far away.