Retired Colonels Wrangle Over McCalister's Military Record; LeMieux Blasts 'Unfounded Attacks'
In an attack reminiscent of the "swift boating" of Democrat John Kerry, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McCalister is under fire for allegedly inflating his military record.
Accusing McCalister of making "grossly misleading statements on his website," Chuck Winn said the retired Army colonel embellished his "special operations" service.
Winn, himself a retired colonel, told the political website Shark Tank that McCalister's home page subsequently deleted references to being a "retired special operations Army colonel."
McCalister called Winn's attack "dirty politics" and released portions of his military record.
McCalister said he served at the U.S. Special Operations Command from September 1998 to September 2005 in three positions: special operations action officer; research and analysis officer; and assistant/deputy chief, training, doctrine, and education division, center for operations, plans and policy.
"If some things that I have said or placed on my website have been misinterpreted, I take full responsibility for that. Whenever I learned that something I said or that was posted on my campaign website was creating confusion, I took action to address the issue."
Winn was described in the Shark Tank report as a supporter of rival Senate candidate George LeMieux. But LeMieux issued a statement late Wednesday dismissing any connection:
"I denounce the unfounded attacks on the military service of Colonel Mike McCalister. The colonel served our nation honorably in the United States military and he, as well as all of our men and women in uniform, deserves our gratitude and respect. Any campaign engaging in such baseless attacks should immediately apologize to Colonel McCalister and denounce these tactics."