Veteran chastised Edwards for pandering
BATON ROUGE - A wounded Afghanistan War veteran and David Vitter supporter got political Wednesday at a state sponsored Veterans Day ceremony.
Mike McNaughton who currently works for the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs was the keynote speaker at the event held at the Old State Capitol. In his speech he said he wants politicians to stop "using" veterans to get elected.
Following his remarks, he clarified his criticism was directed at gubernatorial candidate Rep. John Bel Edwards (D-Amite) who released a negative campaign ad over the weekend featuring military symbols. The ad targeted Sentator David Vitter, his Republican rival in the election, and pointed out Vitter's 2007 prostitution scandal. It attacked Vitter for missing a 2001 vote in the U.S. Senate that honored 28 falling soldiers. It went on to accuse Vitter of calling a prostitute shortly after missing the vote.
The original ad also featured pictures of Edwards when he was an Army Ranger and images of Arlington National Cemetery.
McNaughton said the ad was "sad" and added, "if you're a politician and you're trying to get votes, don't use veterans or veterans who have payed the ultimate sacrifice."
Edwards, who attended the event, said he had "tremendous respect" for McNaughton and said he won't "quibble" with him because he disagreed with the ad.
"I'm a veteran and I was deeply disturbed to find out why the Senator missed [the] vote," Edwards said.
Since it first aired, the ad has been modified to remove the cemetery image but the pictures of Edwards in uniform remain.
David Vitter has also voiced his disapproval of the military images featured in the ad. He does not deny the prostitute allegations.