During the first presidential debate, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) repeatedly emphasized his love of veterans — and their fondness for him in return. “I’ll take care of them. And they know I’ll take care of them,” he said. McCain frequently exaggerates his level of support for and from veterans groups, claiming to have “received the highest award from literally every veteran’s organization in America” and to have “a perfect voting record” on veterans’ issues. Watch a compilation:
Today, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America released its congressional scorecard for the 110th Congress, and awarded McCain a grade of “D” for his votes against veterans’ priorities. The grade makes McCain one of only four Senators to fall on IAVA’s “D List” — and marks a repeat performance for him, after receiving a “D” for his 109th congressional voting record as well.
IAVA hammered McCain for refusing to co-sponsor Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) 21st Century G.I. Bill. In fact, the IAVA highlighted the weaker alternative proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — and endorsed by McCain — as “an effort to derail the popular and bipartisan” GI Bill proposed by Webb. “Thankfully,” the IAVA writes, “the Senate voted forcefully, 55-42, to kill” the Graham-McCain proposal.
IAVA’s score adds to other groups who have criticized McCain’s abysmal record on veterans’ issues. McCain has received a 20 percent vote rating from the Disabled Veterans of America, while the Vietnam Veterans of America noted McCain had “voted against us” in 15 “key votes.”