MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” did a segment this morning looking at the Senate race in Arkansas between Sen. Mark Pryor and Cong. Tom Cotton. The whole segment “One of the Last Democrats Left in the Deep South” is worth watching.
In the interview, Sen. Pryor explained that he felt Cotton was not ready for the Senate.
“When I look at his record, I don’t see where he has passed a bill. I don’t see where he has really accomplished anything in the House. And he seems to have run for the House just in order to run for the Senate,” said Pryor.
MSNBC report Kasie Hunt followed up by asking about Cotton’s tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“I have total respect for that. I appreciate that. And would never criticize anyone for serving our country and say thank you for that,” said Pryor.
Then things turned dramatically for the worse when Hunt asked if he saw this service as a qualification for a Senator.
“No,” said Pryor bursting into laughter at the suggestion. “There are a lot of people serving in the Senate that did not serve in the military. In the Senate, we have all kinds of different people – all kinds of different folks who come from all kinds of different backgrounds.”
“I think that is part of this sense of entitlement that he gives off. It’s almost like, ‘I served my country, let me into the Senate.’ That’s not how it works in Arkansas,” said Pryor.
After the interview, the Morning Joe panel was dumbfounded at Pryor’s remarks.
“One part of the report that really jumped out at both of us was when Sen. Pryor suggested ‘a sense of entitlement’ in the Congressman for his military service,” said co-host Willie Geist.
“It was unbelievable,” said Joe Scarborough. “First of all, saying that being in the military was not a qualification for a United States Senator. I think most Americans would believe in these times of war we need more military men and women in Congress not less. Yeah, but for him to say a ‘sense of entitlement’ after a guy who decided to go into the infantry after graduating from Harvard? It’s unbelievable.”
The Pryor campaign quickly scrambled to do damage control after the segment aired. They hastily got several veterans who support Pryor to host a press conference where they explained they were not offended.
Retired Col. Mike Ross (not to be confused with the gubernatorial candidate) told KATV news that he saw the interview and was not at all offended. “(Pryor) works for veterans. He doesn’t disrespect them,” said Ross.
If Ross sounds familiar to you, he was also a staple on Blanche Lincoln’s campaign who made statements critical of the way Sen. John Boozman treated veterans. Boozman quickly debunked these ridiculous statements.
So to recap the day for Pryor – he began by saying Cotton had a “sense of entitlement” because he served his country in the Army. Then, he sought to defend himself by using a veteran used by Blanche Lincoln’s campaign who attacked Sen. Boozman for his treatment of veterans.