The White House responded Thursday to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R) assertion that her son’s domestic violence arrest was connected to his combat service in Iraq, and by extension to the Obama administration’s treatment of veterans.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that he would not be making light of Palin’s comments.
“The reaction of some people I think is to make light of some of the rhetoric that we see on the campaign trail, particularly from Gov. Palin,” Earnest said at Thursday’s press briefing. “But the fact is domestic violence is not a joke. Gun violence is not a joke. Problems with addiction are not a joke. The consequences, or I should say, the sacrifices that many of our men and women in uniform make for our safety and security are not a joke.”
Palin’s son Track was arrested Monday on suspicion of domestic violence against his girlfriend, among other charges. He allegedly punched her in the eye and threatened to shoot himself, according to a police report.
Palin suggested Wednesday at a rally in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that Track’s behavior stemmed from his combat service.
Earnest said the Obama administration takes the health concerns of military service members very seriously.
“We take them all very seriously and there are many communities and families that are dealing with these very difficult challenges in a way that is sometimes difficult to talk about publicly,” he said.