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Clinton Offensively Downplayed VA’s Problems, Refused To Apologize

- December 18, 2015

In October, Clinton Said The VA Scandal Has "Not Been As Widespread As It Has Been Made Out To Be ." CLINTON: "Yeah, and I don't understand that. You know, I don't understand why we have such a problem, because there have been a number of surveys of veterans, and overall, veterans who do get treated are satisfied with their treatment. Now…" MADDOW: "Much more so than people in the regular system." CLINTON: "That's exactly right." MADDOW: "Yeah. Right." CLINTON: "Now, nobody would believe that from the coverage that you see, and the constant berating of the VA that comes from the Republicans, in part in pursuit of this ideological agenda that they have." MADDOW: "But in part because there has been real scandal." CLINTON: "There has been. And - but it's not been as widespread as it has been made out to be." (MSNBC's " The Rachel Maddow Show," 10/23/15)

  • Clinton Accused Republicans Of "Constant Berating Of The V.A. That Comes From The Republicans, In Part In Pursuit Of This Ideological Agenda…" CLINTON: "Now, nobody would believe that from the coverage that you see, and the constant berating of the V.A. that comes from the Republicans, in part in pursuit of this ideological agenda that they have." (MSNBC's " The Rachel Maddow Show," 10/23/15)

Through A Spokesman, Clinton Refused To Apologize For Her Remarks. "'Republicans are trying to suggest the only solution to the VA's problems is to privatize it, but Hillary Clinton will not apologize for insisting on doing the hard work to reform the VA, rather than ending it altogether,' [Clinton campaign Press Secretary Brian] Fallon said." (Ben Kelsing, "Republicans Take Aim at Hillary Clinton For VA Remarks," The Wall Street Journal, 10/28/15)

Days Later, Clinton Dodged Questions On Whether She Stood By Her Comments In Which She Downplayed The Scandal Plaguing The VA. QUESTION: "So this week, taking a lot of criticism about some recent comments you made about the VA, saying the scandal was overblown and that the problems aren't as widespread as people would have you believe. Do you stand by these comments? CLINTON: "You know, I share the outrage that everybody felt when the scandal was finally discovered and people began to address it. There were clearly systemic problems and those problems must be dealt with, I've already been talking about what I would do. But I am worried about some people trying to use the fact that we need to make major reforms as a justification for dismantling the VA and I think my comments were really more directed at that. I want us to fix what's wrong, I want us to make sure that anyone who's ever served our country, no matter what age, no matter when they served, gets whatever medical support that they need and I support the program that was passed to provide the opportunity if you can't get the services that you need in your VA to be able to go out and get those services in the community. But from all of my work on behalf of veterans, there's a lot about the VA that's right, a lot that works. So let's focus on what's wrong and fix it and not let anybody use that as an excuse, because there are things that have to be fixed, to try to dismantle the VA." ( WMUR Interview With Hillary Clinton, 10/28/15)

  • Clinton: "There's A Lot About The VA That's Right, A Lot That Works." CLINTON: "But from all of my work on behalf of veterans, there's a lot about the VA that's right, a lot that works. So let's focus on what's wrong and fix it and not let anybody use that as an excuse, because there are things that have to be fixed, to try to dismantle the VA." (WMUR Interview With Hillary Clinton, 10/28/15)

 


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