Obama vows jus­tice in mur­der of Amer­i­can

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

CHAR­LOTTE, N.C. (AP) — His stand­ing with vet­er­ans dam­aged by scan­dal, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama on Tues­day de­fended his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­sponse to Vet­er­ans Af­fairs lapses that de­layed health care for thou­sands of for­mer ser­vice mem­bers, but con­ceded more needed to be done to re­gain their trust.

His ap­pear­ance also had deep po­lit­i­cal over­tones in a state where the Demo­cratic sen­a­tor, Kay Ha­gan, is fac­ing a dif­fi­cult re-elec­tion and has sought to dis­tance her­self from Obama’s poli­cies, declar­ing as re­cently as Fri­day that his ad­min­is­tra­tion had not “done enough to earn the last­ing trust of our vet­er­ans.”

But Ha­gan and the state’s Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor, Richard Burr, were at the North Carolina Air Na­tional Guard Base to greet Obama. She wel­comed him warmly and he gave her a peck on the cheek.

Obama and Ha­gen were both ad­dress­ing the Amer­i­can Le­gion’s Na­tional con­ven­tion, with the pres­i­dent’s ad­dress to the le­gion­naires the lat­est ad­min­is­tra­tion re­sponse to the health care uproar that led to the res­ig­na­tion of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Sec­re­tary Eric Shin­seki in May.

Obama de­clared that the na­tion owes vet­er­ans for their ser­vice and that the lengthy wait times and at­tempts to hide sched­ul­ing flaws were “out­ra­geous and in­ex­cus­able.”

“We are very clear-eyed about the prob­lems that are still there,” Obama said. “And those prob­lems re­quire us to re­gain the trust of our vet­er­ans and live up to our vi­sion of a VA that is more effective and more ef­fi­cient and that truly puts vet­er­ans first. And I will not be sat­is­fied un­til that hap­pens.”

Obama promised “a new cul­ture of ac­count­abil­ity” un­der new Sec­re­tary Bob McDon­ald. “Bob doesn’t play,” Obama said.

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