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The Daily Wildcat

 

Senator John McCain urges UA veterans to vote, but not for Trump

Senator+John+McCain+greets+veterans+in+the+VET+Center+inside+the+Student+Union+Memorial+Center+on+Thursday%2C+Oct.+13%2C+2016.+McCain+spoke+briefly+about+issues+facing+veterans+he+is+working+on+in+Congress+and+answered+several+questions+from+the+audience.
Alex McIntyre
Senator John McCain greets veterans in the VET Center inside the Student Union Memorial Center on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. McCain spoke briefly about issues facing veterans he is working on in Congress and answered several questions from the audience.

Sen. John McCain stressed the importance of the 2016 presidential election to a group of veterans at the UA Veterans Eductation & Transition Services center on Thursday, Oct. 13.

According to McCain’s Veterans Advocate, Drew Trojanowski, McCain visited the UA Veterans Center to promote The Clay Hunt Mental Health Pilot program that is trying to bring government and community stakeholders together to prevent veteran suicides.

RELATED: Column: Sen. Jeff Flake’s refusal to endorse Trump proves he isn’t a literal flake

“I would argue to you, my friends, that this election is the very important,” McCain said. “Politicians come before you all the time and say, ‘hey this is the most important election in history.’ You look at the world today, you could argue that this is the most important.”

McCain spoke about the mental health program briefly and then started taking questions from the crowded room of veterans.

Former U.S. Marine, Iraq veteran and criminal justice major Alejandro Gonzalez asked McCain why it took him so long to pull his support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the light of comments that Trump has made about veterans and McCain personally. McCain said that most people were angry at him for pulling his support.

“I waited because I said I would support the process that determines the nominee of my party,” McCain said. “I’m a loyal Republican.”

McCain said that it was an accumulation of events topped off by the video of Trump degrading women and his support of Russian President Vladimir Putin bombing innocent people in Syria, that led to him finally pulling his endorsement.

“I’m in the arena,” McCain said. “I am used to taking negative comments. What I couldn’t stand was what Trump said he did to women.”

RELATED: Mike Pence answers questions about veterans affairs and being a part of a ‘dynamic duo’ at Tucson rally

The day prior, McCain issued a statement withdrawing his support for Trump less than 24 hours after the Washington Post released a video from 2005 showing Trump making lewd remarks about women.

Despite revoking his endorsement for Trump five days earlier and telling the group of veterans gathered at the UA Vets Center that Trump was unfit for the presidency, McCain urged them to get involved in the election.

He finished his speech by quoting former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley.

“In the words of Mayor Daley, remember to vote early, and to vote often.” McCain said.

Former U.S. Marine and civil engineer major Joe Millick said that McCain was telling them not to vote for Trump while at the same time urging them to vote. Millick said that it is clear that McCain is in a difficult position.

“He can’t vote for Trump, and he can’t vote for [Hillary] Clinton,” Millick said. “I felt like he wanted to tell us to vote for Clinton but he couldn’t come out and say it plainly without risking his own career.” 


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