The former chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said President Obama’s comments about Ho Chi Minh and the Founders were insulting to every Vietnam veteran.
In joint remarks with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang at the White House last week, Obama hailed the hard-core communist revolutionary as a guy who drew his inspiration from America’s most important documents.
Sang concluded the meeting by sharing “a copy of a letter sent by Ho Chi Minh to Harry Truman.”
“And we discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson,” Obama said. “Ho Chi Minh talks about his interest in cooperation with the United States. And President Sang indicated that even if it’s 67 years later, it’s good that we’re still making progress.”
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) noted that her husband, Dexter, “is a Vietnam combat veteran who was severely injured in battle while fighting for the ideals of Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Madison and Washington.”
“In 1971, I awakened after three days of unconsciousness aboard a hospital ship off the coast of Vietnam. I could not see, my jaws were wired shut, and my left cheekbone was missing, a gaping hole in its place. Later, while still in that condition at St Albans Naval Hospital, one of my earliest recollections was hearing of John Kerry’s testimony before Congress,” Dexter Lehtinen, a former Florida state senator, said in a 2004 ad against Kerry’s presidential candidacy. Lehtinen received the Purple Heart for his injuries.
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said for Obama, “who has sworn to preserve, protect and defend their ideals that founded this nation, to equate Ho Chi Minh to Thomas Jefferson is an insult to the service and sacrifice of all of those who served in Vietnam.”
“Saying that a butcher who slaughtered his opponents and butchered those who resisted his tyranny was inspired by the ideals that make this nation the freest and most democratic country in the world belittles our Founding Fathers and those shed blood to protect their vision,” she added.
The White House has not issued any clarification to Obama’s remarks.
Ho Chi Minh quoted the Declaration of Independence in opposition to the French colonial power in Vietnam, in a speech in Ba Dinh Square, September 2, 1945. He then proceeded to commit atrocities against the people of Vietnam in his quest for a Marxist state.