Presidential Candidate Visits VMI
Mitt Romney addresses members of the VMI Corps of Cadets -- VMI Photo by Kevin Remington.
LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 8, 2012 – Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney used VMI’s Marshall Hall as the venue to present his views on foreign policy Monday morning. Some cadets, along with a limited number of faculty and staff, were on hand to hear him speak.
Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III ’62, superintendent, met with Romney and other distinguished guests prior to the speech and introduced the morning’s speakers, who also included Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Congressman Bob Goodlatte.
“Since its founding in 1839, this institution has been incredibly dedicated to the causes of honor and service,” said McDonnell as he introduced Romney to the stage.
Romney spoke at length about America’s role in the Middle East, emphasizing the need to support allies in the region that “share our values.”
“It is a struggle between liberty and tyranny, justice and oppression, hope and despair. We’ve seen this struggle before,” said Romney.
While Romney’s speech was not open to the public, it was widely covered by local, national, and international media organizations, and select cadets had the opportunity to talk with members of the press about their impressions of the visit.
In addition to sharing foreign policy insight, Romney’s visit provided educational value, as cadets were given the chance to see the campaign process firsthand.
“The Corps has definitely been excited about Romney’s visit,” said Cadet Sarah Hoover ’13.
Regardless of the message, the cadets’ experience is being enriched by the leaders who visit VMI.
“Going to VMI, which is such a small school with only 1,600 cadets, it’s really cool that we’ve done such a great job of consistently bringing in important and influential people, from Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton to Romney,” said Thomas Irvine ’13. “That speaks to how prestigious VMI is, that these people want to come and speak to us.”