Since the scandal involving the systematic mistreatment of veterans and the subsequent cover-up of wrongdoing on the part of Veterans Affairs administrators broke in the spring of 2014, President Barack Obama has stayed far away from the city where the scandal first broke. On Thursday, Obama traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, for the first time since that scandal engulfed his administration. But even while visiting the city where the controversy that robbed him of his longtime veterans affairs secretary began, Obama managed to maintain a healthy remove from both local veterans and their scandalous medical facility.
The president appeared in Phoenix alongside former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her husband astronaut Mark Kelly, and HUD Sec. Julian Castro on Thursday where he talked up the steady progress of the economic recovery.
“I know there’s some folks in Washington that wish I’d be in space for a year,” Obama said while standing beside Kelly’s astronaut brother, Scott Kelly. “But I’m still around.”
But for the Phoenix’s vets, Obama might as well have been in low Earth orbit.
“The high school where Obama held the event was just a short distance down the road from the Carl Hayden VA medical center,” Politico reported.
“He won’t be far from the Phoenix VA facility, the epicenter of the VA scandal, where dozens of veterans died while waiting for basic care,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in Washington shortly before the event. “We call on the president to offer a long-term vision for reforming the systemic problems at the VA. We’ve yet to see it.”
Thursday, Obama’s motorcade passed sped down 7th Street, right by the medical center.
.@RepJeffMiller on POTUS’ PHX VA Drive-By: "I hope he at least slowed down." Photo via @william_pitts pic.twitter.com/nTeecRFxik
— House Committee on Veterans' Affairs (@HouseVetAffairs) January 8, 2015
The president's limo drives past the Phoenix VA as veterans watch. He did not stop or mention the VA today. @12News pic.twitter.com/A1WNVOiPs9
— William Pitts (@william_pitts) January 8, 2015
Obama’s snubbing is not an oversight on his or his staff’s part. The president was asked by both Republican lawmakers and the Concerned Veterans of America to display some interest in the maltreatment of America’s vets – an issue which Obama adopted as a cause while serving as senator and during his 2008 campaign for the presidency.
“If President Obama wanted to get the ground truth—and send a signal of strong leadership—he would take the time to visit the Phoenix VA hospital during his forthcoming trip to that neighborhood,” said CVA Chief Executive Officer Pete Hegseth.
Well, he’s not campaigning for office any more and doesn’t need to use the plight of veterans as a campaign prop. He is trying to assemble support for opposing anything the Republicans offer in the way of economically stimulating legislation. He sticks to his MO of never helping anyone but himself.
Further proof Obama has no regard for our Brave Service men and women. Disturbing.
We wouldn’t expect Bush to visit a muslim brotherhood hospital, since they are our enemy. Since obama sees the military as his enemy, why would he visit enemy wounded?