SASC Ranking Member John McCain (R-Ariz.) comes to the Navy’s defense after President Barack Obama chides GOP challenger Mitt Romney, who wants to increase Navy shipbuilding, for emphasizing the naval fleet is smaller now than in 1917. Obama, during the Oct. 22 presidential debate, maintains today’s ships are much more advanced vessels. McCain tells reporters U.S. shipyards are experiencing a reduction in shipbuilding, just at a time when more Navy vessels are needed because of the Obama administration’s new defense strategy that calls for an increased military presence in the Asia-Pacific. McCain argues Obama does not understand the challenge facing the military in that region. "We do need more ships in the Asia-Pacific region, and any military leader will tell you that, if you’re going to carry out the strategy which he has advanced," McCain says Oct. 23.