Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is so far silent on allegations that hospital officials doctored paperwork to cover long wait times for veterans seeking care, but as a 2008 presidential candidate she harshly criticized the care of veterans under President Bush.
"As a President, President Bush has not done what we needed to do for our veterans," Clinton said at an El Paso, Texas campaign event in February of 2008. "We haven't funded the VA. We have so many coming home who are injured and not being taken care of. I think it is the highest obligation of the President, who is also our commander in chief, to take care of those who have served our nation."
Clinton pledged as president she would take care of U.S. veterans.
"I pledge to you: I will take care of our veterans. I will make sure our youngest veterans get what they need. We will honor our oldest veterans from World War II and I want to pay special attention to the veterans of my generation who served and fought in Vietnam, to give them what they deserve to have."
During his transition into the White House in 2008, President Obama likewise proposed in his "Obama-Biden" plan to "make the VA a leader of national health care reform so that veterans get the best care possible. Improve care for polytrauma vision impairment, prosthetics, spinal cord injury, aging, and women's health."
According to reports, at least 40 veterans have died waiting for their appointments with the Phoenix Veterans Affairs health care system and a growing bi-partisan group of lawmakers have called for Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign.
A Clinton spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the current VA scandal.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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