President Donald Trump frequently touts himself as a champion of the military and veterans but as the 2020 Presidential race heats up, he’s is finding his own military service, or lack thereof, being cast into the spotlight. During the Vietnam War, Trump received medical deferments for his bone spurs. Now, Democratic primary candidates Pete Buttigieg and Seth Moulton are lambasting Trump over his deferments.
Both Buttigieg and Moulton are veterans. And both are questioning Trump’s diagnosis, even suggesting that it could have been bogus. If so, they argue, Trump forced other Americans to risk their lives in the jungles of Vietnam while he avoided service.
Buttigieg laid into the President, alleging:
“This is somebody who, I think it’s fairly obvious to most of us, took advantage of the fact that he was a child of a multimillionaire in order to pretend to be disabled so that somebody could go to war in his place.”
Buttigieg went on to question President Trump’s character. He also urged Republicans to consider their allegiance to Trump. At least among veterans, however, the most recent polls have shown Trump enjoying strong support. 58 percent of veterans approved of Trump at the end of 2018. Among active-duty troops, Trump had an approval rating of 44 percent as of October 2018.
Come 2020, troops could prove to be one of the deciding factors in what will likely be a contentious Presidential race. And it’s possible that a military veteran could pull a bit more support from the armed services. But before either Buttigieg or Moulton get a chance to challenge President Trump, they’ll have to get through a meat grinder of a Democratic primary.