Over the past few weeks, Pete Buttigieg has been extremely critical of Donald Trump’s record on the military. He’s said that Trump “faked a disability to avoid serving in Vietnam” and that the president “pretended to be disabled” to avoid military service.
Speaking with reporters after a town hall on Thursday night in his home town of South Bend, Buttigieg hit the president again; this time referencing a Wall Street Journal report that the name of the USS John McCain was ordered by the White House to be hidden from view during Trump’s visit to Japan. The Journal also reported that sailors serving on the ship were given the day off.
Buttigieg said that “the thing that’s shocking about it is that it sends a message that, once again, our troops are to be treated as props.”
He continued, “it’s also upsetting that troops were reportedly turned away if they served on board the McCain. It just puts a lie to the idea of ‘support our troops’ if support our troops comes with an asterisk that says you don’t support them if they are serving on a vessel named after a war hero whose service is a reminder of your own embarrassing failure to rise to this country’s call to serve.”
He closed by saying, “Unfortunately, I can’t say it was a complete surprise, but it was yet another disappointment when it comes to this president’s deteriorating and embarrassing relationship with the military.”
— The Hill (@thehill) May 31, 2019
Unlike Trump, Buttigieg did serve in the military. He was actually in the Navy as a naval intelligence officer. That role even took him into a war zone — he spent several months in Afghanistan.
The South Bend mayor has been rising in the polls but lingering behind frontrunners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, who have a commanding lead over the rest of the pack of Democrats.