Pete Buttigieg pointed to his own military experience and slammed Donald Trump over his bone spurs diagnosis as he argued he is prepared to take on the President.
Buttigieg said if Trump tried “tough talk” on the military during a debate with the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor, he would have to do so while “standing next to an American war veteran and explain how he pretended bone spurs made him ineligible to serve.”
The line came near the end of the debate, when Buttigieg turned a barb from businessman Tom Steyer to take on the Republican president.
Trump was diagnosed with bone spurs in his heels at the age of 22 in 1968, seven years before the Vietnam War ended. The diagnosis earned him a 1-Y medical deferment, meaning he was barred from military service in the same year that roughly 300,000 troops were enlisted into the military.
Buttigieg attacked the President on other topics, too.
“I am ready to take on this president on the economy because I am from the exact kind of industrial Midwestern community he pretends to speak to and has proven to turn his back on,” Buttigieg said.
The mayor also hit Trump on religion. The mayor is an Episcopalian. Trump, a Presbyterian, enjoyed widespread support from white American evangelicals during the 2016 election.
“If he keeps trying to use religion, if a guy like Donald trump keeps trying to use religion to somehow recruit Christianity into the GOP, I will be standing there not afraid to talk about a different way to answer the call of faith,” he said. “And insist that God does not belong to a political party.”