Rep. Andy Barr compared his time in Congress to the time his Democratic opponent, Marine veteran Amy McGrath, spent in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) equated serving in combat for the United States military with working as a politician. Barr made this comment as he faces a tough re-election fight against Marine veteran Amy McGrath.
In an interview with the New York Times, Barr discussed himself and McGrath and said, "We both served our country."
He added, "I’ve served in a position where ideas matter. My opponent has served her country in the military, where execution matters."
Barr has been serving in the House since 2013 in Kentucky's 6th Congressional District.
McGrath is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. She served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Weapon Systems Officer for the F/A-18D Hornet. As part of that service, she was on duty on September 11, 2001 in an F/A-18 loaded with air-to-air missiles.
She later flew combat missions in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, then completed a second tour in the Iraq War.
In a campaign ad, Barr has been attacking McGrath for her statement that she is a feminist. In a tweet, Barr said she "is a radical progressive who will serve as a rubber stamp for the Democrats' agenda."
In response, McGrath referenced her service on 9/11 and asked Barr, "What sacrifice have you ever made for our country over your party?"
While Barr easily won re-election in 2016, Democrats have targeted the district. Though Trump won it by 15 points, the Cook Political Report currently rates the Republican-held seat as a "toss-up."
Barr's attempt to equate his time in the sleepy offices of Congress to military service, particularly in combat zones like the ones McGrath served in, may not have been the brightest idea.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.