Buttigieg calls out Trump for draft-dodging & attacking McCain

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg called out Donald Trump yesterday for his ongoing criticism of John McCain.

In a tweet, Buttigieg not only said that we should “honor” McCain as “a war hero,” but the openly-gay candidate also noted that Trump dodged the draft in Vietnam with a “faked disability.” Trump got four draft deferments during Vietnam: Four for college, and one for allegedly having “bone spurs” on his feet.

The NYT reported last year that two daughters of the doctor who certified Trump’s alleged-bone-spurs have now gone public to say their father faked the diagnosis as a favor to Trump’s father.

Buttigieg’s tweet comes in response to Trump’s repeated attacks on McCain this week for voting against Trump’s efforts to “repeal & replace” Obamacare, and, oddly, for not thanking Trump for his funeral (contrary to Trump’s assertions, he had no role in McCain’s funeral other than flying McCain’s body back to Washington). Cindy McCain reported that she has received vulgar threats as a result of Trump’s latest tirade.

Buttigieg’s tweet about Trump/McCain is interesting on multiple levels. Buttigieg clearly wants to run a positive campaign. He was recently dubbed the Mr. Rogers of Democratic politics, for his calming demeanor. And a recent job posting on his campaign Web site even asks for candidates who are “kind people.” Thus it’s interesting that Buttigieg would highlight Trump having dodged the draft, as that could be interpreted as going-negative.

Having said that, there are multiple advantages to this strategy:

  1. While negative, Buttigieg’s criticism of Trump is fair and accurate, and it’s being made in an effort to argue that we should focus on more positive goals, such as the future of our country.
  2. It’s red meat for the Democratic base, which is overwhelmed by a plethora of riches in terms of qualified presidential candidates. So this just may help Buttigieg get noticed, showing Democrats that Buttigieg is willing and able to take on Trump.
  3. Buttigieg himself served in Afghanistan, and this attack lends itself to contrasting Buttigieg’s service-to-country with Trump’s lack thereof.

There’s another big benefit to this attack, that I doubt Buttigieg has overlooked: It may just goad Trump into responding, giving Buttigieg an even higher national profile than he already has.

You can chip in to support Pete Buttigieg’s campaign here.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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6 Responses to “Buttigieg calls out Trump for draft-dodging & attacking McCain”

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