JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--Mitt Romney on Thursday revised upward by two the number of Navy ships he would seek to build annually as president, although campaign aides said later that the former Massachusetts governor misspoke.
"America must have a military so strong no one would ever think of testing it," Romney said in a speech in Jacksonville. "So rather than cut back on the number of ships we buy per year, as the president would, or we build per year, I'd go from the nine we're planning on building to 17 a year."
As recently as two weeks ago, Romney had called for building 15 ships a year. Adding to the fleet would be welcomed in Florida and Virginia, both of which have a substantial Navy presence, but military analysts have warned that additions would be tough to pay for and require cuts elsewhere in the Pentagon budget.
Several hours later, however, campaign aides said Romney misspoke and that he intended to stick to the 15-ships number.
Romney also repeated his other campaign promises to bolster the military, including increasing the size of the Air Force's fleet and adding about 100,000 active-duty personnel.