VA Secretary Eric Shinseki was not fired over the news of deadly waiting times at VA hospitals around the country, and Obama, after insisting he was angry about the allegations and vowing to get to the bottom of things, then laid out supposed successes of the VA during his administration.
It received bipartisan condemnation, with Rep. David Scott (D., Ga.) calling himself “disappointed” and shouting that the president needed to show more urgency, and Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.) saying he was “horribly disappointed.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) said, “Ultimately, the president is responsible and needs to take stronger steps.”
CNN reporter Drew Griffin, who broke the story, said there was a clear disconnect between what was happening in the country and what Obama was talking about.
“I was a little confused by the President’s remarks today,” he said. “At the same time he was saying that he’s known about this problem for years and years and years and it goes back decades, far past into other people’s presidencies, and yet we’re five years into his presidency and the problem seems to be certainly not better and perhaps even worse.”
Other military and political commentators on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News also felt Obama’s response was inadequate, passive and disappointing.