Democratic co-frontrunners Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and Senator Hillary Clinton of New York have started to campaign in Puerto Rico in preparation of its primary. While it is hinted that Clinton will end up winning the Puerto Rico primary, Obama still leads Clinton in the delegate count.
As the delegate math is against Clinton, she refuses to drop out of the race regardless of many people urged she do so. Recently, some supporters of Clinton such as New York Democratic Governor David Paterson said that she was showing signs of desperation such as trying to get the victories in Florida and Michigan counted.
While Clinton struggles to keep her campaign and candidacy afloat, it seems that Obama and presumed GOP nominee Senator John McCain of Arizona are prepared to face off against each other. However, Clinton is not out of the Democratic race yet. But, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has focused its attacks on Obama rather than Clinton.
While Obama and McCain have sparred on many issues, the latest issue would be veterans’ benefits. This comes in the wake of an internal battle of the US Senate between McCain and Democratic Senator Jim Webb of Virginia. Webb had drawn up and co-sponsored an extension of the G.I. Bill with bipartisan support called the “Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act.”
McCain has opposed the bill while US President George W. Bush threatened to veto the bill. This was attached by House Democrats to a bill that would give Bush more money to spend on the war going on in Iraq. The attachment defied Bush’s demand for a clean war spending bill.
Obama recently attacked McCain’s opposition while campaigning in Florida, a crucial swing state in the general election. While campaigning in Puerto Rico, Obama once attacked McCain on the issue.
“Now, let me be clear: No one can dispute John McCain’s love for this country or his concern for veterans. But here’s what I don’t understand. I don’t understand why John McCain would side with George Bush and oppose our plan to make college more affordable for our veterans,” Obama explained. He added: “George Bush and John McCain may think our plan is too generous. I could not disagree more.”
McCain counter-attacked and said that he would not listen to Obama, who did not serve the country in uniform. McCain supports an alternative bill that focuses more on career soldiers. The Pentagon partially opposes the bill. While the Pentagon likes the idea of the bill, it feels that the benefits should be given to those that serve six years instead of three years.
The issue of the G.I. Bill could very well be linked to the issue of Iraq. Iraq has been the main platform of McCain, who has said that it would either make or break his campaign.
Should Obama end up as the eventual Democratic nominee, there is a strong chance that this is one issue in which he will square off against McCain.