The conservative commentator and host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” cast doubt about the candidate’s service overseas during the latest episode of his prime-time opinion program.
“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,” Mr. Carlson said prior to playing a clip of the candidate discussing his deployment.
“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,” Mr. Carlson continued before calling Mr. Buttigieg a “transparent fraud.”
Mr. Buttigieg, the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, took a leave of absence during his first term in office to deploy to Afghanistan, according to his campaign website.
Mr. Carlson is hardly the only conservative commentator to have questioned the candidate’s military record.
“You know, he’s got this fake military experience, which isn’t real,” media personality Mark Simone said about Mr. Buttigieg last year while presiding over the radio program normally hosted by Fox News personality Sean Hannity. “There’s one picture of him in full military garb, but I checked into it. It’s taken at the airport in South Bend so it’s fake military experience.”
Spokespeople for Mr. Buttigieg’s presidential campaign did not immediately return messages seeking their reaction to Mr. Carlson’s remark.
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