June 4, 2012 (Washington D.C.) – Presidential candidate Mitt Romney voted to slash veterans benefits while Governor of Massachusetts and has proposed changes at the federal level that could be harmful to veterans. That’s the message sent to media this week by the Truman Project, a national security leadership organization based in Washington D.C.
The release includes details provided by San Diego Iraq War veteran and national security advocate Yadira Carrasquillo , as well as by Congressman Bob Filner, former Chair and current ranking member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
On a Truman Project press conference call on June 1, Rep. Filner discussed Romney’s record on veterans’ issues. “As Governor, he proposed eliminating hiring preferences for veterans and tried to cut veterans’ programs by 11 percent in his first budget proposal. And, just last year, Gov. Romney proposed turning the VA healthcare system into a voucher program. The contrasts with President Obama’s leadership on veteran’s issues couldn’t be clearer. President Obama has shown time and again he will fight for those who have worn our nation’s uniform.”
Carrasquillo, an Iraq War veteran and national security advocate from the San Diego area, said Romney is disconnected with middle and lower class Americans. She said, “He does not share any leadership values with our military. His proposal to turn the VA health care system into a voucher program is ridiculous. The VA should not be touched unless it is to be improving the services we are giving to veterans. No veteran should have to come home and be directed to a doctor who may or may not have the medical expertise to treat our specific wounds.”
She added, “Most importantly, I don’t feel that as a female and as a minority, I am well represented by Gov. Romney. He hasn’t proved to me in any way that he is going to help women veterans and he hasn’t proved to me that he can lead on the issues that I care most about.”
A press release issued by the Truman Project concluded that throughout his career and in the Republican primary, Gov. Romney's values and positions on key issues have demonstrated that he doesn’t know what it means to serve, or care for our nation’s veterans. In contrast, President Obama’s record with veterans has shown he is committed to ensuring that all of our men and women who have served in uniform have access to the quality healthcare, educational opportunities and benefits they have earned.”
For more information, visit www.trumanproject.org.