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Carl Levin calls Romney's defense budget criticism "just a political statement"

The chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee and senior Senator from Michigan said even with reduced funding, US military has "shown our capabilities, shown our adeptness."

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Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin speaks at the Monitor Breakfast, Thursday, January 26, 2012 at the St. Regis Hotel.

Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor

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Michigan Senator Carl Levin, a Democrat, is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He was the guest speaker at the Jan. 26 Monitor breakfast in Washington.

Mitt Romney's charge that President Obama plans to cut Pentagon spending beyond what would allow the US "to remain the hope of the Earth."

"It is just a political statement ... not borne out by the facts. Our military is incredibly strong ... no other military ... comes close. We have shown our capabilities, our adeptness, our ability to move quickly [recently] in Somalia, [and] before that with [Osama] bin Laden."

Possibility of base closings as the Pentagon plans to cut $487 billion in spending over a decade:

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