George Romney, brother of national Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, lit into Steve Bannon, a key ally of President Donald Trump, for claiming that the Romney family lacks integrity for not serving in the military.
The high-profile digs at Mitt Romney and his sons, made at a campaign rally Wednesday in Alabama for Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, prompted George Romney (pictured with his wife, above) to strongly refute Bannon’s assertions in a Facebook post on Thursday:
News flash Stevo, if you are saying that (one is) dishonorable for not serving in the military you are insulting most of the people you were speaking to at that rally. You were also insulting those who serve in the military that fight for our religious freedoms.
Serving a religious mission is a much more honorable activity than molesting a 14-year-old girl, or supporting someone who did. Supporting a conservative child molester is not conservative.
While Romney focused on the allegations of past sexual misconduct against Moore, Bannon, former chief political strategist for the Trump White House, went off script and blasted Mitt Romney’s criticism that Moore is unworthy of a Senate seat.
He said that Mitt Romney (Ronna’s uncle) and his five sons avoided military service by citing the Mormon religion’s emphasis on missionary service overseas. The 2012 GOP presidential nominee participated in a Mormon mission in France during the Vietnam war.
“You hid behind your religion,” Bannon said at a Moore campaign rally in rural Alabama. “Do not talk to me about honor and integrity.”
Bannon, an executive for the right-wing Breitbart news service, also spread his criticism to the Romney sons who have engaged in similar missionary work on behalf of the Church of Latter Day Saints.
“You ran for commander in chief and had five sons — not one day of service in Afghanistan or Iraq. We have 7,000 dead and 52,000 casualties, and where were the Romneys during those wars?” Bannon asked. He added, “Judge Roy Moore has more honor and integrity in his pinky finger than your entire family.”
Moore graduated from the U.S. military academy and served as an Army officer in the Vietnam War. Bannon served in the Navy after the Vietnam War. Trump obtained several deferments during the Vietnam War for his education and for bone spurs. Neither of Trump’s adult sons served in the military.
George Romney, who lives in Florida, interpreted Bannon’s remarks as an affront to the entire Romney family, including his namesake, former Michigan governor George Romney.
Several prominent Republican politicians in Mormon-rich Utah, where Mitt Romney is contemplating a U.S. Senate run, also blasted Bannon’s remarks in a similar manner.