When you’ve been ripped by Joe Biden, there’s no mistaking the experience. This tale starts with a few paragraphs from the Washington Post:
Donald Trump told a group of military veterans on Monday that some members of the military develop mental health issues because they are not “strong” and “can’t handle it.”
“When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat, they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over. And you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it,” the Republican presidential nominee told an audience of military veterans at an event in Northern Virginia on Monday morning. “And they see horror stories, they see events that you couldn’t see in a movie — nobody would believe it.”
Trump’s campaign later said the candidate was underlining the lack of treatment for mental health issues at V.A. hospitals, but critics said he was further stigmatizing those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Campaigning for Democratic Hillary Clinton in Orlando, Fla., the vice president took up the cudgel. The video is essential:
But here’s a rough transcript:
Biden: “Where in the hell is he from? [Crowd begins to chuckle]
“No, no, no, no. This is deadly earnest. My son spent a year in Iraq, came back a highly decorated veteran. Bronze star and a lot else. I’ve been in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan 29 times.
“I found myself in Iraq being asked by [a four-star general] to pin a silver medal on a young captain who had pulled someone out of a burning Humvee, risking his life.
“And when I went to pin it on him in front of the entire brigade, he stood and looked at me and said, ‘Sir, I don’t want the medal. I don’t want the medal.’
“You know why? He said, ‘He died. He died, Mr. Vice President. I don’t want the medal.’ How many nights does that kid go to sleep seeing that image in his head, dealing with it?”
Biden’s conclusion of Trump:
“I don’t think he was trying to be mean. He is just so thoroughly, completely uninformed.”
Another riposte to Trump’s remarks came from Hillary Clinton’s Twitter account – a longer version of a video that aired last month. You can catch former U.S. senator Max Cleland at the 2:13 mark, but this time in a speaking role:
H/t WALB’s Melissa Hodges.
And this from Democratic state Rep. Scott Holcomb, a U.S. Army veteran who represents a DeKalb district.
Democrat Jim Barksdale is stepping up his efforts to tie U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson to Donald Trump. WABE’s Johnny Kauffman was at a Barksdale fundraiser last week, shortly after he hired a new campaign manager, where he attacked Isakson’s endorsement of Trump with newfound vigor. From Kauffman’s report:
“We’ve got to decide whether we’re going to be a country that focuses on inclusion or exclusion, love or hate. And I’ve seen from Johnny Isakson an unacceptable willingness to ride on Donald Trump’s bandwagon of exclusion, his bandwagon of hate, if it will get him reelected. No matter how much Donald Trump insults African Americans, no matter how much he insults Muslims, no matter how much he insults women, Johnny Isakson just goes right along and says if it’s going to get him reelected he’s okay with that. I think we need to call him on that.”
Isakson has said he intends to vote for Trump, but otherwise has tried to separate himself from the presidential race. Trey Kilpatrick, Isakson’s campaign manager, said the words “hate and exclusion” don’t belong in the same sentence as Isakson’s name.
On that same note, WABE’s Denis O’Hayer recently asked U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, one of several high-profile Democrats backing Isakson, about his support for the Republican. Denis’ interview is a reminder that political memories run deep here:
“Johnny Isakson’s been a friend of mine for a long time,” said Nunn, the father of Michelle Nunn, the Democrat who ran for Senate in 2014. Two years later, the former long-time senator has donated to Isakson’s campaign. Nunn said he hasn’t forgotten a time in the 1970s when Isakson showed up to one of his first campaign rallies.
“My campaign manager at that time rented a great big ball room that would have held about 600 people,” Nunn said. “There were about eight people there. Johnny was one of them. So that friendship goes back a long way.”
Speaking of Democrat Jim Barksdale, Charlie Harper over at GeorgiaPol is calling out the investment manager for benefitting from free trade in his business life while calling for its curtailment as a politician:
Thirteen of the companies in Barksdale’s Value Fund representing about 44% of total investments belong to the “Trade Benefits America Coalition”, an organization “dedicated to the pursuit of U.S. International Trade Agreements that benefit American businesses, farmers, workers, and consumers.” These include every day names like Target, Walmart, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, and Chevron.
Ten of his companies sit on the National Foreign Trade Council board. This is a group that supports the Trans Pacific Partnership because it “is in the United State’s interest.”
If Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle runs for governor – and all signs indicate he will – expect his “Education Unleashed” book to play a big role. The Gainesville Republican was back at his alma mater, Johnson High, on Monday to introduce the 160-page book. The Gainesville Times has this snippet:
“Education is the great equalizer,” Cagle said. “We are not bound by our circumstances.”
He said he has lived that life — going to eight elementary schools before the sixth grade, being raised by a single mother, being poor.
“You’re not defined by where you are,” Cagle said.