Colmes on VA Scandal: 'It's Difficult for Obama to Admit to Mistakes'
The Veterans Affairs scandal is taking a big toll on President Obama, but the left seems to be rallying to save him. Tonight in his Talking Points Memo, Bill O’Reilly said it’s hard for Obama supporters to defend the VA debacle, but not impossible.
Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) went on MSNBC and said that the VA is doing a “pretty darn good job,” despite consensus among the public that it's not.
While The New York Times downplayed the story, a Washington Post editorial piece stepped up to help the president.
The editorial board wrote:
That the extent of wrongdoing is unclear doesn’t seem to matter much to those more interested in scoring political points. How else to explain the knee-jerk calls, mainly by Republicans in the House and Senate, for the ouster of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki or the ill-advised and punitive legislation aimed at VA workers?
It’s important that the current problems be addressed. But they also ought to be kept in context and veterans not made, as the president put it, into “another political football.”
O’Reilly reacted, “There are allegations that veterans died in Phoenix because of bad VA policy, and that was covered up. Those allegations from doctors, from whistleblowers inside. (sic) That’s not a political football. That’s a disgrace.”
The Factor host maintained that this issue isn’t about ideology, but running the government efficiently.
O’Reilly also called out guest and Fox News contributor Alan Colmes as one of President Obama’s “biggest apologists.”
Colmes objected to being called an apologist before adding that the president does have a real problem concerning this scandal.
“[Obama’s team] knew from 2008. He talked about it back then when he was running for president there was a problem with the VA. Why has it not been focused upon? Also, I don’t want to find out from the presidential press secretary that he found out about it when I did watching television. That’s a little disturbing,” Colmes said.
The president said this week that VA Secretary Eric Shinseki will keep his job, despite growing calls for him to resign. Colmes said it seems that President Obama doesn’t like to fire people or confront them.
O’Reilly asked why he doesn’t want to replace those who fail. Colmes responded, “I think it’s part of his make-up. I think there are people with whom he has a comfort level and he likes to maintain that as long as possible […] even if they’re screwing up.”
He added that it's "very difficult" for President Obama to admit he made a mistake.
Watch Talking Points in the video above and Colmes' reaction below: