“I have a message for Eric Trump… Join up, put on a uniform
and stand in the shoes of the people who your father has called ‘losers.’”
– Bob Rackleff, former U.S. Navy officer
Today, ahead of Eric Trump’s visit to Panama City, home to a large military population, Panhandle veterans Phil Ehr and Bob Rackleff blasted Donald Trump for his failures as commander-in-chief, including ignoring Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers and repeatedly and blatantly disparaging our service members and military families.
Phil Ehr, retired U.S. Navy commander and candidate for Florida’s 1st Congressional District
“I’ve been a father, community volunteer, and veteran, who rose from seaman to commander in a 26-year active duty career. I proudly served our country in the United States Navy. I flew reconnaissance missions in the Cold War storm in the Balkans. I also provided strategic advice to senior leaders in Washington, London and NATO and consequential periods, following the Cold War, and 911.
“I served with men and women who prepared to give the ultimate sacrifice in too many who actually did perish in the line of duty — men and women who this president would label ‘losers’ and ‘suckers.’ Tragically, this contempt for our nation’s fallen heroes is shown in the commander-in-chief’s ongoing pattern of disrespect in word and deed.
“We see this pattern in his suffered subservient posture to Vladimir Putin’s bounties on our troops. His casual disregard of US intelligence warnings, and his acquiescence to Russian military operations that endanger and injure our troops.
“I have the utmost respect for those men and women who put on a uniform and choose to protect our freedoms and democracy. I’m running for the office to replace a coward who, time and time again, defends the words and actions that disparage the brave men and women he claims to represent. Matt Gaetz occupies the House seat with the largest military population of any Congressional district in the nation. Yet, he chooses to defend the president who referred to 1,800 Marines who lost their lives as ‘suckers’ for being killed at Belleau Wood, a pivotal battle in the First World War.
“We need representatives who will show our soldiers, the respect they deserve and honor our veterans. Patriotism isn’t just hugging a flag. Patriots inspire the American people to be the best they can be. Patriots support teachers, nurses, and working families. Patriots honor our veterans and give them the respect they earned.”
Bob Rackleff, former U.S. Navy officer
“I have a message for Eric Trump: if you want to honor our servicemembers and veterans become one. Don’t avoid service like your father did and like your brother and sister have done. Join up, put on a uniform and stand in the shoes of the people who your father has called ‘losers.’ I think you will find a very different reality by doing that.
“I was in the Navy for 22 years. I retired as a lieutenant commander, Naval Intelligence. I was a Soviet Navy analyst during the Cold War. I served under five presidents during that time, from Lyndon Johnson to Ronald Reagan. And I never, ever thought that a Commander-in-chief would denigrate the skills and wisdom of our intelligence community like our president has done. He takes the word of a Soviet, of a Russian, dictator over his own staff of dedicated professionals.”
“The remarks that he made about the Marines who died and Belleau Wood are just shameful. And I don’t, I can’t understand why anybody who loves the military would take that in any other way [than] utter contempt.
“…The President has failed as a commander-in-chief and he has put our men and women in uniform in grave danger that they wouldn’t be otherwise. That’s why I cannot support Donald Trump. I can’t support the family members who stood by him in the most outrageous circumstances. And I urge Florida voters to stand up with your men and women in uniform and vote for Joe Biden.”
Contact: Frances Swanson
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