Peter Hamby reports from the Perry beat:
Perry said that if elected, members of the United States Armed Forces would respect him more than President Barack Obama or any of his Republican rivals who have not served in the military.
“I think they would really like to see a person who wore a uniform in that office and I think that’s just a true statement,” he said. “I wouldn’t back up off it an inch. Go ask your veterans if they would rather see somebody who has never served as Commander-in-Chief.”
He added, “Experience matters, having walked in a person’s shoes, having done what these young men and women in the military are doing matters to them. I don’t want somebody sitting in the front left seat of that airliner who just got their pilot’s license.”
Yes, before he got in, no one in the Republican field had military experience. Perry must have some impressive experience!
Perry graduated in August 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. Upon graduation, Perry took a commission in the United States Air Force, flying C-130 tactical aircraft to destinations around the globe, including South America, Europe and the Middle East. In 1977, Perry was honorably discharged from the Air Force with the rank of Captain.
He joined the air force as the Vietnam War was winding down, and he went… elsewhere. That’s more experience than Barack Obama had, and it avoids the problem George W. Bush had explaining why he was in the Air National Guard instead of Vietnam, but it’s a sort of thin reed to challenge the commander-in-chief with. We’ve got a candidate who can play the military card now, but we don’t, as we did in 2004 or 2008, have someone who showed bravery in combat.