DES MOINES, Iowa – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday repeated his call to add more troops, saying the Iraq war had left the nation's military seriously stressed.
The former governor of Massachusetts said he supported President Bush's decision to intervene in Iraq, but conceded that the effort has had plenty of missteps.
"I think we've made a number of mistakes," said Romney, opening a two-day campaign trip to Iowa by speaking to a business group. "We were underprepared for what developed. I don't think we had anywhere near enough troops."
Romney said he supports adding at least 100,000 troops to the military.
The idea of pulling American troops out of Iraq is "very tempting," Romney said, but doing so would lead to a larger conflict in the region.
Romney said he was willing to give the president's plan of increasing troops in Iraq time to work, potentially as long as the end of the year.
"If it's working we'll all celebrate that," said Romney.
Romney was also asked about his effort as governor to broaden health coverage. He said the Massachusetts plan could serve as a model for the nation, but as president he would be reluctant to impose solutions on the states.
"My inclination would be to let the states try their own plans," said Romney. "We're going to give them flexibility."