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ICYMI: Republican Vets Chairman Calls Anti-Begich Ads “Political Football”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5/29/2014 CONTACT: Max Croes — 907-570-2065

ANCHORAGE — Republican Jeff Miller (R-FL), Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, labeled Karl Rove’s latest ad attacking Mark Begich a “political football.” Karl Rove’s group, Crossroads GPS, is politicizing the death of multiple veterans in Arizona with a political attack ad in Alaska. Crossroads groups have pledged to spend $7 million dollars on television ads in Alaska. Outside groups have collectively pledged nearly $10 million in television spending from now through Election Day in addition to the millions they’ve already spent. Live on CNN Chairman Miller was shown Karl Rove’s attack ad and responded: Anchor Jake Tapper: “Is that appropriate, that kind of using this scandal, these deaths, in politics?” Chairman Jeff Miller: “No, I wouldn’t use anything like that politically…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.” The Hill reported on Miller’s comments. Watch Miller’s comments here:

Miller: VA scandal ad not ‘appropriate’


By Peter Sullivan Read more: Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) said Wednesday it was not appropriate for conservative group Crossroads GPS to use the Veterans Affairs controversy in ads. In an interview on CNN, host Jake Tapper played a new ad from the group attacking Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), whom it accuses of not doing enough to fix mounting 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?” says the ad’s narrator. Asked if the ad was “appropriate,” Miller said, “No, I wouldn’t use anything like that politically.” “This is a bipartisan issue,” he added. “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.” Crossroads GPS is not alone in using the ongoing scandal at the Veterans Affairs Department to criticize Democrats. The National Republican Congressional Committee hit the White House for saying President 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,” said NRCC spokesman Matt Gorman. “While it’s nice to know that President Obama is such a news junkie, Americans expect leadership and accountability from their president.” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) also called out Senate Democrats for not taking up the House-passed VA Accountability Act, which would make it easier to fire senior executives for poor performance. “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 in a statement last week. The Senate side has also been critical of Democrats on 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.