It really is great to hear the 2020 Dems say things aloud that we all know and snark about on social media. We call Trump "Cadet Bone Spurs" without really internalizing what he did to own that moniker: Dodge the draft.
Well, Pete Buttigieg went there and he did it straight up, which impressed the crew on Deadline:White House. For me, the highlight of this clip is hearing Pete say this: "I have a pretty dim view of his decision to use his privileged status to fake a disability in order to avoid serving in Vietnam."
Yeah, me too. The draft was no picnic, but as Buttigieg observes, elites like Trump had ways to duck their service so someone less fortunate ended up going in their place. It's why I loathe the smarmy way he sucks up to veterans like he has a clue what they endured in war and back home.
Also, Heidi Przybyla's comments on the panel part of the video are worth sticking around for.
Full transcript below, courtesy of Aliza:
COSTA: Do you think he should have served in Vietnam?
BUTTIGIEG: I have a pretty dim view of his decision to use his privileged status to fake a disability in order to avoid serving in Vietnam.
COSTA: You believe he faked a disability.
BUTTIGIEG: Do you believe he has a disability? Yeah. At least not not that one. He -- no, I don't mean a -- no, I -- this is actually really important because I don't mean to trivialize disability but I think that's what he did.
WALLACE: A stinging rebuke of the president from Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who seems to have solidified his place among the upper tier of the Democratic candidates. The latest Monmouth poll out today has him in fifth place behind Biden and Sanders and a pair of surging democrats, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren who are both now in double digits. The table is back. Let me just say, that was your colleague, our colleague as well, Robert Costa who did a tremendous job. That was a tremendous event, tons of news, but there, right there might have been sort of that how hard can he go if Democrats want to know how hard their choices can go with Donald Trump, that's as hard as you can go at Donald Trump.
ROBINSON: That was hard. That was Afghanistan hard.
WALLACE: That was "disability, not that disability."
ROBINSON: He connected those dots. Those dots have been there, right? And everybody's written about them and that's what you take away from what actually happened with Trump. But there's something about coming out and saying it, saying it forcefully, yeah, he faked it. He faked the bone spurs and that's how he got out of serving in Vietnam. I mean, boom.
WALLACE: I have said this before, that I think that all of the Democratic candidates are getting better week after week after week after week. Buttigieg is the most gifted political communicator on the field.
PRZYBYLA: Knew right where to go to hurt Trump the most. I have been thinking about this. He's not the first person to go there on VIetnam with Trump, it was Bob Kerry, the former senator who said, "You had bone spurs? Let's see the MRI. Did you really have bone spurs?" Trump's whole image is about fighting the elite. And somehow, we the media, who come from normal, middle class families, have become the elite. That aside, this is the ultimate betrayal of that. That he used his privileged status as an official, as the favorite son of the New York elite to avoid the draft, if he really didn't have a disability and he trivialized it and gamed the system like that. Who are the guys who did have to go? The guys who did have to go are a lot of the guys who supported him, a lot of the white working class guys who today live off Social Security and pensions they had to work hard for after they came back possibly with real disabilities from serving.
WALLACE: It's an intelligent, and emotional gut message.