Ironically, Bannon himself did not serve in the Vietnam War
Stephen Bannon, once a political strategist at the White House, carried the metaphorical gun for Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for the Senate as he attacked Mitt Romney, a Republican old guard and who once ran for the US presidency in 2012. Bannon went hammer and tongs for Romney, taunting him by saying that the latter hid behind in his religion to avoid being drafted into Vietnam War.
Bannon, it is to be noted, did not serve in Vietnam either even though he had reached the military eligibility age. He was in college at that time. He served in US navy after the Vietnam War has ended. He became a known face only after Trump appointed him chief strategist. President Donald J. Trump himself avoided being drafted into the ear citing bone spurs and education.
Bannon jumped into the fray when Romney tweeted on December 4, that no vote or majority is worth losing one’s honor or integrity. The former political strategist shot back, saying it is Romney who lacks integrity and honor. He pointed out that the establishment GOP avoided service. He went on to say that the college deferments can be debated and hit Romney’s Mormon antecedents when he accused him of hiding behind the religion. Bannon mocked Romney saying that the latter enjoyed his life as a missionary in France while US soldiers met death in Vietnam.
What Bannon said was factually true. Romney did go to France as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for a period of two and half years during the latter part of the 1960s. He had an accident while driving in 1968. Romney suffered a broken arm. One passenger died due to the head-on collision.
Following the footsteps of Trump who is known for making personal attacks, Bannon did nor spare the Romney family either. He said that not one of Romney’s five sons served in the United States military. There were, the Trump supporter said, no Romneys were seen fighting for their country. He ended his tirade against the Republican by claiming that Judge Moore has much more integrity and honor in his pinkie finger compared to the whole Romney family DNA.
Romney, for his part, has received support from a substantial number of Republicans. Senator Mike Lee said that Mitt Romney is a nice person. It is one thing to disagree with him on the issue of public policy, yet another to question his moral character or patriotism. Senator Orrin Hatch termed such attacks unjustified and disappointing.