Obama Hits McCain Over GI Bill

(CBS)

From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

BOCA RATON, FLA. -- Barack Obama used the Senate floor today to jab at his rival, John McCain, for McCain's opposition to the GI Bill. Obama flew to Washington early this morning to vote in favor of the bill, which he co-sponsored with Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va. In his brief remarks before the Senate, Obama said he respects McCain's military service but "can't believe" his opposition to a bill which would increase education funding for troops.

"I can't believe why he believes it is too generous to our veterans, I could not disagree with him and the president more on this issue," Obama said. "There are many issues that lend themselves to partisan posturing, but giving our veterans the chance to go to college should not be one of them."

McCain, who was not present for the vote, quickly responded to Obama's remarks in a written statement.

"Perhaps, if Senator Obama would take the time and trouble to understand this issue he would learn to debate an honest disagreement respectfully. But, as he always does, he prefers impugning the motives of his opponent, and exploiting a thoughtful difference of opinion to advance his own ambitions. If that is how he would behave as president, the country would regret his election." McCain believes the bill doesn't do enough to encourage soldiers to stay in the armed forces.

Recently, Obama has been using the GI Bill and veterans issues to jab at John McCain. While campaigning in Michigan, Obama said, "John McCain has called for three to four hundred billion dollars worth of corporate tax breaks, building on what George Bush did, and he's saying we can't afford $2 billion to provide our GI's the kind of education they need? It doesn't make any sense."

Obama returns to Florida this afternoon to host a town hall meeting at a synagogue where he is expected to outline his Mideast policy and support for Israel.