GOP Piles on Hillary Clinton Over VA Remark

Clinton campaign fires back at a demand that she apologize.

“I don’t know what Hillary Clinton’s view of what widespread is but the facts are stubborn things,” McCain said, citing statistics of veterans who have had extended wait times and even died waiting for care. ”If that’s not quote ‘widespread,’ I would like to know what Hillary Clinton’s definition of widespread is.”

But Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement today, "At this point, Republicans are trying to exploit the scandal to try to score partisan points and push an ideological agenda to privatize the V.A.

“Hillary Clinton has said repeatedly that the systemic problem of excessive wait times at the V.A. is an outrage, but she refuses to believe the V.A. is beyond fixing. Republicans are trying to suggest the only solution to the VA's problems is to privatize it, but Hillary Clinton will not apologize for insisting on doing the hard work to reform the V.A., rather than ending it altogether."

The scandal erupted last year with revelations that veterans died waiting for care at V.A. hospitals. The scandal began at a Phoenix-area hospital and, eventually, led to the resignation of V.A. Secretary Eric Shinseki.

"It is outrageous to suggest that this doesn't need to be cleaned up," he said.

Clinton is expected to roll out her V.A. reform plan next month.