Former presidential adviser Steve Bannon brought the Republican Civil War to the heart of the deep South on Tuesday night attacking 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s honor and integrity and comparing him unfavorably to U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore.
“While we’re on the subject of honor and integrity, you avoided service, brother,” Bannon told the Fairhope, Alabama, audience, noting that Romney received religious deferments and spent the Vietnam War as a missionary.
“You hid behind your religion. You went to France to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam,” Bannon said, according to CNN’s report.
Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Bannon also ripped Romney’s sons for their lack of military service.
“Judge Moore has more honor and integrity in his pinky finger than your family has in its whole DNA.”
Bannon, while noting that Moore would continue the kind of change that President Donald Trump has brought to the Republican Party, failed to mention that Trump avoided service in Vietnam through deferments for education and for bone spurs in his foot and that Trump’s sons also did not serve in the military.
Romney drew Bannon’s wrath with his denunciations of Roy Moore’s candidacy, criticizing Moore for the allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls that have plagued the former Alabama Supreme Court judge’s campaign.
“No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity,” Romney tweeted.
In another tweet, Romney said, “Roy Moore in the U.S. Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation.”
Romney was also critical of Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
Trump and Bannon have fought Romney’s attempt to resurface in Republican politics as a possible candidate for U.S. Senate in Utah. Bannon’s attack came one day after Trump encouraged 83-year-old incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch to run for re-election. Romney has indicated that he will not run if Hatch does.
Romney was not Bannon’s only Republican target Tuesday night. Bannon also ripped Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who tweeted a photo of the $100 check Flake sent to the campaign of Roy Moore’s Democratic opponent Doug Jones, calling Flake “a total embarrassment.”
Bannon also criticized Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said Tuesday that an ethics investigation of Moore would be launched if he wins next Tuesday’s election.