Former P&G chief and now VA secretary to congressman: ‘I ran a large company, sir, what have you done?’

Wow! I don’t keep up with the political theatre on Capitol Hill, but this man holds his own in front of Congress..

Bob McDonald, former CEO of Procter & Gamble and now secretary of the troubledU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, returned fire today after taking flak from a member of Congress.

McDonald, an Indian Hill resident who is a former Army Ranger, noted his executive experience at Cincinnati-based P&G during a heated budget hearing in Washington.

Rep. Mike Coffman, a Colorado Republican, accused McDonald of “glossing over the extraordinary problems confronted by your department.”

McDonald remained calm as he replied, “I’ve run a large company sir, what have you done?”

Coffman, an Army veteran, previously ran a property management firm in Aurora, Colo., that had more than 20 employees. P&G has 118,000 employees worldwide.

Coffman cited the VA hospital in Denver as an example of the problems facing McDonald’s department. A construction project there is years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget, the congressman said.

“This is a department mired in bureaucratic incompetence and corruption,” Coffman said. “I think the public relations is great today, but there’s no substance. There is no substance.”

McDonald interjected, “I’m highly offended by your comments, Mr. Coffman.”

But the congressman continued to disparage McDonald.

“I fundamentally believe that, as unfortunate as it is, at the end of the day, at the end of this president’s term, that you will not have made a difference in changing the culture of this organization by virtue of your glossing over its problems,” he said.

McDonald, a Republican, was nominated by President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

“I’ve been here six months,” McDonald said to the congressman. “You’ve been here longer than I have. If there’s a problem in Denver, I think you own it more than I do.


Read on.

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