Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was at a rally in Alabama for Senate candidate Roy Moore on Tuesday when he used his platform to attack Mitt Romney for not serving in the Vietnam War.
The former Massachusetts governor had spoken out after multiple women accused Moore of sexually assaulting them as teenage girls or pursuing relationships with them. Romney denounced Moore on Monday, tweeting that no Senate majority was “worth losing our honor, our integrity.”
Bannon defended Moore by noting that he was a graduate of West Point who served in Vietnam.
“And by the way, Mitt, while we’re on the subject of Vietnam and honor and integrity, you avoided service, brother,” Bannon told the crowd. “You hid behind your religion. You went to France to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam.”
Bannon then added that he was going to “get personal,” and attacked Romney’s children for not serving in the military, either. The Breitbart executive chairman claimed Moore “has more honor and integrity in a pinky finger” than Romney’s family has “in its whole DNA.”
“You ran for commander in chief, you had five sons, not one day of service in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Bannon said. “We have 7,000 dead and 52,000 casualties, and where were the Romneys during those wars? You want to talk about honor and integrity, brother, bring it down here to Alabama.”
Bannon, a former Naval officer, worked for President Donald Trump, an accused draft dodger, in the early stages of the Trump administration. Trump received five deferments from the Vietnam draft, four for education and one for bone spurs in his heels. The president told The New York Times last year that the spurs were “temporary.”
“I had a doctor that gave me a letter — a very strong letter on the heels,” Trump said.
Trump has insulted veterans on several occasions, calling Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) a “loser” for being captured during Vietnam. He also attacked the parents of Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, after they spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Bannon made similar comments about Romney and his sons while working for Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. None of Trump’s four adult children have served in the military, either.