John McCain’s campaign for president recently took him to the annual Sturgis biker rally where he spoke with veterans at the Buffalo Chip Campground. He could not have picked a more appropriate setting to offer up his wife, Cindy McCain, for a topless beauty contest and brag about his record of supporting veterans. He failed on both counts, however, to give these veterans the full McCain:
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has given John McCain a grade of D for his support of veterans: www.iava.org/full-ratings-list
Disabled Veterans of America gave him a 20% rating on support for veterans while giving Obama an 80% rating: www.capwiz.com/dav/scorecard.xc
Per Vietnam Veterans of America John McCain has “voted against us” in 15 key votes: www.vva.capwiz.com/election/home/
John McCain is one of the few veterans running for office that VoteVets has refused to endorse: www.votevets.org
Another veteran group keeps track and offers links to McCain’s history of votes against veteran care: www.veteransforcommonsense.org
To name just a few votes by John McCain against veterans:
McCain voted against an amendment providing $20 billion for VA medical facilities [5/4/06]
McCain voted against providing $430 million to the VA for outpatient care and treatment for veterans [4/26/06]
McCain voted against increasing VA funding by $1.5 billion by closing corporate loopholes [3/14/06]
McCain voted against increasing VA funding by $1.8 billion by ending abusive tax loopholes [3/10/04]
The man even voted against giving combat duty troops more time at home between extended tours.
John McCain had the gall to not only be rude, but to lie to a vet about his record of endorsements from veteran groups and then had the nerve to refuse further questioning on the issue:
“I’ve been endorsed in every election by every veterans organization that do that, I’ve been supported by them, and I’ve received their highest awards from all of those organizations. So I guess they don’t know something you know.”
Later, during his town hall meeting, McCain admitted he does “not have a perfect voting record,” and then announced questions about veterans issues were off limits: “I will be glad to debate a lot of things, but not that one,”
Not only was John McCain a no show when it came to voting on the GI Bill he opposed, a bill which the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars fully supported, he now wants to limit veteran health care to only combat related injury in order to save money. Per retired Army General Robert Gard, McCain’s proposal to limit health care to only combat injuries would “shortchange those veterans who suffer from non-combat related conditions”. McCain is apparently unconcerned about the number of veterans this would affect, including the 15% of female combat veterans who suffer from military sexual trauma.
This comes as no surprise. When the VA was busted recently for circulating a memo suggesting doctors lower their diagnosis on veterans suffering from PTSD in order to save money, John McCain replied: “it’s not important”.
Older veterans remember well how John McCain and John Kerry shut down all further investigation into remaining MIA/POW in order to open up trade with Vietnam over the protests of family members. They remember full well how these families were treated and talked to by McCain. They also remember how John McCain’s father-in-law immediately opened up a beer industry in Vietnam as soon as trade resumed. www.aiipowmia.com/testimony/
One of the newest veteran groups on the block, Union Veterans, has this to say about John McCain:
“Not only has McCain voted the wrong way on veterans’ issues – such as opposing increased funding for veterans’ health care the last four years in a row – but he also doesn’t support middle class people’s issues,” Mr. Ayers said. “He wants to tax people’s health care benefits, and supports unfair trade deals, including NAFTA.” www.unionveterans.org.
John McCain runs on a platform of being a vet yet he obviously does not support the needs of veterans. Why support a politician who does not support our troops? Surely, our veterans deserve more than just buffalo chips.