John McCain ended the first presidential debate Friday night speaking rather fatherly: "I know the veterans, I know them well, and I know that they know that I'll take care of them, and I have been proud of their support and their recognition of my service to the veterans, and I love them, and I'll take care of them, and they know that I'll take care of them."
On the straight talk express, Daddy Mac must mean tough love.
For someone who touts his military service record as the foundation of his qualifications for President he has a lousy record (see here, here, and here) of supporting benefits for our troops and his fellow veterans.
Let's start with the new GI Bill. Obama was a co-sponsor of the new GI Bill and actively campaigned for its passage. Daddy Mac took the tough love approach by saying that the troops have to work harder and serve longer before they can earn their GI Bill benefits. He was against it, until he realized what a deal breaker it was for his campaign.
But the tough love doesn't end there.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has given McCain a "D" rating for his voting record on 155 votes since 9/11. In stark contrast, Obama got a "B." Disabled American Veterans have given McCain a paltry 20 percent. Obama received 80 percent. Tough love ratings must be like golf scores...keep them low!
Remember the awful conditions our Iraq and Afghanistan returning troops were receiving at Walter Reed? Daddy Mac voted against spending $20 million for increased VA health care funding.
In his 26 years in the Senate, Daddy Mac hasn't once served on the Veterans Affairs Committee. When Obama was elected to the Senate, he signed up for the Veterans Affairs Committee.
Those of us hosting a debate party for Blue Star Families for Obama and live-blogging the event were on the edge of our seats waiting for Obama to call him out on the record. Sadly, Obama missed an opportunity to call out McCain on his lousy record of voting against veterans and our troops at this first debate.