- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2012

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Republicans looking to challenge President Barack Obama say the president is wrong to cut military spending and charge that he’s putting the United States at risk.

Front-runner Mitt Romney says the United States needs to maintain its military at any cost so that no one would ever think of testing its might.

GOP rival Rick Santorum says Obama is trying to balance the budget at the expense of those serving in uniform. And former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says military spending not only protects the country but educates its veterans.

Congressman Ron Paul of Texas alone says he would cut spending, an unpopular position in South Carolina, home to 413,000 veterans and eight military bases.

Santorum calls such cuts “disgusting” and Romney calls them “doomsday.”

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