Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon attacked Mitt Romney for not serving in the military after the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee said "honor" and "integrity" were more important than votes or maintaining a Republican majority in the Senate.
At a rally in Fairhope, Ala., in support of Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, Bannon praised Moore, who is facing allegations of sexual misconduct, for his military service and for serving in Vietnam.
“Mitt, that’s honor and integrity. And by the way, Mitt, while we’re on the subject of Vietnam, and honor and integrity, you avoided service, brother, right?” Bannon said Tuesday evening. “Mitt, here’s how it is, brother. The college deferments, we can debate that, but you hid behind your religion. You went to France to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam. Do not talk to me about honor and integrity!”
Bannon noted that Romney also has five sons, but none of them served in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Where were the Romneys during those wars?” Bannon said. “You want to talk about honor and integrity, brother, bring it. Bring it down here to Alabama.”
Romney said in a tweet Monday that Moore would be a “stain” on the nation and the Republican Party if he were elected to the Senate and voiced support for the women who have accused Moore of sexual misconduct.
Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation. Leigh Corfman and other victims are courageous heroes. No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity.— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) December 4, 2017
While Bannon accused Romney of still being "bitter" about President Trump, whom he noted won a presidential election where Romney did not, Bannon did not mention that Trump received multiple draft deferments during the Vietnam War, the first four being for college and the fifth for heel spurs.
Moore faces multiple accusations of pursuing sexual and romantic relations with women when they were between the ages of 14 and 18, while he was in his 30s.
Moore has repeatedly denied the allegations and has resisted pressure from top Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to drop out of the race.
Meanwhile, Trump offered Moore a critical endorsement this week.
Moore is up against Democrat Doug Jones next week in the Alabama special election to fill the remainder of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate term.
Bannon returned to his post as executive chairman of Breitbart News after he left the White House in August. He had served as President Trump's campaign as chief executive officer in the 2016 campaign's final months.
He also panned Republican Sen. Jeff Flake at the rally. The senator from Arizona tweeted out a picture of a $100 check he wrote to Jones' campaign.