GOP Senator Won’t Back Down from Criticism of Veterans Groups

Republican Senator Richard Burr came under heavy fire for his criticisms of veterans’ groups that haven’t called for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign yet, but in an e-mail to POLITICO, he makes it clear he won’t be apologizing to the veterans’ groups who lambasted him for unnecessarily politicizing a serious issue.

In the letter, sent out a few days ago, Burr said that groups like Veterans of Foreign Wars have shown they’re “more interested in their own livelihoods and Washington connections than they are to the needs of their own members” in their refusal to call for Shinseki’s ouster.

In response, groups like the VFW condemned Burr’s “monumental cheap shot” and scolded him for his “ugly and mean-spirited” remarks. But Burr now contends that all this criticism being leveled against him further shows how backwards these groups’ priorities are:

Their national leadership are far more outraged by my words than they have been about the VA scandal or Secretary [Eric] Shinseki’s mismanagement of the agency… How many Inspector General, Special Counsel, GAO, and Medical Inspector reports does it take to spur outrage and prompt action? Their position is even harder to understand in light of the statements made by the American Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Concerned Veterans for America, and others.

Burr’s remarks have been condemned by the VFW, Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, and Paralyzed Veterans of America.

[image via U.S. Senate]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac