Democratic Attacks On Trump And Vietnam Open Door To Scrutiny Of Biden Avoiding Draft

Two veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination have taken aim at President Trump over his four Vietnam draft deferments for being a student and a medical one in 1968 for a bone spur.

But their ultimate target might be Joe Biden, the early Democratic front-runner who avoided Vietnam service in a strikingly similar way by securing five student deferments and a medical one in 1968 due to childhood asthma.

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., and a Navy veteran of Afghanistan, last week accused Trump of draft dodging. "I have a pretty dim view of his decision to use his privileged status to fake a disability in order to avoid serving in Vietnam," he said.

Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts representative and a former Marine officer who served in Iraq, blasted Trump on the same grounds. "This is a president who used his father's connections to lie about bone spurs to get out of serving in a war," he said this month. Moulton revealed this week that has post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his combat experience.

Joe Trippi, a veteran Democratic strategist, said he saw the attacks on Trump as a "legitimate way for veterans like Buttigieg and Moulton to contrast their life experience with Biden and others in the race."

Republican strategist Ford O’Connell predicted Democrats would start to attack Biden more explicitly, but to do so in a way that did not undermine the Obama administration's record. The Vietnam issue “is a good issue to go after him on because in no way does it implicate Obama,” he said, noting Obama’s high approval among the Democratic electorate.

Read more from Emily Larsen from the Washington Examiner 

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