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Biden camp makes pitch to Michigan veterans

Former MVAA Director Adam Hollier speaks to reporters during Monday morning press conference in Lansing, MI.
Colin Jackson
Former MVAA Director Adam Hollier speaks to reporters during Monday morning press conference in Lansing, MI.

Michigan Democrats made their pitch to military veterans Monday on why they should support President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign.

This comes as Biden resists calls to step aside and allow someone else to run following his shaky debate performance last month.

Theron Tingstad, who chairs the Michigan Democratic Party Veteran’s Caucus, said the Biden Administration has done more for soldiers and their families than his expected Republican opponent, former President Donald Trump.

“We don’t have the luxury of playing semantics and wondering if someone mumbled or stuttered. We have to look at what’s really being done for us. And I think, as far as the former president goes, all you have to do is look at his words and actions,” Tingstad said.

During Monday’s press conference, speakers hammered down on that point. They brought up expansions of VA health care, support for veterans exposed to toxic chemicals, and veteran unemployment numbers.

Adam Hollier, a former Democratic state senator, and Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency director, argued federal veterans benefits and resources have been more responsive and helpful under Biden.

“That says a lot to people when you’re talking about thousands of dollars when you’re talking about medical care. And when you’re talking about taking care of folks, and not just the service member but their families,” Hollier said.

But Republicans argue Trump also got many achievements done for veterans.

While Democrats pointed to the PACT Act -- a 2022 law that put hundreds of millions of dollars toward resources for veterans exposed to toxic substances during their service -- Republicans pointed to the VA Choice and VA MISSION Acts, which expand community healthcare options for veterans, as examples of Trump’s accomplishments

“Veterans and Military Families throughout Michigan stand with President Trump because he's done more for them than any other administration. Veterans know that with President Trump, our nation has a leader who has fought to ensure the sacrifices of them and their families are honored. While Joe Biden forgot that United States service members died under his watch, President Trump reformed the Department of Veterans Affairs, expanded telehealth access and veterans' access to education, and increased job training resources and career programs,” a statement from Trump Michigan spokesperson Victoria LaCivita read.

Many experts consider Michigan a crucial state for either candidate’s path back to the White House in November.

Colin Jackson is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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