At a press conference this morning Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick’s introduced and stood alongside three veterans who had come expressly to Swift Boat Patrick Murphy on Fitzpatrick’s behalf. Murphy is a former U.S. Army captain, Iraq war veteran, and the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District. Rep. Fitzpatrick stood by silently as these men made their attacks on Patrick Murphy’s service record — he made no comments to the contrary, nor did he denounce their false accusations against Patrick Murphy.
John Kerry issued the following statement on Rep. Fitzpatrick’s foul attempt to Swift Boat Patrick Murphy:
“I won’t stand for the ‘swift boating’ of Patrick Murphy. It disgusts me that a congressman who has never worn the uniform of our country stands there in silence as a veteran home from Iraq has his service disparaged.
“No one who has ever served would tolerate this kind of slander about a fellow veteran. In 2000, George Bush stood in silence while John McCain’s service was questioned. It was wrong then, it is wrong now for Mike Fitzpatrick to engage in the same double-speak. What is it these Republicans who never served have against Democrats who did?
“I have news for Mike Fitzpatrick. In war, bullets don’t differentiate between lawyers and medics, enlisted men and officers.
“You know why Mike Fitzpatrick is engaged in the lowest form of smear and fear politics? Because he’s afraid of actually debating Patrick Murphy about the disastrous war in Iraq. He’s afraid to debate a veteran who lives and breathes the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor. He’s terrified of actually leveling with the American people about the way the administration misled America into war, and admitting their stay the course slogans just guarantee more Americans die for a stand still and lose strategy. Mike Fitzpatrick should finally find the courage to debate the real issue instead of cowardly having his surrogates try to destroy anyone who speaks truth to power. It’s unacceptable to do this to any leader of any party anywhere in our country.”
Patrick Murphy, former U.S. Army captain, Iraq war veteran, and Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District, released the following statement in response to the Swift Boat attacks today:
“Congressman Fitzpatrick has never worn a military uniform. He has never seen war. I have. Congressman Fitzpatrick went on a tour of Iraq; I served a tour of duty in Iraq. For a sitting Congressman to make baseless accusations about my service shows he is willing to put political ambitions ahead of the truth. A man with any courage would apologize to the thousands of brave men and women currently serving our country in Iraq.”
Patrick Murphy has released his entire military record to the public.