April 7th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain: not taking proper care of veterans a national 'disgrace'

CNN

Watch a clip of Sen. McCain's speech Monday.

(CNN) – Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, said that as president he would ensure veterans receive proper care upon returning to civilian life.

McCain’s speech Monday at the headquarters at the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City, Missouri comes in the wake of attacks by prominent supporters of Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama over the Arizona senator’s record on veterans’ benefits legislation.

“When our government forgets to honor our debts to you, it is a stain upon America’s honor,” McCain told the audience.

“The disgrace of Walter Reed must not be forgotten,” said McCain as he promised that he would do everything within his power if elected to ensure that veterans receive “the highest quality health, mental health and rehabilitative care in the world.”

Wesley Clark and Ed Schultz, backers of Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, have recently attacked McCain over his support for bills regarding veterans’ benefits – especially given McCain’s staunch support for the Iraq war and recent efforts to tout his own military service as part of his presidential campaign.

Schultz,an Obama supporter and liberal radio talk show host, also took issue with McCain’s voting record on veterans’ benefits since 2001. “He has kicked the veteran to the side of the road like road kill with his votes,” Schultz told CNN's John Roberts.

Late last week, former U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark, who supports Clinton, also targeted McCain for his failure to support a bill regarding veterans’ benefits that is currently pending in the Senate.

McCain was a naval fighter pilot during the Vietnam War and spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war.


Filed under: John McCcain
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. dEMABRAT

    Starting a preemptive war is also a disgrace and misuse of our own blood.

    April 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. No More GOP corruption/incompetence

    Hollow words not backed by any real action.

    April 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Sue from Ga.

    I agree. The veterans of our country are TOP PRIORITY, and must be taken care of by a greatful nation.

    April 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Blake

    Why would a President McCain vote to help Veterns when a Senator McCain would not?

    August 2001
    McCain votes against increasing the amount of cash available for veterans' medical care

    March 2004
    McCain votes against creating a reserve fund for veterans' medical care

    March 2006
    McCain votes against increasing veterans' medical services funding

    May 2006
    McCain votes against additional funding to the VA for health care facilities

    September 2007
    McCain votes against the Webb Amendment, which would have provided for adequate periods of rest between deployments to Iraq

    April 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Mandy, California

    Hasn't Obama been pushing this issue from the get go?

    April 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Then he agrees that the Bush Misadministration has been a national disgrace. And since he wants to continue so many Bush Misadministration policies, the McCain Misadministration would be equally disgraceful... :-(

    April 7, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. kathleen

    Why? In the world, now? Why Now, McCain is dispicable.
    He really cares about our Soldiers when he takes a trip on
    taxpayer money around the world with Lieberman, and Graham
    Why did not MCain use that precious time and money to contribute
    "time' with the Soldiers that have lost their limbs for our Country. It
    has not been a secret that they were not getting proper care. Long
    time ago. As, President, McCain will insure that these soldiers will
    be taken care of. It should have never been a question in the first
    place and should have been uttered from all their mouths long ago.

    It is too late for the theives of our land. They have robbed us.

    Obama 2008
    Ring in the New.

    April 7, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. Tex

    McCain's record on helping veterans is a disgrace and failure.

    April 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain also did vote for veterans to receive funding from the stimulous package so add that to his list of not caring about veterans. Veterans were outraged across America over this. Additionally, that last poll of those serving in Iraq, McCain was not their choice for president, shouldn't that cross some eyes.

    April 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. Sebastian

    This from a man who has consistently voted AGAINST veteran benefits. Doublespeak from the "Straight talk express" that would make Hillary pale in comparison:

    – Voted AGAINST an amendment providing $20 billion to the VA’s medical facilities.

    – Voted AGAINST providing $430 million to the VA for outpatient care “and treatment for veterans,” one of only 13 senators to do so.

    – Voted AGAINST increasing VA funding by $1.5 billion by closing corporate loopholes.

    – Voted AGAINST increasing VA funding by $1.8 billion by ending “abusive tax loopholes.” [

    – Voted AGAINST a $650 million increase in veterans’ medical care funding. [8/1/01]

    Not ot mention his resistence against the recent "GI" bill.

    April 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  11. L B

    McCain is a good one to talk. What about the John McCain that the POW/MIA families witnessed during the 1991-93 US Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs? He has Vietnam Vets lined up to dispel his "war hero" persona.

    April 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. Blake

    We have one day where it is all McCain and no Obama/Clinton and he seems to self destruct.

    What is the deal with this guy?

    April 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. anne in wisconsin

    Yep, McCain is a Republican! That means he believes the role of government should be to support an open market and a strong defense–period, that's its. Any thing else he says is pandering. He believes government should play little or no role in the economic lives of individuals-may the best, or luckiest, business-man win. So if you're a soldier who wasn't as lucky as he was (to marry into wealth) it's pretty much too bad for you. Look, the only people who vote Republican are either rich or stupid (and that's a quote I stole from a famous Republican). Start voting for your own best interests, workers and soldiers! Vote in the Democratic Party!

    April 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. Wilfred

    Just reverse all the democratic comments about John McCain and you will have the truth. Democrat is synonomus for liar.

    April 7, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. NickNas

    Is this guy Hillarys long lost Uncle or something??

    "Just believe what I say and ignore the Facts and written ( and sometimes Videotaped) Records!!!"

    Can you blame him though? People no longer want the truth. It has becone VERY evident.

    April 7, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. Donald, SC

    This guy is lost, really lost. Voting him in office is not only a continuation of the Bush Presidency, but also a return to the pre-civil rights days. Just look around him. And no, one or two token others just will not do it. God help America if this man is ever elected President of the USA. God help us all!

    April 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  17. Veterans for Obama

    Thats why we support Obama....you have not taken the lead in this issue like you should have!

    April 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. tampa florida

    Hmm...
    McCain:

    Voted AGAINST an amendment providing $20 billion to the VA’s medical facilities. [5/4/06]

    Voted AGAINST providing $430 million to the VA for outpatient care “and treatment for veterans,” one of only 13 senators to do so. [4/26/06]

    Voted AGAINST increasing VA funding by $1.5 billion by closing corporate loopholes. [3/14/06]

    Voted AGAINST increasing VA funding by $1.8 billion by ending “abusive tax loopholes.” [3/10/04]

    Voted AGAINST a $650 million increase in veterans’ medical care funding. [8/1/01]

    April 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    We wouldn't have so many veterans to take care of, or so many people who are going to live their lives with crippling injuries, if it weren't for testosterone-driven war-mongers like McCain.

    War, as was the case in WW II, is sometimes unavoidable. Iraq was a long, long, way from being unavoidable and has done absolutely doing to further American security or interests. To the contrary, in fact.

    April 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. B4ABetterTomorrow

    I think Sen. McCain has started his own trend...making false promises in hopes to secure a vote for President. Last week he loved MLK after voting against his holiday. I hope Veterans across the country opt against believing him especially since he voted against Veterans Benefits.

    April 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    We wouldn't have so many veterans to take care of, or so many people who are going to live their lives with crippling injuries, if it weren't for testosterone-driven war-mongers like McCain.

    War, as was the case in WW II, is sometimes unavoidable. Iraq was a long, long, way from being unavoidable and has done absolutely nothing to further American security or interests. To the contrary, in fact.

    April 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. Yes it is

    And it's a shame it has just become a disgrace during this primary.

    April 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. Trollmaster CA

    It's a national disgrace that Republicans have ignored for 6 years now. Why take them seriously now?

    April 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. Give us a break

    Did clinton here about how McCain cares for the vets from the same people who told her about the lady in the hospital who died? As a 22 year vet of the military who served in many conflict under her husband, I trust a clinton as far as I can throw the White House. In case you don't know Gen Wesley Clark was removed from his command and forced to retire, partly becuase he didn't take care of the men and women in his command. That is what we can expect from her and her backers.

    GO McCain & Rice!!!!

    April 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. Chipster

    Voting Record:
    Health Care for Veterans Amendment McCain No
    Additional Funding For Veterans Amendment McCain No
    Reserve fund for veterans' medical care McCain no
    Tax Rate Extension Amendment, including
    Veterans Hospital Improvement Fund McCain No
    Webb Amendment (allow adequate periods of rest between deployments to Iraq) McCain No
    Well, I guess you can't accuse him of pandering to veterans.

    April 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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