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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Carlos Beruff: VA secretary is a "moron"

The head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would be fired today if he worked for Carlos Beruff.

Beruff, one of five Republicans running to replace Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate, ratcheted up his criticism of VA Secretary Robert McDonald for talking about wait times at Disney theme parks as a way to deflect questions from reporters about how the VA tracks wait times for veterans seeking care.

"The guy should be fired," Beruff said in an interview in the Florida Panhandle with the Times/Herald. "He's an idiot. He's a moron."

Beruff's comments come a day after he called McDonald's comments disgusting in a press release.

At a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Monday, McDonald was pressed by reporters about why the VA does not publicly report when veterans first ask for an appointment, which would help the public track true wait times for services. 

"The days to an appointment is really not what we should be measuring. What we should be measuring is the veteran's satisfaction," McDonald said at the breakfast reported by the Christian Science Monitor. "What really counts is how does the veteran feel about their encounter with the VA? When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? What is important is what is your satisfaction with the experience."

Those comments quickly fired up critics of the VA. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, was on Twitter within hours chastising McDonald's comparison.

"This is not make-believe, Mr. Secretary. Veterans have died waiting in those lines," Ryan tweeted from his Twitter account.


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 24, 2016 11:30am]


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