It’s day two of the government shutdown, but veterans groups are still planning to visit the World War II memorial, which has been closed during this crisis. Just like yesterday, veterans groups unloaded from their buses and members of Congress were there to assist them once the barricades were taken down.
Yet, this time, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) was present, but this wasn’t an exercise in bipartisanship. She made it clear that her presence was only to support the group of veterans from her state who arrived today.
McCaskill also made it clear that she felt some members of Congress at the memorial were only because they had “nothing to do” but try to score political points.
“There’s people here that have nothing to do – they’re just trying to score political points,” McCaskill told MRCTV’s Dan Joseph.
Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Ann Wagner (R-Missouri) had different takes on the situation. Rep. Gohmert disagreed with the senator, and thinks that those who bring that point up are usually the ones guilty politicization of it in the first place:
“The only political points that were tried to be scored was [sic] when this administration intentionally tried to inflict pain on veterans that served this country. This is an open, granite sidewalk – there is no reason to spend money to put barricades up to prevent our veterans from seeing this memorial.
Just like the Vietnam Memorial, it’s a wall with a sidewalk. There’s no reason to spend money to block that. Just like in 1995, not one dime was spent to close the Lincoln Memorial because it was an open-air memorial.”
“In Texas, we used to say, ‘The guilty dog usually barks first,'” Rep. Gohmert told Joseph regarding McCaskill’s accusations.
Joe Schoffstall and Stephen Gutowski at the Capitol City Project also interviewed Sen. McCaskill, who was less than cordial.