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Michelle Obama, Barbara Boxer Boost Military Families; Base Visit Draws GOP Fire

5 years ago
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With the nation at war for the past eight years, first lady Michelle Obama said Sunday at Camp Pendleton, the giant Marine Corps base outside of San Diego, that the nation needs to lighten the load of military families. But as the November election draws closer, where Mrs. Obama goes and who she stands with can draw GOP fire, as was the case Sunday.

"I've been telling your fellow Americans -- given all that you all and your families do to take care of America, America needs to take care of you," Mrs. Obama said. "It is our moral obligation, and every American has a responsibility to do our part. So that's why I've issued a national challenge -- a challenge to every sector of American society to mobilize and take action to support and engage our military families. And not just now, with our nation at war, but for the decades to come. We have to build the capacity to support you and your families at every stage of your lives. But to do this, we need a truly national commitment -- no one can sit on the sidelines. One percent of Americans may be fighting our wars, but 100 percent of Americans need to be supporting you in that fight."

Appearing with the first lady was Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who faces a potentially tough re-election challenge from Republican nominee Carly Fiorina. In May, President Barack Obama flew to California for a fundraiser to benefit Boxer.

Earlier in June, Mrs. Obama -- who has the luxury of picking and choosing where she goes to speak -- was in Nevada for anti-childhood obesity events with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), whose chances for re-election brightened last week when Republicans nominated Sharron Angle.

Boxer spoke briefly at the Camp Pendleton event; Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) was also there. Even though the first lady takes pains to avoid controversy, and so far has limited her overt political events in the 2010 cycle, the Fiorina campaign said the joint appearance was de facto political help.

Fiorina's campaign manager, in an e-mail to The Associated Press, used the Camp Pendleton event as a peg to attack the incumbent. "The bottom line is that Barbara Boxer has shown a total disregard for our men and women in uniform, and her record on security issues is, to put it generously, dismal," Fiorina's deputy campaign manager, Julie Soderlund, said in the e-mail.

"Today, she's getting some help yet again from the Obamas in an attempt to try to mask that over," Soderlund said. "But the facts are the facts. And the facts bite, especially for those who put their lives on the line every day to protect this great nation."

Fiorina has made Boxer's record on supporting the military an issue and during the GOP primary her campaign highlighted Boxer dressing down a general during a Senate hearing for calling her "ma'am."

Since becoming first lady, Mrs. Obama has made lifting military families one of her causes.

"So I'm here today to remind America that, as a nation, we can never forget or fail to support you, our incredible military families," she said. "You're heroes just as much as our men and women in uniform -- the spouses who stay behind, with all the pride of being a military wife or husband, but with also the fears and the anxiety that come when the person you love the most in the world is in harm's way."

She added that her goal is for "an America where every sailor, soldier, airman, Marine, Coast Guardsman and -woman can deploy knowing that their family will be taken care of, so instead of worrying about benefits and bureaucracy, they can focus on their mission -- that is, protecting our country."

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it is not enough to say you support the military-what about after the service and the medical care required for the service wounded-boxer has always been and will always be anti military-and the obamas know nothing about military service

June 20 2010 at 7:09 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Carly Fiorina complaining about a First Lady visiting the troops is about as thoughtless and non-caring as a wanna-be politician can get. Had she NOT visited the troops, I'm sure Fiorina would have had a problem with THAT, too. (Remember the outcry when her husband choose to honor the troops on Memorial Day in Illinois rather than D.C.? Personally, I am sick and tired of the character assasination ploys of the GOP. They can't be mollified, no matter WHAT you do! So, a suggestion to the Obamas: IGNORE THEM. Forget bipartisanship, because they have no intention of cooperating on ANYTHING that issues from the President, even if it is a carbon copy of their own approach on a given issue. How sad for America...

June 20 2010 at 5:40 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

Not buying it ma'am!

June 20 2010 at 7:35 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

As a retired SGM I find it exceedingly hard to believe that the Obamas, the Boxers and the like really and truly "care" for military families. A vote getter ? You bet !!!

June 19 2010 at 9:41 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

As a proud widow of a retired 1st SGT and the proud Mom of a 1st SGT I find this disgusting. The only thing they are looking for is PR and votes. How dare they PRETEND to support the military and the families under the pretense of caring.

June 19 2010 at 4:13 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

One thing I learned in the Military is you take care of yourself and your family. The only ones looking out for you is your family not the Obama's.

June 19 2010 at 2:27 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

Fiorina will out source California as she did in the business world she tried to conquer. She was paid to leave two fortune 500 companies because she was leading them to the brink of bankruptcy.

June 19 2010 at 2:09 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

Boxer - isn't she the same self-important witch that took such offense when a general who was appearing before Congress addressed her as ,"Ma'am"? Does she really think that doing a photo op at a military base is going to make up for her past poor behavior?

June 19 2010 at 11:04 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

There is no way that i would choose to fight to the death to defend a liberal's free speech rights. You can call me cold or callous but i am tired of their ignorance and disregard for this nation.

June 16 2010 at 1:39 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply

As a 30 year militray vertan, Ms. Boxer NEVER supported us! We know how she feels about us and I can say the feeling is mutual. In peace or now in war she has done nothing to support our mission. She like other liberals needs to go away. However, I will fight to the death to defend her right to be an idiot. I know she would not defend my rights to free speech.

June 15 2010 at 8:41 PM Report abuse +16 rate up rate down Reply

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