In the latest round of the bizarre online fight President Donald Trump seems to be waging against the deceased former senator and presidential candidate John McCain, one of McCain’s fellow Vietnam veterans spoke up against the president in a fiery rant, criticizing Trump’s own lack of military service in contrast to McCain. According to Raw Story, former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey took to the airwaves of CNN to take issue with Trump criticizing McCain and calling other people who served in Vietnam “suckers” when he himself managed to obtain five draft deferments, with oft-questioned claims of having bone spurs in his heels.
“This is the guy that showed up and said, ‘I don’t want to go to Vietnam,’ like [McCain] did,” Kerrey said. “He said, ‘I wasn’t eligible to go to Vietnam because I had bone spurs.’ You don’t grow out of bone spurs. I call on the president, get your feet x-rayed. Let’s see those x-rays. I want to see.”
“So, show us your bone spurs. Let’s see those x-rays.”
Kerrey, who served as a SEAL officer in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and who ultimately joined SEAL Team One, unleashed a ferocious tirade against the president, focusing especially on Trump’s own reluctance to serve in the military, yet having the temerity to repeatedly offer posthumous criticisms of McCain. Kerrey’s own bona fides stand head and shoulders above many combat veterans: He was severely injured in Vietnam and lost part of his right leg. He was later awarded the Medal of Honor.
As he continued to fire broadsides at the president, Kerrey took major issue not only with Trump’s recent criticisms, which, oddly, have come months after McCain passed away and included a complaint about not being thanked for the former Arizona senator’s funeral. Kerrey also took the opportunity to rail against Trump’s previous statements about McCain, in which he criticized him for being captured during the Vietnam War.
As a combat pilot, McCain was famously shot down over Vietnam and spent five years undergoing torture and severe privation in a Vietcong prisoner-of-war camp before returning home and being welcomed as a hero. But the sharp-tongued Kerrey noted that even with that seemingly unimpeachable record, Trump still found a way to directly critique McCain for his service.
“Everything he’s saying is bad enough, but when he says, ‘[McCain’s] not my kind of guy because he went to Vietnam, because he was flying combat missions and got shot down, was held as a prisoner.’ That’s not your kind of guy? Who is your kind of guy? Your friends who falsified their records so they didn’t have to go?” Kerrey said.
Kerrey went on to portray the president as a spoiled rich kid who just didn’t want to go to war and had a wealthy father who bought his way out of the draft. He mocked Trump for calling himself “incredibly smart” and portraying himself as a “tough guy,” but when the chips were down and he had an opportunity to actually go to Vietnam and fight, he instead chose to attend an elite military school instead, where they “marched around and dressed up as soldiers.”
Kerrey added that in his experience, the toughest people, the ones who have actually risked their lives and sacrificed aren’t the ones going around “saying how tough they are.”