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Obama: Recapping the VFW speech

The New York Times on Obama’s VFW speech yesterday: “President Obama directed a sharp assault on Mitt Romney’s foreign policy credentials on Monday, as the weekend political truce that followed the shooting rampage in Colorado dissolved into the more familiar political punch and counterpunch. In a speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention here, during which he never once mentioned Mr. Romney by name, Mr. Obama nonetheless directly took on the latest salvo from the Romney camp — Mr. Romney’s recent assertion that America under Mr. Obama is in decline.

“‘If anyone tries to tell you our greatness is past, that America is in decline, you tell them this,’ Mr. Obama said. ‘Like the 20th century, the 21st century will be another great American century. We are Americans, blessed with the greatest form of government ever devised by man.’”

The AP fact-checks Obama on veterans: “President Barack Obama paints an encouraging picture of the additional resources his administration has poured into helping veterans get disability benefits and mental health treatment. But he glosses over just how much those problems have grown during his time in office.”

More: “In May 2009, about 135,000 claims for disability benefits had been pending for more than 125 days, representing about one-third of all pending claims. Today, that number has more than quadrupled, to 558,000 claims -- about two-thirds of all those pending. As Obama emphasized, the Veterans Affairs Department has processed more claims than ever in the past two years. In 2010, the VA completed a million claims but received about 1.2 million new ones. In 2011, the department again processed more than 1 million claims, but about 1.3 million new claims came in. The department's independent inspector general has said the VA made the problem worse by not assigning enough staff to process appeals and not following its own guidelines in processing older claims.”

“President Obama's campaign team argued Monday that Mitt Romney will need to prove that his overseas trip isn't ‘one long photo op and fundraising tour’ by offering a substantive foreign policy platform during his travels to the United Kingdom, Israel, and Poland,” The Hill writes. Campaign spokesman Robert Gibbs said: "He'll need to prove to the American people that he sees foreign policy issues as worthy of substantive discussion rather than just generality and soundbites in this campaign. It's widely accepted that President Obama has an exceptionally strong record on national security issues, and I think quite frankly Mitt Romney is having a tough time making an argument against the president of the United States on these issues."

Obama will raise money in Oregon and Washington State today.

AP: “Officials say the death toll from Iraq's deadliest day in more than two years has risen to 115.”

USA Today: “A poll of Israelis in June found that most trust the United States to come to Israel's help in an existential threat, but they don't think the current U.S. administration is handling the threats well.”