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

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


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. Gobama

    Sorry to say, McCain is POLITICS AS USUAL.
    He says one thing about supporting vets; and then turn around and voted against vets care.

    McCain has done the same about turn on the Bush voodoo economics tax cut for those who do not need them.
    Those national monies are gambled away in the financial and interest rate markets to kill off the US economy.

    Now that John McCain is running for the Presidency, he's gone back on his words.

    John McCain shows a flip flopping lack of integrity, an IMPORTANT quality NO GOOD leader can be without.

    April 7, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  2. Michael Ray Thompson

    I like John McCain. He's an American hero. I just hope he turns out to be more conservative than the press has portrayed him. He's definitly a strong American. It would be great if he turned out to be the second President Reagan.

    April 7, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. Andrew Kenneth

    I am concerned that he may have early onset Alzheimers, he didn't know the difference between a Shiite and a Sunni and doesn't seem to absorb economic policy even with the aide of a teleprompter
    I am not showing ageism but this is a legitimate concern.
    Our economy is in a recession and we need an agile mind in the white house.
    I hear people already calling him McAncient and McWar in the blog sphere.

    April 7, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. Brian

    Shouldn't this have been addressed in '94, oh yeah the republicans doing something for the common man...... yeah right

    April 7, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. Me

    As an American I greatly respect and admire McCain for his service to this country and as a vet myself I can understand where he comes from at times. However, I cannot agree with his policies nor his Patton style of fight till there is no one left to fight ideas. I think it takes greater courage to admit to failures and to change the course not "stay the course". Now I am not for up and running out of Iraq because I know for a fact that such a strategy is fool hardy. I, however, do agree with the overall goals of the democratic candidates and I am not naive enough to think that they will actually get us completely out of Iraq in only a year’s time. As for veteran’s rights and bringing up Walter Reed, I am a little baffled. I would have thought that someone who prides himself with "straight talk" and military service, oh and a guy who "hates war" and torture would have been aware of what was occurring and would have done something long before the public and our brave vets had to deal with it.

    April 7, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  6. sdl

    It IS the most important job of the Military and our Government.
    I completely agree.

    And, because of that, the person elected needs to have been VERY clear and consistent in their forceful support of the troops' needs no matter what the cost- both in the war zone and upon return.

    And you, sir, have NOT.

    It APPEARS you would be very happy to continue to destroy troops' lives- physically and mentally and emotionally- because it furthers your vision of what America represents and should do abroad.

    Thus, you will not have my vote.

    April 7, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. d

    Just look at McCain's voting records concerning the Vets.........that IS DISGRACEFUL. We are to believe his words now??? I was always taught that your actions speak volumes over your words. I would also like to add that our country should also look at how they have made all these trade agreements, and the manufacturing jobs, now aerospace jobs, and whatever else jobs have been shipped out of this country. We need to elect those Politicians that WILL STAND UP FOR OUR CITIZENS AND OUR COUNTRY PERIOD!!!! None of these candidates get it!!!!

    April 7, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Santiago

    yep this is why we all need to be voting for Barack Obama, he will make sure that we are all taken care off, im not saying that the government will solve all our problems im just saying, that we will all have universal healthcare and that the veterans will be taken care of

    Obama 08-16

    April 7, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  9. Ralph

    Wow, he really stuck his neck out by saying what everyone has already been saying for longer than this campaign. Very edgy stuff, don't you think?

    April 7, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  10. merle 7

    This should be a full fledged attack on McCain regarding veterans .There is voting record to prove it. McCain is a veteran himself which makes this an uttermost disgrace, and shows he can talk the tallk but can't walk the walk.

    April 7, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  11. GnosticMan

    Keeping our current troops in a nonsense war is an even bigger disgrace you blind fool! BRING THE BOYS BACK HOME!!

    April 7, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  12. John Kay

    Running for president can bring a change in ones life as evident in the life of McCain. At least, McCain has become a "born-again" republican. He is now sorry for voting against MLK holiday bill and has promised to take care of the vets as never before; though he has constantly voted against it. Running for election has made him repented; so, lets forgive and vote for him.

    April 7, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. NickNas

    I JUST saw one of McSames Ads and peoplelet me tell you it is DISTURBING on MULTIPLE LEVELS. Here are just 2

    1) He actually is using film form the 60s' when he got back after being a POW ( How Guilianni is THAT) If that is all he is after 40 years in Politics then HE IS NOT THE MAN!

    2) AGAIN the ad was 90% Based on his being a POW. If this guy is still obsessed with that image and with his famous temper to boot. DO YOU WANT SOME GUY BLINDED BY PAYBACK with the launch codes that could end the world?? At best he has only 10 years or so left so why would he care???

    April 7, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  14. Phoenix

    Everything about McCain that's objected to here reflects his background as a conservative Arizonan. We have the cheapest, and I mean stingiest, legislators in America, I think. Except of course when it comes to their agenda, no problem with things like giving away public school money in the form of school vouchers and things like that. You can be sure money will not be wasted on frivolities if an Arizona Republican is in charge.

    April 7, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. jl



    April 7, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  16. Conservative

    The disgrace is lying to send our troops into an illegal war. McCain won't sign the new G.I. Bill, why?

    April 7, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  17. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Wilfred April 7th, 2008 4:53 pm ET

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

    Open your eyes, Wilfred. You've been duped by the GOP – Since 1972, The Party Of Liars.

    Nixon Lied.
    Ford Lied.
    Reagan Lied.
    Poppy Bush Lied.
    Dubya Lied and 4,000 Died.

    Anc McCain is following the party line – so he must be a liar, too.

    April 7, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  18. micahel

    IF anybody believes that McCain supports Veterans then they must have a bolt loose.

    April 7, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  19. Ken

    Will somebody please show John McCain how to properly use both teleprompters so he can stop looking only to his left?

    April 7, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  20. frank Honolulu HI

    What have YOU been doing McCain? You've been in a position to take care of the Vets. What have you been doing???

    April 7, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  21. Pat Riot

    McCain talking about taking care of veterans? Pfft someone please read up on this opportunist's background. He is going to be swiftboated in the general election.

    April 7, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  22. Wilbur

    Wilfred April 7th, 2008 4:53 pm ET

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

    Perhaps you would care to explain McCain's voting record?
    Republican is synonomous for hypocrite

    April 7, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  23. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The troops serving in Iraq don't support McCain. Why would anyone want to have McCain as Commander in Chief when U.S. military don't want him.

    April 7, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  24. Public eye

    A justified war is one you would you would send your son to. Would you send your son to fight in Iraq, John? Thought not!

    April 7, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  25. Andrea

    America has been jacking around our honored veterans for decades. This is nothing new, and does not help Mr. McCain. He is too wealthy to care about anything but himself.

    April 7, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
1 2 3 4