Here’s a Look at That Time the Republican Party Proudly Belittled a War Veteran for Political Gain

veteransdayIn case you haven’t heard, GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump belittled Sen. John McCain’s war record by essentially mocking the fact that he got captured in combat.


“He’s a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said. “I like people that weren’t captured.”

Needless to say his remarks have been condemned by just about everyone – though it’s been Republicans who have been especially quick to denounce his comments, seemingly eager to do whatever they can to kill the momentum he’s been building the last few weeks. The last thing Republicans want is for Trump to continue being the face of their party. Nothing quite like someone basically calling most Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, only to see that person skyrocket to become the temporary leader among GOP candidates in most polls.

But all of this “outrage” is completely hypocritical. During the 2004 presidential election, the very same Republican party had absolutely no problem demeaning, mocking and attacking the war record of John Kerry.

As CNN reported in 2004:

Morton Blackwell, a prominent Virginia delegate, has been handing out the heart-covered bandages to delegates, who’ve worn them on their chins, cheeks, the backs of their hands and other places.

Blackwell is president of the Leadership Institute, an educational foundation he founded in 1979. According to its Web site, the institute prepares conservatives for success in politics, government and the news media.

Kerry was a decorated Navy officer in Vietnam who became a prominent antiwar activist upon his return home. A group calling itself “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” has accused Kerry of lying to win combat decorations in Vietnam, including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

Not only were conservatives mocking Kerry’s record, but they had props to go along with their disgusting attacks. These infamously became known as “swift boat” ads.

Former senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole also downplayed the extent of Kerry’s wounds.

“With three Purple Hearts, he never bled that I know of. And they’re all superficial wounds,” Dole said.

Yet now Republicans want to act high and mighty when it comes to Trump’s comments about McCain’s service? It’s as if they just can’t help but be complete hypocrites with nearly everything that they do.


I can’t help but be astonished that they’ve been so quick to come out and pretend to be offended by condemn Trump’s remarks about McCain, but seemed to have no problem when he basically called millions of Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists.

But let’s be honest, all this “outrage” coming from the GOP is purely for show. The only reason why so many Republicans are going after Trump is because they’re trying to play this up as much as possible hoping to knock him down from the top of their presidential polls. It’s something that they’ve been unsuccessfully trying to do for the last several weeks.

Will Trump drop in the polls following these comments? Possibly, although if he does it will just further solidify the rampant hypocrisy of the Republican party.

In 2004 they sure as hell didn’t mind mocking, belittling and attacking the record of a war veteran for their own political gain.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Michael Siever

    You really want to see Republicans downplaying people’s war records? Google now former GOP Senator Saxby Chambliss’ attacks on then Democratic Senator Max Cleleand in 2002. Absolutely disgusting. And the sickest part was Chambliss actually won because of those attack ads.

  • Flat Banana

    I dont think he has a clue what happened. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=123495

  • Republicans have nothing but lies, slander, hate, greed and it’s really gross because they morally have ZERO!!!….In their world, If you have something earned in life that took sacrifice and courage, they hate it because it takes attention away from them because they are fucking losers and they know it…It’s gross as hell….

  • Paul

    He’ll go UP in the polls. Hop on over to Lucianne dot come and read any of the threads about Trump. They love him, and HATE McCain. This is your Republican base.

  • Creeayshun Sighuntist

    I still can’t figure out who takes Trump seriously. It has to be some paid astroturf campaign that is manufacturing these poll numbers. I hope I’m wrong because I would love to see any Democrat meet him as the GOP candidate but there is no chance he lasts past this summer.

  • Eg Kbbs

    Don’t forget the irony (though it wasn’t in regard to military record) that when McCain was running over a decade ago and high in the polls, just before the SC Primary there was a “political poll” that called people and included a question along the lines of would you still support him if you were to find out he had an illegitimate black baby.

    The innuendo took McCain down in flames.

    Yet, in the race to form McCain / Palin, McCain turned around and hired the same firm to work for him. Seems kind of hypocritical.

  • Eg Kbbs

    Odd that no one has included Tricky Dick.