Former presidential candidate Bob Dole said Saturday that he had "great respect" for Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, who came under heavy fire last week for comparing wait times at Veteran's Administration centers to those for rides at Disney theme parks.
"I think he is doing an outstanding job," Dole, 92, the former Kansas Republican senator who was injured by German gunfire during World War II, told Ana Cabrera on CNN
. "I sing his praises, because it is a tremendous job he has.
"I think McDonald is doing his very best. It takes a long time for some of these things to happen.
"We have two veteran's hospitals in Kansas," he added. "I think in the last two years, I have had two complaints."
McDonald apologized this week after the comparison — made to reporters at a breakfast sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor on Monday — provoked outrage
among Republicans and veterans' groups.
"It was never my intention to suggest that I don't take our mission of serving veterans very seriously," he said in a statement on Tuesday
The VA is still reeling from the 2014 wait-times scandal.
"I know he is an easy target for people in politics that like to take shots for something that's very difficult to do," Dole said Saturday. "That's to solve all the veterans problems.
"I may be totally wrong, but I believe if you took a survey of veterans — not just people out there who hear all the stuff on TV or radio — they would say that veterans are getting a pretty good treatment by the VA."
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