Sen. Roy Blunt says Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald should quit after comparing wait-times at VA medical centers to lines at Disneyland.
“When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line?” McDonald said. “What’s important? What’s important is: What’s your satisfaction with the experience?”
McDonald did not back away from the comment Tuesday, amid signs it will be a big political issue. Several Republicans blasted the comments, and Blunt called on McDonald to quit.
“Secretary McDonald’s preposterous statement is right out of Never Never Land,” Blunt said in a statement. “I call on him to resign because it’s clear he cannot prioritize getting our veterans the health care they deserve and have earned in a timely manner.”
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Democratic opponent Jason Kander called McDonald’s statement “dumb,” but accused Blunt of voting to cut veterans’ benefits.
“The St. Louis VA has been without a director for nearly three years and has been set back because of it,” Kander’s campaign statement said. “So Senator Blunt of all people should know another resignation at the VA will likely only make things worse.”
Democrats also pointed to a video from the Star, taken in 2014, where Blunt declines to call for the resignation of then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.
But Blunt supporters fired back.
“For Jason Kander to launch a partisan political attack instead of condemning Secretary McDonald’s outrageous comments shows that his number-one priority will always be his own political campaign,” said Jeremy Adler of Missouri Rising, a political committee.