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           13 July, 2020

Category:  Press » Politics & Government


Democratic Radio Address: Veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan Wars Questions McCain's Leadership on Iraq and Understanding of American Families' Struggles

         Views: 1153
2008-03-09 05:43:49     
Democratic National Committee

The following release was issued today by the Democratic National Committee:

Roger Martinez, a former infantryman in the U.S. Army's 75th Ranger Regiment and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, delivers the Democratic radio address this week. Martinez was deployed twice to Afghanistan and once to Iraq with the 1st Ranger Battalion and now is studying at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

In his address, Martinez points out that John McCain would keep our overstretched U.S. military in Iraq for 100 years and continue President Bush's failed policies. Noting that McCain has worked in Washington, D.C. for 25 years and has supported Bush's budgets which have damaged the economy, Martinez also said that McCain is out of touch with the needs of working families like his own.

The transcript of the radio address is below. To listen to the address, click here:

http://www.democrats.org/page/-/audio/radio_addresses/20080308%20Martin ez.mp3

Transcript of Radio Address:

Good morning. My name is Roger Martinez and I proudly served our country as an infantryman in the U.S. Army's 75th Ranger Regiment. I was sent to Afghanistan and Iraq with the 1st Ranger Battalion on three separate deployments.

While I was serving my country, I chose not to speak out about politics. However, I love our country too much to stay on the sidelines now that I'm home.

There is so much at stake in this election. We need a new Commander-in-Chief who will rebuild our military. We need a Commander-in-Chief who will promise to make our fight against Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda in Afghanistan a greater priority than Iraq's civil war. And we need a Commander-in-Chief who understands the challenges - new and old - that our nation faces.

I honor and thank John McCain for his years of military service to our country, but I don't think he offers the right leadership on Iraq or understands how to reinvigorate our economy here at home.

As the President said earlier this week, Senator McCain is "not going to change." That is a mistake. Our country and our Armed Forces cannot afford another leader like President Bush who would keep our overstretched military in Iraq for 100 years while ignoring the other threats our country faces both at home and around the world.

I know that my brothers and sisters in uniform are fighting valiantly in Iraq. But no matter what they do, they cannot solve the political problems there.

In choosing the next Commander-in-Chief, we need to ask ourselves: How long will we have to be in Iraq? How many more trillions of dollars are we going to commit there? And how can we combat global extremism in a smarter fashion than the last administration?

Like many other veterans, I am working on the next chapter of my life. I'm pursing a degree in communication at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Before I joined the U.S. Army, I worked with my father and older brother in a factory in Ohio and have many friends still working in those same factories. It was on that factory floor where veterans from all eras of the military encouraged me to serve my country and to see the world. But it was my brother joining the Army Reserves that really opened my eyes to the great opportunities that military service can provide. I am so thankful that I followed their advice. But it was also on that factory floor that I learned that all the hard work in the world wasn't enough for so many families, when Washington is more interested in helping the ultra-rich than the working families.

After working in Washington for 25 years and admitting that he does not understand the economy, John McCain is out of touch with the struggles of American families like mine.

He says the economy is strong, but how can he not see that families just like mine are struggling to pay for out of control health care costs, home heating bills, gasoline, and college tuition? He hasn't even put out a plan to address the mortgage crisis.

We cannot afford to elect someone who can't explain how they will pay for 100 years in Iraq and who plans to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, while voting against funding for veteran's health care.

We don't need more of the same Bush budgets that have led to massive debt and damaged our economy.

It's time we elect a Democrat this November who can deliver the change we need. It's time we elect a leader who understands the challenges that America faces here at home and around the world. It's time we elect someone who will safely re-deploy our troops from Iraq so that they can begin to re-focus on the conflict that was begun on 9/11 - so that our military may ultimately be successful and so that their efforts around the world may not have been in vain.

This is Roger Martinez, a veteran of the U.S. Army.

Thank you for listening.

Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee, http://www.democrats.org. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Specialized in: Democratic Radio Address - Veteran - Iraq - Afghanistan Wars
URL: http://www.democrats.org
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