Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010 | 3:38 p.m.
GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle was asked at a private function Saturday evening in Reno hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition about privatizing the VA. And, as she has done before, she took the opportunity to rewrite history.
Here's the exchange -- audio at right:
Guest: Sharron I wanted to task you about one of the new ads that Harry has got running against you, and that concerns the VA hospitals. I’m really big on one that we have here, and I would like to hear a clarification about what your stand really is.
Angle: Well, first of all, when we talk about Harry Reid’s ads, let’s remember that a half-truth is no truth. And what you’re finding in his ads are these half truths. We were discussing, at the time that I made that remark, we were discussing Obamacare and Medicare. And how Harry Reid has taken a half a trillion dollars out of Medicare, right out at a place where seniors have choices—Medicare Advantage, one of the programs that actually works. And I was talking about my father, who is 88 years old, he’s on Medicare, he’s on Social Security, and he’s a veteran. Not of just World War II, but also the Korean War. He had a Purple Heart. He has served this country, and yet he pays $800 a month in prescription drugs that are not covered by the VA and they’re not covered by Medicare. And, there is a lot of you that understand what I’m saying. And that was the context of those comments. I said that they could do a better job, that’s all I said, is the VA could do a better job for our veterans. And I believe that. I believe that our veterans fit in that A priority box. We should be supporting our military and their dependents (applause) and our veterans. We should be supporting them. We owe them. We owe them and we should be supporting them. And then of course he pulls out something that I said about my grandfather, and I’ll clear this up at the same time. My grandfather didn’t pay into Social Security. And so, when they sent his first Social Security check, he said “I’m not taking this. I don’t need this check. I saved for my retirement.” And that’s what that was, that was my grandfather. And of course he was quite, well he wasn’t too old, he wasn’t as old as I am now. But still he was a potato farmer, he worked in California, he raised a family, been through the Depression, and he saved for his retirement, and he had not paid into the Social Security system and so he refused to take his check (applause).
This is quite the revisionist history (again) by Angle. The context she claims is wrong, and so is her recollection of what she argued.
Here's what she said on KNPR in May -- note context and use of word "privatized" in this interview with Dave Becker:
Angle: … And my father did the same thing. He calls it his rocking chair pay but he doesn’t live on his social security, he has investments that he has made over the years in rental properties and things like that—that are actually paying for his retirement. He needs more and more supervised care. He’s 87 years old and has Parkinson’s and we have to pay more and more for his healthcare. I know he pays over 800 dollars a month in prescription drugs that we can’t get through his VA nor through Medicare—they just wont cover those things. And I know lots of seniors—
Becker: Should they cover those things?
Angle: No, not if you’re working towards a privatized system. And he can pay for them. That’s my whole point. Even with the system we’ve got, it’s broken, its not covering for every cost that he has. And if he were dependent upon that, he wouldn’t be getting the healthcare he needs and that’s why we need to fix the system.
Becker: As a senator, how would you fix that system if it’s not to say that you’re on your own? If VA is not going to cover then you have to cover it yourself. Over how long?
Angle: Well, I’m not the only person and I’m not the President. I can propose bills and then my job as a senator is to build a coalition that will get on board with my idea. And, of course, as you know that my idea may be a good idea, but the details of that idea will be worked out through that coalition. And you know there are smarter heads than mine on this and that’s what we’ll be doing.
I am beginning to wonder about this seemingly pathological habit Angle has of saying she never said something when it is on tape and so easily retrieved. Does she really not remember, or does she think this is a "Mission Impossible" world where all tapes self-destruct after five seconds?