Charles Krauthammer said Wednesday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that President Obama was forced to break his silence on the Veterans Affairs scandal because he simply "can’t run away from this.”
After meeting with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki at the White House Wednesday morning, Obama told reporters, “when I hear allegations of misconduct, any misconduct, whether its allegations of VA staff covering up long wait times or cooking the books, I will not stand for it.”
Obama also addressed allegations that as many as 40 veterans may have died awaiting treatment at a VA facility in Phoenix, but made it clear he would not call for Shinseki’s firing over the scandal.
"If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it, period," he said.
Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor, said the president was finally forced to weigh in because of outrage on both sides of the aisle.
"On the other scandals, the Democrats would sit it out, or pretend there wasn't a scandal, call it a witch hunt, call it partisan and the press would join with the Democrats and that would be it," he said. “Here the Democrats have been screaming very loudly. Loud complaints from many Democrats, some on the floor of the Congress and that being the case there is nowhere to hide on this.”
Ron Fournier, a senior political columnist for National Journal, also weighed in, saying this scandal is different than the rest.
"Here's why Democrats are upset," he said. "Like the health care fiasco of last year, this reminds the American public why they don't trust the government. If you want to be the party of an effective government, you can't be not taking care of the veterans after years and years of saying you would.”