John McCain charges U.S. enemies are filling global power vacuum

John McCain charges U.S. enemies are filling global power vacuum

Senator John McCain started Monday in solidly Republican territory, St. Tammany Parish, which gave McCain 76 percent of the vote in the 2008 Presidential race.

He joined Congressman Bill Cassidy, the Baton Rouge Republican challenging U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, for what the Cassidy camp billed as a series of "veterans rallies" across the state.

At the Covington American Legion hall, McCain told a partisan crowd of veterans and Republican political leaders President Obama's foreign policy has created a global power vacuum being filled by America's adversaries.

"Look around the world and you see that they no longer respect the United States of America because of this feckless foreign policy," McCain said.

He noted the Iraqi city of Fallujah, where 90 U.S. soldiers and marines died in combat, now sits in the hands of Islamic State militants.

"Today, the black flags of AlQaeda and ISIS fly over the city of Fallujah," McCain said. "What do we tell the parents of these young men who sacrificed?"

McCain blasted cuts to the military under the so-called sequestration, including active duty officers serving in Afghanistan receiving notices of separation from the services.

"Now, my old veteran friends will tell you what that does to morale when people who want to serve this country are told they can't serve."

The Mary Landrieu campaign returned fire, suggesting as a member of the House, Cassidy had voted for Republican budgets that would have hurt veterans by recalculating how the government figures inflation.

The resulting smaller cost-of-living adjustments would have hit everything from pensions to health care benefits, the Landrieu campaign suggested in a statement.

However, Cassidy blamed Senate Democrats for exacerbating the federal deficit, by failing to pass a budget of their own.

"Anything that was voted on was like, 'Oh my gosh, they haven't passed a budget in four years. what do we do to pull this back together?'"

Meanwhile, the Landrieu campaign produced a new TV commercial featuring four CEOs, including three Republicans supporting Landrieu.

"We've all built companies," said longtime Republican leader Boysie Bollinger, who appears in his second commercial of the campaign.

Bollinger, whose shipyard benefits from government contracts, is joined in the commercial by: Kay Doré of Doré Energy Corporation; Ted Falgout, former manager of Port Fourchon; and Henry Coaxum of Coaxum Enterprises.

"Now, she's chairman of the energy committee," Dore tells viewers, sticking to the Landrieu campaign theme that Louisiana enjoys the clout earned from three terms in the Senate.

"I have not detected any effective leadership on the part of Senator Landrieu," said McCain, who insisted Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid has foiled Landrieu's attempts to approve the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

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