On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough stated that "you always have the [Veterans of Foreign Wars], and you always have military groups, giving Republicans standing ovations and being very cool to people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton." However, several news outlets have reported that both Obama and Clinton received "standing ovations" at the VFW convention.
On the August 23 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, in discussing President Bush's speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) convention, host Joe Scarborough stated that "you always have the VFW, and you always have military groups, giving Republicans standing ovations and being very cool to people like [Sen.] Barack Obama [D-IL] and [Sen.] Hillary Clinton [D-NY]." However, both Obama and Clinton reportedly received "standing ovations" from the VFW.
As Media Matters for America has previously noted, on August 20, The New York Times' Jeff Zeleny wrote on the Times' Caucus blog that Clinton was greeted with a "standing ovation" at the VFW national convention:
The audience of hundreds of veterans and spouses listened respectfully, greeting her with a standing ovation. During the Iraq portion of the speech, there was silence in the downtown convention hall, but at several other points, moderate applause rang out.
In an August 22 article, the Chicago Tribune reported that Obama received a standing ovation from the VFW audience:
Both Obama and Thompson, neither of whom served in the military, were welcomed respectfully and received standing ovations from an audience that included veterans from every war since World II. Still, several in the crowd said they do not agree with Obama's position on the Iraq war.
In addition, on the August 21 edition of Fox News' Special Report, Fox News correspondent Steve Brown reported that former Republican Sen. Fred Thompson (TN) "was interrupted by applause seven times"; "[b]y contrast," he continued, "Obama was interrupted by applauding VFW conventioneers 18 times."
From the August 21 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:
BRIT HUME (host): Welcome to Washington, I'm Brit Hume. In Kansas City today, Republican Fred Thompson and Democrat Barack Obama each tried to convince the Veterans of Foreign Wars that he is best qualified to become president. For Thompson, it seemed a golden opportunity to score points with a friendly audience, but as correspondent Steve Brown reports, his performance may have reinforced worries about his candidacy.
[begin video clip]
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, when are you going to do the right thing and run. I'm serious?
THOMPSON: Well, give me -- we're putting it together. It takes a little time, but we're getting there.
BROWN: It was a ready-made audience for the yet to announce presidential candidate Fred Thompson; the annual convention of the VFW is largely made up of older, more conservative military veterans in support of the U.S. troop surge in Iraq, many eager to hear Thompson speak.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody knows he is an actor, you know, so, most of our actors, you know, they should be able to get in front of a camera and speak, you know, and talk to a crowd.
BROWN: And while Thompson said things most of the vets wanted to hear about soldiering on in Iraq, the former U.S. senator seemed to struggle at times delivering his speech. An example: when Thompson was describing an encounter with a double amputee Iraqi veteran.
THOMPSON: What kind of a nation we must be to produce such people.
BROWN: Thompson seemed unfamiliar with the applause lines in his own speech. All told, he was interrupted by applause seven times.
By contrast, anti-Iraq war Democrat Barack Obama was interrupted by applauding VFW conventioneers 18 times.
OBAMA: I want to be absolutely clear: Our troops have performed brilliantly in Iraq. They have done everything we have asked of them.
From the August 23 edition of Morning Joe:
SCARBOROUGH: So, what's interesting is, though the timing is obviously great for the White House -- and you do have the president going to the VFW and getting, I mean, getting rousing applause. It's so interesting, you know.
I love listening to people, Democratic candidates, talking about all the troops that are against the war and all the veterans who are against the war, and yet, you have these speeches and you always have the VFW, and you always have military groups, giving Republicans standing ovations and being very cool to people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.