Reid Fields Criticism at VA Hospital

Senator Harry Reid received some criticism about his stand on pulling US troops out of Iraq Thursday during his visit to a VA hospital in Reno.

The Senate majority leader spent about an hour speaking and taking questions from about 80 veterans, doctors and others before taking another half hour to tour the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Two of the half-dozen or more skeptics in the audience offered pointed criticism of Reid, including one who said the senator's ``irresponsible statements'' are undermining US troops.

John Edwards, a veteran and member of the local chapter of the VFW, said Reid is using the issue as a political football and he finds it unacceptable.

Reid says he agrees the nation must make sure U.S. troops have ``not died in vain in Iraq.''

But on the other hand, he says congressional leaders have to tell it like it is. In his words, ``We can't paint a picture that doesn't exist.

Reid says before the US invasion, there was not a single terrorist in Iraq. He says Saddam Hussein was an evil man and he's glad he's gone.

But he says invading Iraq did not help the situation, it only made it worse.

He says, quoting now, ``The training wheels have to come off and Iraq has got to police it's own civil war.''