- Two Alabama Senate Republican candidates argued Monday over whether Trump has been effective in improving care for veterans.
- Tommy Tuberville said “our vets can’t get health care” because of Trump.
- Arnold Mooney said Tuberville “owes the president and our vets an apology.”
2020 Alabama Republican Senate candidates Arnold Mooney and Tommy Tuberville went head-to-head Monday in a disagreement over President Donald Trump’s commitment to veterans.
Mooney told the Daily Caller News Foundation Monday that he was “shocked” when Tuberville said “our vets can’t get health care” because of Trump during an appearance Sunday before a meeting of the Shoals Republican Club, Yellowhammer News reported. (RELATED: Number Of Homeless Veterans Drops Under Trump, Continuing Trend From Obama Administration)
“I’m pissed off at Donald Trump that our vets can’t get health care. And if I ever get to see him, I’m going to tell him that,” Tuberville said. “You said you were going to fix it and it ain’t fixed. … [Twenty-two] vets every day – every day — are committing suicide. We can’t take care of them. We won’t take care of them.”
“We’re paying for illegals to come over here – everything they’re getting: cell phones, health care, everything they want. That’s Donald Trump’s fault. That’s his fault,” Tuberville concluded. (RELATED: Trump Signs Executive Order To Combat ‘One Of Our Nation’s Most Heartbreaking Tragedies’)
Mooney told the DCNF in response to his challenger’s comments, “I am shocked Tommy Tuberville would attack President Trump and say he is to blame for veterans dying each day.”
“Our president has fought for more than $73 billion in [U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs] funding, created the first 24/7 White House VA hotline to provide massive support for vets and their families, and removed, fired, suspended or demoted more than 4,000 VA employees for poor performance,” he continued.
“We’re not done working for our veterans, but the president is doing a great job working on this, and attacks like this only help Democrats,” Mooney concluded.
Mooney also called on Tuberville to apologize to the president in a Monday statement, saying, “Coach Tuberville is a good man, but he’s dead wrong about President Trump. Nobody loves our veterans more or has done more for them in a short time than President Trump. Blaming President Trump for veterans’ suicides is wrong. Coach Tuberville owes our president an apology.”
Tuberville doubled down Monday on Twitter when he wrote, “Career politicians and Never [Trumpers] like Arnie have nothing to run on so they attack others. My point is this: Donald Trump has done more for our veterans and our military than any President we’ve ever had and he was dealt a big mess by Congress and [former President Barack] Obama.”
“We’re never going to improve healthcare for our veterans if we recycle the same ole tired politicians. We can all do better. And we must!” he added.
— Tommy Tuberville (@TTuberville) August 5, 2019
The official blog for the VA says Trump and Congress have “made veterans a top priority and taken significant steps to strengthen VA’s ability to deliver the quality care and timely service veterans deserve. Our record $200 billion budget, along with major legislation such as the VA MISSION Act of 2018, make clear that it is not business as usual for VA.”
The MISSION Act aims to consolidate VA community care so it is more accessible, expand eligibility for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, help the VA recruit and retain quality medical professionals, and improve the VA’s infrastructure.
Female veteran Anuradha Bhagwati, who referred to herself as “anything but a supporter of Mr. Trump,” praised the president for his continuation of the Veterans Choice Program, in a February op-ed published in The New York Times. (RELATED: Bill Would Expand Health Care Access For Veterans)
“The fact is inescapable: Mr. Trump’s V.A. policies have already helped me and other veterans,” she wrote. “The Veterans Choice program, the V.A.’s most recent experiment with expanding private health care for veterans who face long wait lists or long travel times, was life-changing for me.”
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