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Tucker Carlson, bestie of draft dodger Donald Trump, goes on bizarre rant about Pete Buttigieg’s military service

Josh Milton February 22, 2020
Tucker Carlson, Fox News host, attempted to upbraid Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg in a bizarre rant. (Screen capture via Media Matters)

Tucker Carlson, Fox News host, attempted to upbraid Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg in a bizarre rant. (Screen capture via Media Matters)

US Democratic presidential nominee Pete Buttigieg has been accused of lying about his military service by conservative commentariat Tucker Carlson in a seriously bizarre rant.

In a full-throated attack by the Fox News host Wednesday, Carlson accused the former Navy intelligence officer who served in Afghanistan as a “fraud” and “phony” on an episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight.

Buttigieg’s military service has been a ballast for his presidential bid. Often leveraging it to outflank rivals during Democratic debates, or evoking his experience as a veteran to bolster his policy pledges on areas such as international affairs and gun control.

Carlson Tucker: ‘Buttigieg is nothing, if not a phony.’

Carlson, a close ally of US president Donald Trump who has never served in the military, hammered Buttigieg by upbraiding his military credentials.

Carlson panned the candidate’s overseas service as he reeled off Buttigieg’s credentials and declared him “Lego Man Pete” for being a perfectly built contender.

Which, for some reason, is a bad thing. Sure, right, OK then.

“There was only one block missing, something to appeal to middle America,” Carlson said.

“Buttigieg chose military service; normal people respect that.”

Carlson mocked Buttigieg’s voice and then mined his military background, daubing Buttigieg with allegations as he sounded out: “When Buttigieg deployed to Afghanistan he didn’t go as a member of the unit, he went as a one-man reinforcement.

“He never saw combat; instead he spent his time sitting on base or ferrying people around in a jeep.

Pete Buttigieg has, at times, used his military service as a way to leverage policy proposals and connect to midwestern voters. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Pete Buttigieg has, at times, used his military service as a way to leverage policy proposals and connect to midwestern voters. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“In 2009, he joined the Naval Reserves. Five years later he did a tour in Afghanistan. Buttigieg was now officially a veteran, and he never stopped reminding you of it.

“You really get the impression Buttigieg spent his time in Afghanistan stringing Taliban ears onto necklaces.

“As he told Beto O’Rourke at one of the Democratic debates: ‘I don’t need lessons from you on courage’.

“Ugh. Who talks like that? Not people who’ve actually been there, that’s for sure.

“Phonies talk like that. And Buttigieg is nothing, if not a phony,” Carlson continued, before calling Buttigieg a “transparent fraud.”

So, wait, is Pete Buttigieg a ‘phony’?

Tucker’s attempt to discredit the Democrat relied on distortion.

According to the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana’s campaign website, he took a leave of absence during his first term in office to deploy to Afghanistan.

Furthermore, according to the 38-year-old’s certificate of release, obtained by The Hill, Buttigieg served in the Afghanistan Threat Finance Cell in Kabul.

He was placed in “an imminent danger pay area” from March to September 2014, while the then-32-year old was still serving his first term as mayor.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Buttigieg represented the cell in “high level briefings”, the documents said, while Buttigieg himself has spoken about “crossing the wire” of his secure base as a vehicle commander on convoy security detail.

Buttigieg throughout the campaign trail has been an outspoken critic of conflict, which he pairs with his veteran status to appeal to moderates and liberals alike.

Weaving together his sexuality and Christian faith into a biography designed to appeal to both middle and working-class Americans.

Moreover, his flashing of his service is an attempt, in part, to sway veteran voters away from Trump. Veterans have generally approved of the president’s performance more so than the general population.

More: Peet Buttigieg, Tucker Carlson

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