Tom Cotton goes off on White House over Bergdahl swap

posted at 6:01 pm on June 18, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has some choice words for anonymous White House staffers who accused the members of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s platoon of “swift-boating” him: “shut up.”

Speaking at a House committee hearing on Wednesday, Cotton attacked the administration for justifying the Bergdahl swap by suggesting that his release was worth any price.

“Every day in Ranger School, we recited the Ranger Creed that I will never leave a fallen comrade,” Cotton said. “You know who didn’t leave a fallen comrade? Cody Full. Darryn Andrews. Or all the soldiers who went after him in the weeks and months after his disappearance, knowing that he had deserted.”

“When we made those promises to each other, we didn’t promise that we would exchange five stone-cold Taliban killers for each other, nor would any soldier want that to happen,” the Arkansas representative continued.

“Finally, I want to say something to the anonymous sources in the president’s administration who are disparaging the service of Second Platoon and Blackfoot Company,” Cotton concluded. “Show yourself, speaking your own name, have the courage of your convictions. If you don’t, shut up, stand back, and thank these men for their service.”

While this clip will fire up base Republicans, it could also play into the hands of Sen. Mark Pryor’s (D-AR) campaign which has spent the last several weeks attempting to turn the Arkansas Senate race into a personality contest. The coordinated effort by the Pryor camp to paint Cotton as insensitive recently prompted the Republican House member to joke “I’m warm, dammit!”

Cotton’s campaign themes, however, much of which center on his status as a war veteran, are likely to blunt any attempt to frame this episode as an example of his penchant for hotheaded and impolitic statements. If anything, it shows that Cotton views the swap of five dangerous Taliban commanders for one alleged deserter in personal terms.

With attack ads flooding the airwaves, and voters in Arkansas likely tuning out political messaging, this is the kind of moment which can cut through the noise.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Screw Pryor.

I like that guy!

formwiz on June 18, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Stand up to them.

crankyoldlady on June 18, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Amazing. Short, simple, but to the point. The biggest slap in the face being that these ‘anonymous’ people in the White House don’t even have the balls to openly state what they believe.

Aizen on June 18, 2014 at 6:06 PM

He’s going to win.

Meremortal on June 18, 2014 at 6:07 PM

“Show yourself, speaking your own name, have the courage of your convictions. If you don’t, shut up, stand back, and thank these men for their service.”

Impossible for any sniveling libtard.

VegasRick on June 18, 2014 at 6:07 PM

I’d vote for Mr. Cotton if I were able.

majorzot on June 18, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Trend pre-”shut up” seems to be tracking for Cotton against Pryor.

I think this could give him steam moving forward.

Odie1941 on June 18, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Excuse me, but what did he say that any *decent* person wouldn’t agree with?

LilyBart on June 18, 2014 at 6:10 PM

If the people of Arkansas, who produced Attorney General and then Governor and then President Clinton, elect Udall over Cotton, then they really do deserve every insult that they are, collectively, stupid and ignorant.
Thank you.
CW
http://theprecinctproject.wordpress.com

Cold Warrior on June 18, 2014 at 6:13 PM

“Finally, I want to say something to the anonymous sources in the president’s administration who are disparaging the service of Second Platoon and Blackfoot Company,” Cotton concluded. “Show yourself, speaking your own name, have the courage of your convictions. If you don’t, shut up, stand back, and thank these men for their service.”

The anonymous source is Obama.

VorDaj on June 18, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Good for him. That should resonate not only with conservatives, but any reasonable person.

cat_owner on June 18, 2014 at 6:14 PM

AND STLL all the “outrage” from the gop means no more than a pile of steaming, fresh out of the innards, possum shinola.

#morepilesofcrapfromtheuselessgop

PappyD61 on June 18, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Cotton should win easily in November, over the “moderate” Dingy Harry rubber stamp Pryor.

cat_owner on June 18, 2014 at 6:16 PM

If the people of Arkansas, who produced Attorney General and then Governor and then President Clinton, elect Udall over Cotton, then they really do deserve every insult that they are, collectively, stupid and ignorant.
Cold Warrior on June 18, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Udall?
I thought Cooton was running against Pryor.

We have a Udall (D) in Colorado that will hopefully lose – to Gardner (R).

dentarthurdent on June 18, 2014 at 6:18 PM

I thought Cooton Cotton was running against Pryor.

Dang keyboard…

dentarthurdent on June 18, 2014 at 6:20 PM

I’d vote for Mr. Cotton if I were able.

majorzot on June 18, 2014 at 6:08 PM

What’s stopping you? It doesn’t stop the Donks.

HiJack on June 18, 2014 at 6:20 PM

How refreshing to hear a Real Leader speak up and defend our military people!

Rep. Tom Cotton is running for U.S. Senate in Arkansas.

You can learn more about him at his campaign website.

http://www.tomcotton.com/

If you like what you learn about Tom Cotton, find a way to support his campaign.

- Donate
- Talk to friends and family about Tom Cotton
- Spread the word about Tom Cotton’s campaign on the internet and via social media
- Volunteer to help his campaign

We need more leaders like Tom Cotton in the U.S. Senate!

wren on June 18, 2014 at 6:22 PM

I’d vote for Mr. Cotton if I were able.

majorzot on June 18, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Ask virtually any democRAT for the ‘how’ (wink wink, nod nod ).

tanked59 on June 18, 2014 at 6:25 PM

wren on June 18, 2014 at 6:22 PM

You are such an asset at election time. I always enjoy your posts. Keep up the good work.

Barred on June 18, 2014 at 6:30 PM

We have a Udall (D) in Colorado that will hopefully lose – to Gardner (R).

dentarthurdent on June 18, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Yep! I’ll donate to that cause!

LilyBart on June 18, 2014 at 6:32 PM

I support Tom Cotton all the way!

bluegill on June 18, 2014 at 6:35 PM

{{APPLAUSE}}

myiq2xu on June 18, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Good man. Interesting that the Obama people admitted that they would have left Berdahl behind if KSM was the price asked in exchange. Very smart of Cotton to ask them that because it changes the Democrats’ talking point to “no American left behind under certain circumstances if we can cut a deal”. They can’t really pump out their chests while saying that.

I’d push them further on when they would swap KSM for Americans. Under no circumstances? It would be harder to trade him if he is convicted.

They sure have avoided putting him trial for a long time. Hmmm…

Buddahpundit on June 18, 2014 at 6:36 PM

I’d vote for Mr. Cotton if I were able.

majorzot on June 18, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Well, I guess I could follow the lead of the 35,700 of my fellow North Carolinians who voted at least twice in 2012. (Whose first and last name AND date of birth matched in other states).

BigAlSouth on June 18, 2014 at 6:42 PM

How can this country possibly last until 2016? What will be left of it? And so what of we take back the Senate while holding the House? Who will we have in charge? Boehner and McConnell?

JellyToast on June 18, 2014 at 6:44 PM

There is no downside to this rebuke, except perhaps the triggering of more out-of-state funding for Pryor. That’s not a problem, though, because Cotton can use charges of outside influence against Pryor.

ROCnPhilly on June 18, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Cotton led infantry (a rifle company) in combat.

Pryor … inherited his seat from his daddy.

This is a SIMPLE choice Arkansans …
Any questions?

Missilengr on June 18, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Tom Cotton is making my kind of ‘noise’.

vnvet on June 18, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Well, I guess I could follow the lead of the 35,700 of my fellow North Carolinians who voted at least twice in 2012. (Whose first and last name AND date of birth matched in other states).

BigAlSouth on June 18, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Yes, but just because you have factual evidence as do many other states, it does not mean voter fraud exists or that it ever could. Chris Mathews and his friends say so. You are obviously a racist and should not be allowed to vote – until you die – and then only for Leftists. /s

ROCnPhilly on June 18, 2014 at 6:57 PM

We will be ok – we still have MEN – we still have LEADERS – we still have HEROES

jake-the-goose on June 18, 2014 at 7:02 PM

“Every day in Ranger School, we recited the Ranger Creed that I will never leave a fallen comrade,” Cotton said.

Cotton’s campaign themes seem, from a distance, to be too military. Without that, he has too little to talk about. His opponent is exploiting the weakness.

Cotton needs a broader platform to overtake an incumbent with some political talent. Maybe OCare will be enough to put him over the top.

OTOH, a state that elects a Xlinton and a Huck repeatedly doesn’t make sense to me.

Toocon on June 18, 2014 at 7:08 PM

You are such an asset at election time. I always enjoy your posts. Keep up the good work.

Barred on June 18, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Thank you, Barred!

I am absolutely surrounded by leftists in my deep blue county, so I come to HotAir to preserve what is left of my sanity.

I also fear for my country, so I want to do what I can to help Republicans/Conservatives win House and Senate elections in 2014.

Onward to Victory in the remaining Primaries and in November!

wren on June 18, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Boom…….Put that in your choom pipe and smoke it, President”Anonymous”.

SweetSensationalist on June 18, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Cotton’s campaign themes seem, from a distance, to be too military. Without that, he has too little to talk about. His opponent is exploiting the weakness.

Cotton needs a broader platform to overtake an incumbent with some political talent. Maybe OCare will be enough to put him over the top.

Toocon on June 18, 2014 at 7:08 PM

I encourage you to learn more about Tom Cotton, Toocon!

As impressive as Tom Cotton’s military experience is, there is much more to back up this admirable Senate candidate.

Tom Cotton is a sixth generation Arkansan who was born and raised on his family’s cattle farm in Yell County. After attending Dardanelle high school Tom went on to graduate from Harvard and Harvard Law School.

The tragic attacks of September 11, 2001 occurred during Tom’s final year of law school, and he began to reconsider his future plans. He ultimately left law after clerking for the U.S. Court of Appeals and short time in a private law practice to join the United States Army. Tom declined a commission as a JAG attorney and opted to serve as an Infantry Officer.

Tom Cotton served almost five years as an active duty Infantry Officer and completed combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq Tom served with the 101st Airborne where he led an infantry platoon in daily combat patrols. While in Afghanistan he served as the operations officer for a Provincial Reconstruction Team. Between his two combat tours he served as a platoon leader with the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, the unit responsible for military honors funerals. Tom’s military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and Ranger Tab.

After leaving active duty Tom worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Co. He represents Arkansas’s fourth district in the United States House of Representatives.

http://www.tomcotton.com

Military, Legal and Business experience…Tom Cotton is more than qualified to be a fine U.S. Senator.

wren on June 18, 2014 at 7:23 PM

While this clip will fire up base Republicans, it could also play into the hands of Sen. Mark Pryor’s (D-AR) campaign which has spent the last several weeks attempting to turn the Arkansas Senate race into a personality contest.

Been that way a long time. Not likely to change anytime soon.

Bmore on June 18, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Great job by Tom Cotton..Well played..I hope to be able to call you Senator Tom Cotton in November sir!..:)

Dire Straits on June 18, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Figures. I have to sit through the commercial in order to get to the bit where I get a blank screen instead of the video. Thanks so much, NBC.

Recon5 on June 18, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Pryor grabbed the tiger’s tail, and now he’s screwed.

Another Drew on June 18, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Tie Pryor to Reid and Obama at every turn. They are both poison in Arkansas.

matthew8787 on June 18, 2014 at 7:59 PM

Well done, Soon-to-be-Senator Cotton!

disa on June 18, 2014 at 8:01 PM

anonymous White House staffers who accused the members of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s platoon of “swift-boating” him

For the record, John Kerry never answered the questions raised by the SwiftVets and POWs for Truth.

ITguy on June 18, 2014 at 8:12 PM

While this clip will fire up base Republicans, it could also play into the hands of Sen. Mark Pryor’s (D-AR) campaign

Checks the byline…what a surprise.

yaedon on June 18, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Military, Legal and Business experience…Tom Cotton is more than qualified to be a fine U.S. Senator.

Yeah, but was he ever a Community Organizer? Or somehow related to, worked for, or married to someone at the New York Times, CBS or Harry Reid’s office?

Well then, there ya go. Completely unprepared to hold office in this Brave New Senate.

orangemtl on June 19, 2014 at 12:15 AM

For the record, John Kerry never answered the questions raised by the SwiftVets and POWs for Truth.

ITguy on June 18, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Excellent ITguy.
And we are STILL waiting on Horse Head to release his DD214 so that we can see just WHO exactly was in the chain of approval for his THREE PURPLE HEARTS AND TWO SILVER STARS.
Awarded in just 3 months in theater?

Audie Murphy was a piker in comparison to John ‘Reporting for Duty’ F’ing Kerry

Missilengr on June 19, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Well said, Sir. My hat off to you.

jacobim on June 19, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Thanks. Brain freeze on my part. Gettin’ old.

If the people of Arkansas, who produced Attorney General and then Governor and then President Clinton, elect Udall over Cotton, then they really do deserve every insult that they are, collectively, stupid and ignorant.
Cold Warrior on June 18, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Udall?
I thought Cooton was running against Pryor.

We have a Udall (D) in Colorado that will hopefully lose – to Gardner (R).

Cold Warrior on June 19, 2014 at 8:33 PM