VFW: White House Insulted Us

Group accuses President Obama of snub
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2011 6:50 AM CDT
VFW Accuses President Obama, White House of 'Insult of Highest Magnitude'
President Barack Obama speaks at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Phoenix, Monday, Aug. 17, 2009.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The VFW is not happy with President Obama: In what it's calling a first, the group’s annual convention this week will not feature a top-tier official from his administration. Obama himself addressed the VFW two years ago, and Joe Biden did so last year. This year the president cannot attend, and the White House says it made “every effort” to provide a speaker, offering up UN Ambassador Susan Rice; top officials in the Air Force and the National Guard also volunteered their services. It isn’t known why the VFW declined those speakers.

"The VFW has had a long-standing tradition of inviting the sitting president to address our convention," the organization’s national commander said in a statement. "It is an insult of the highest magnitude that for the first time in the history of the VFW, the White House has apparently decided that this great and iconic organization of combat veterans and all of its members are not worthy of its notice by not at least offering a first-tier speaker from the administration." Fox News notes that Rick Perry spoke at the conference yesterday, but Jay Carney says he doesn’t believe that invitation had anything to do with Obama’s inability to make the convention. Mitt Romney will also speak at the convention this week. (Read more VFW stories.)

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