Republican congressional candidate Sean Bielat has military experience, but the son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told an audience in South Attleboro on Thursday that Bielat's Democratic opponent Joe Kennedy III was the best person to represent veterans in Washington.
After spending the day in New Hampshire campaiging for his father and President Barack Obama, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden came to the American Legion Post 312 in South Attleboro for the nighttime event called "Veterans for Joe Kennedy." Kennedy is running against Bielat for the seat in the U.S. House representing Massachusett's 4th District, which includes Attleboro and Seekonk.
Biden, who served in Iraq from 2008 to 2009 as a member of the Delaware Army National Guard's Judge Advocate General's Corps, said the Republicans running for the White House and the 4th Congressional District seat are "patriotic" and "honorable, decent men," who have "a different set of values" from the Democrats in those contests.
He claimed a federal budget proposed earlier this year by vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan would cut the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' annual budget by $11 billion, 85 percent of which goes to medical care.
"We have a very, very stark choice to make in this election, in this congressional district … and nationally with Joe Kennedy and Barack Obama," Biden said.
Kennedy, who was celebrating his 32nd birthday, made various promises on what he would do for veterans if elected.
"I will fight to make sure that those returning vets have the employment they have fought for and deserve when they come home, that when they return home, those veterans will not have to wait months or even years to get the benefits they have earned and deserved, that our ... country makes the investments we need in order to address the wounds of war—both physical and unseen," the candidate said.
Kennedy said he would also make sure female veterans "get equal levels of benefits, care and respect as well."
Biden and Kennedy were introduced by state Sen. James Vallee (D-Franklin), who is a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard. Vallee said there would be no better friend for veterans in Washington than Kennedy.
"Joe has been an incredibly thoughtful and hard-working candidate," Vallee said. "He has earned the right to be our congressman. Not only has Joe been right on the issues, Joe has shown that he understands this district … and he'll be a great advocate for us in D.C., particularly on veterans issues."