Sunday, September 07, 2008

Faux Walter Reed Background ‘Was As Close As McCain Got To Veterans Issues’ At RNC On Thursday night, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) formally accepted his party’s nomination for president at the Republican National Convention. During his speech, a mysterious image of a building appeared on the screen behind him, which TalkingPointsMemo identified as Walter Reed Middle School, in North Hollywood, CA. (The school did not grant permission to use its image.) Some suspect McCain had intended to show a photo of Walter Reed Medical Center; the McCain campaign has offered conflicting explanations for the bizarre use of the photo.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Countdown last night, Paul Riekhoff, director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, slammed McCain for completely ignoring Iraq and Afghanistan veterans during his speech, saying the mistaken background was “about as close as Sen. McCain got to veterans issues”:
RIECKHOFF: I think honestly that backdrop, whether it was Walter Reed medical center or Walter Reed middle school — that’s about as close as Sen. McCain got to veterans issues last night. He didn’t mention the word veteran once during his entire speech, didn’t talk about post-traumatic stress disorder, didn’t talk about veterans funding. I think he really forgot where he came from last night.
Watch the entire interview:
Rieckhoff also mentioned McCain’s opposition to the 21st Century GI Bill. “We told America that if Sen. McCain was on the wrong side of the G.I. Bill, it would hang around his neck for the election. That’s exactly what’s happening now,” Rieckhoff said.
McCain’s opposition to the GI Bill is just one aspect of his abysmal record on veterans issues. It’s no wonder, as Rieckhoff said, that we saw “a deliberate attempt by the RNC not to put Iraq and Afghanistan vets out in front.”

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