The Florida Republican endorsed Donald Trump for president twice, even though he did not serve in Vietnam due to 'bone spurs.'
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) criticized President Joe Biden on Saturday for not serving in the Vietnam War. But Scott never attacked former President Donald Trump for avoiding the draft by claiming to have bone spurs in his heel.
Appearing on a conservative podcast, Scott was asked about Biden's handling of Afghanistan.
"First of all, Joe Biden was never willing to put on the uniform, and now he goes on the attack against the Afghan military for their willingness to defend their country? I think that's despicable what he's done," he replied. "None of us want to be in 'forever wars,' but you have to take care of American citizens, and we had better take care of our allies."
Scott then suggested that Biden's Cabinet should remove Biden using a provision of the Constitution intended for presidents "unable to discharge the powers and duties" of the office.
"I think we oughta consider the 25th Amendment," he urged.
In 1968, Biden received several draft deferments as a student, and also a "1-Y" classification, which stated he would only serve if there was a national emergency, based on his having asthma as a teenager. A health history, provided by his doctor in December 2019, confirmed this, noting that Biden has had "significant allergies" throughout his life and that he thus "experienced exercise-induced asthma as a teenager and young adult."
Scott served for 29 months in the Navy after fighting in Vietnam ended.
But his concern with presidents' military service appears selective. In 2016 and 2020, he endorsed Donald Trump for office, though Trump also received multiple Vietnam-era draft deferrals.
Trump too got a 1-Y classification in 1968, based on bone spurs in his heel — which he later called a "temporary" and "minor" condition. In a 2015 press conference, Trump could not even remember which heel had the spurs; his campaign later claimed he had suffered them in both feet.
The daughters of Trump's late podiatrist told the New York Times in 2018 that their dad had often told them that he only diagnosed Trump's spurs as a "favor" to Trump's father.
"What he got was access to Fred Trump," Elysa Braunstein told the paper. "If there was anything wrong in the building, my dad would call and Trump would take care of it immediately. That was the small favor that he got."
Asked by the podcast host about Trump's bone spurs, Scott suggested that they only got more attention than Biden's asthma because "the media wants to take care of Joe Biden."
While Trump did not serve in the military, he did brag in a 1997 radio interview that he managed to avoid sexually transmitted infections despite having frequent casual sex.
"It's amazing, I can't even believe it. I've been so lucky in terms of that whole world, it is a dangerous world out there. It's like Vietnam, sort of. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier," he told host Howard Stern.
He boasted at a 2016 campaign event that he had received a Purple Heart medal from a supporter. "I always wanted to get the Purple Heart," he said. "This was much easier."
While in office, Trump repeatedly attacked the military, once claiming "I know more about ISIS than the generals do" and reportedly calling top leaders "losers" and "a bunch of dopes and babies." Multiple sources told the Atlantic in 2020 that he called soldiers killed in action "losers" and "suckers."
He also openly mocked prisoners of war, saying in 2015 that the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was "not a war hero" because he was captured by the enemy. "I like people who weren't captured," Trump said.
After Trump dismissed soldiers' traumatic brain injuries as mere "headaches," Scott repeatedly refused to criticize Trump.
While Scott has been critical of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, Trump had also supported the withdrawal.
At a June 26 rally, the one-term president bragged that Biden would be forced to withdraw troops, thanks to him, and predicted that Afghanistan's government would collapse without the U.S. military's presence.
"I started the process. All the troops are coming back home. They [the new administration] couldn't stop the process," Trump said. "Twenty-one years is enough. Don't we think? Twenty-one years. They couldn't stop the process. They wanted to, but it was very tough to stop the process when other things… It's a shame."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.