Rep. Jeff Miller: Don't Use VA Scandal in Political Ads

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 10:33 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Rep. Jeff Miller on Wednesday scolded the conservative group Crossroads GPS for using the Veterans Affairs delayed-care controversy in a political ad.

In an interview with the chairman of the House Veterans Committee, CNN's Jake Tapper
played a new ad from the group, co-founded by GOP strategist Karl Rove, attacking Alaska Democratic Sen. Mark Begich for purportedly not doing enough to fix problems within the VA system.

"A national disgrace. Veterans died waiting for care that never came. Sen. Mark Begich sits on the Veterans' Affairs Committee. His response? If there's a problem, they need to fix it. IF there's a problem?" the narrator says.

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Miller, a Florida Republican, said the issue is not a matter of politics, firmly replying "no,' in answer to whether the ad was appropriate.

"I wouldn't use anything like that politically," he said. "This is a bipartisan issue. We're talking about Americans, people that have worn the uniform. It should not be a political football, and we on the House side have not done that."

Story continues below video.

The Hill notes that the Crossroads GPS ad isn't the only political swipe at Democrats pegged to the VA scandal.

The National Republican Congressional Committee slammed the White House for saying President Barack Obama learned of alleged treatment delays and secret waiting lists covering up patient deaths from news reports.

"The White House keeps using the same tired excuse and expects Americans to keep believing it," NRCC spokesman Matt Gorman said.

"While it's nice to know that President Obama is such a news junkie, Americans expect leadership and accountability from their president," he said.

House Speaker John Boehner attacked Senate Democrats for not taking up the House-passed VA Accountability Act, which would make it easier to fire senior executives, The Hill notes.

"As we head home to honor the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom, it's fair to ask why Senate Democrats won't stand up for more accountability," Boehner said last week.

Senate Republicans also have blamed Democrats over the issue.

"This horrible scandal is another egregious sign of an inept and incompetent government run by Democrats over the last five years," the National Republican Senatorial Committee said in a blog post.

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