Obama on McCain: "We Owe Him Gratitude" Not "Our Vote"

(CBS)
From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

(BILLINGS, MT.) - As Democrats focus on national security in Denver today, Barack Obama spoke to veterans and military families at a town hall meeting where he made several swipes at his opponent. While expressing his respect for McCain's military service, Obama said McCain's biography should not be a factor when deciding who to support in the election.

"We owe him gratitude for that, but we don't owe him our vote. The stakes are too high."

Obama blasted McCain for not supporting the GI Bill, and suggested that the Bush Administration is neglecting veterans because of the high cost of the Iraq war.

"Sometimes this administration has low balled the costs of treating our veterans coming home because the budget for the war was so much greater than they had promised," Obama said. He added that he does believe that veterans care was an intentional oversight, but that it was not calculated in the Iraq war budget.

While speaking about his energy policy, Obama criticized McCain for not doing not doing enough to develop an alternative energy plan during his 26 years in the Senate.

"The notion that John McCain somehow has had some visionary energy plan is just not true. He's been asleep at the switch along with a whole bunch of other folks in Washington," he said.

Obama will fly to Denver with Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mt., this afternoon.