Of all the dirty campaign tricks available to politicians, a candidate for South Carolina's Lieutenant Governor has used perhaps one of the dirtiest.
While other candidates are "misrepresenting" their military service in order to advance their campaigns, Larry Richter was willing to drop to the level of denigrating the proven combat record of primary opponent Bill Connor, who served in Afghanistan.
"I don't know whether Bill had combat experience or not," Richter said. "There's a lot of talk about that, but I defer to his account of that."
You will have to watch the video for yourself. But personally, I was disgusted.
Although Connor stated he was an "Airborne Ranger infantry officer and senior advisor," Richter suggested he held a "desk job." The truth is out there, but apparently it doesn't benefit Richter's campaign. For critical thinkers, a copy of Connor's Officer Evaluation Record is available here.
On the other hand, Richter managed to avoid military service during the Vietnam War.
Richter made his remarks during a live debate on the NBC-affiliate television station WMBF just two business days before the primary elections, knowing that the move would damage his opponent and there would be no time for a blowback. And by blaming his statements on "people, many of them" and "anonymous bloggers," he has plausible deniability.
W. Thomas Smith, Jr. writes at World Defense Review:
According to official documentation, Connor – a recipient of the Bronze Star and the combat infantryman badge – has been described by his superiors as “a fearless, consummate combat leader” who “performed well under intense enemy fire and always led his men from the front.”
Beyond that, I have personally spoken to soldiers who have served “in action” with Connor, and in one instance Connor literally had to fight with his pistol against fanatics with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades who were trying to wipe out a convoy (Connor was leading) with a series of complex ambushes one-after-another for 4.5 miles of isolated highway in Afghanistan.
If your campaign can't stand on its own accord, don't smear a man's military service - and certainly not his proven combat record.