- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 22, 2014

Americans are divided about who to blame for the scandal at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, but more say it’s VA Secretary Eric Shinseki than President Obama, found a new poll released Thursday.

The CBS News poll found that 33 percent of Americans fingered Mr. Shinseki for the mess at the VA hospitals, including allegations that officials used secret waiting lists and other bookkeeping deceptions to hide long delays for treatment of patents.

The local VA hospitals got the next largest share of the blame — 28 percent, according to the poll.

That left Mr. Obama with just 17 percent of the blame in the survey.

Republican voters were more likely to blame Mr. Obama, with 30 percent saying it was the president’s fault, compared to 31 percent who said Mr. Shinseki was to blame.

Americans who have served in the military also were more likely to blame Mr. Shinseki, said the poll.

Mr. Obama vowed Wednesday to get to the bottom of the VA scandal and said that if a federal investigation confirms the allegation he “will not tolerate it.”

But he continued to back Mr. Shinseki, which prompted criticism from Republican lawmakers and some Democrats who said the president was not acting with sufficient urgency to address the problems.

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