CENTER CITY (WTXF/AP) - Donald Trump unveiled a plan to boost military spending by tens of billions of dollars, outlining a plan for major increases in the number of active troops, Navy ships and submarines, and fighter planes as he works to convince skeptics in both parties that he's ready to lead the world's most powerful military.
The Republican presidential nominee is in Philadelphia for the second time since Friday, planning for a major increase in defense spending as he works to convince skeptics in both parties he's ready to lead the world's most powerful military.
He started his speech at the Union League, at Broad and Samson streets, at about 11:30am. It was not open to the public, and protesters stood outside.
FOX 29's Steve Keeley reported S. Broad Street was already very busy, hours before Trump's speech. Traffic was down to one lane.
The media took up street-side parking. Cables went across the road, creating temporary speedbumps.
Pennsylvania is a very important state to win in November, and polls show the numbers between Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton are close. The last day for Pennsylvanians to register to vote is Oct. 11; Nov. 1 is the last day to apply for a civilian absentee ballot.
Trump said, if elected, he would rebuild the military and give leaders 30 days to formulate a plan to defeat ISIS. And he would ask the Joint Chiefs of Staff to conduct "a thorough review" of the nation's cyber defenses to determine all vulnerabilities.
The New York businessman, who has struggled at times to demonstrate a command of foreign policy, was expected to outline plans to "add substantially" to the nation's arsenal of submarines, ships and combat troops, according to a briefing provided by his campaign. Trump's address comes hours before his national security acumen is tested at a "commander in chief" forum on NBC.
He was expected to outline his plans to eliminate deep military cuts, known as the "sequester," enacted when Congress failed to reach a budget compromise in 2011.
A Trump adviser, speaking on the condition of anonymity to share details ahead of the speech, said Trump would ensure the additional spending is fully paid for. The adviser did not explain how, but suggested there would be no need for structural budget cuts to pay for the billions of additional military spending over 10 years.
Beyond new spending on troops and naval assets, Trump will also call for additions to sea-based missile defense.