by John Adams
The rest of the country is finally learning what Arizonans have known for 26 years: John McCain can’t be trusted.
At the September 26 Presidential Debate, McCain claimed, “The veterans know I’ll take care of them.” Americans stand together in honoring John McCain as a veteran himself, but his negligent record in the US Senate reveals that McCain doesn’t stand with veterans. In fact, McCain’s legislative record of taking care of veterans is abysmal. The non-partisan Disabled American Veterans (DAV) gives McCain a 20% rating of his performance on veterans’ issues in the Senate (Barack Obama earns a DAV score of 80%...here's the DAV website to check the details for yourself: http://capwiz.com/dav/keyvotes.xc/?lvl=C).
What can veterans expect from would-be President McCain? His Senate record displays his lack of trustworthiness.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, has consistently and powerfully represented veterans – both as an Illinois legislator as well as United States Senator. As evidenced by his legislative record, Obama keeps faith with our veterans.
Here are just a few of the candidates’ votes on key veterans’ issues, contrasting the two candidates’ trustworthiness on veterans’ issues:
- Obama was one of 57 co-sponsors (along with Joe Biden) of the Webb GI Bill, signed into law this past June 30. In contrast, McCain not only failed to support the bill, claiming that it was too generous; he didn’t even show up in the Senate to vote on it.
- Obama introduced a bill in April 2007 to provide housing for low-income veterans (Homes for Heroes Act). Again, McCain didn’t show up for the vote. This version of the Homes for Heroes Act died, though a similar follow-up bill fortunately awaits a new vote in the Senate.
- In 2006, Obama voted for two amendments to increase funds for veterans’ medical care by $1.5 billion and expand funding for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) outpatient treatment by $450 million. McCain voted no on both; the veterans’ medical care amendment died; the outpatient treatment amendment passed.
- In 2005, Obama voted for an amendment to increase funding for veterans medical care by $2.8 billion in 2006, and setting aside $10 million for veterans counseling services. Again, McCain voted no; this amendment died.
McCain’s claims that he’ll take care of veterans are contradicted by his record as a Senator. We need a President who will honor our veterans, not someone who glibly double-talks on the campaign trail.
Those who risk their lives to defend our country deserve Americans’ support when they come home. Barack Obama’s record shows that he is someone who consistently supports veterans’ issues, but most important, Obama has kept a bond of trust with veterans to honor their service.
And after all, isn’t trust that the most important criterion for us to consider as we select our next President?