As John McCain prepared for his campaign visit to Green Bay, a group of veterans supporting Barack Obama kicked off a statewide tour in River Falls. Retired Navy Admiral John B. Nathman is also on the tour. Nathman was the commander of US Fleet Forces from 2005 to 2007. Nathman says he won't say anything negative about McCain, a fellow graduate of the US Naval Academy. Nathman says he got to know Obama through a friend at the Pentagon, and was impressed by the Illinois senator's intelligence and judgment. "Here's a man who has the willingness to listen," says Natham. "The willingness, and understanding of whether or not he's getting good advice or bad advice, so he can reject bad advice and take good advice, and then make his own decision."
Nathman says the Bush Administration has made a number of bad decisions on military issues over the past eight years. Nathman says Obama proposals such as increasing US troop strength in Afghanistan, pressuring the Iraqi government to take over its own military security and open dialogue with Iran were mocked by the White House and the McCain campaign. "Don't you find it odd that the current administration now is doing all three? They're exactly synchronized with what Senator Obama has been saying for over two years."
Nathman says he also feels Obama is the stronger candidate in support for retired and injured military veterans. The "Veterans for Obama" tour will also include Obama's foreign policy advisor Sarah Sewell and members of Wisconsin National Guard who have been deployed to Iraq. The group visited Eau Claire and Rhinelander on Thursday, Wausau, Stevens Point and Appleton on Friday and will be in Manitowoc, Waukesha and Janesville on Saturday.