Turns out Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, one of a half dozen Republican Senators vying to run for president in 2024, is just another Ivy League-educated liar in the mold of Missouri’s Josh Hawley and Texas’s Ted Cruz.
After Donald Trump, Hawley and Cruz incited the Jan. 6 riot inside the Capitol, Cotton looked pretty smart to have stayed out of the fray, and actually called out his seditious Senate colleagues, without naming names of course. In a Fox News interview the day after the storming of the Capitol, Cotton said:
“Some senators, for political gain, misled supporters about their ability to challenge the election results–some even sent out fundraising emails while insurrectionists stormed the Capitol.”
The “some senators” were Hawley, a Yale Law grad, and Cruz, like Cotton, a Harvard Law grad. And indeed, they had both sent out fundraising screeds during the rioting and killing. So Cotton, who wears a perpetual smirk, was well positioned in the “sane” caucus of the Republican Party by “standing” for the Constitution.
However, the past is catching up with him. Cotton joined the Army after 9/11 and served honorably in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He has a number of medals and honors, including a Bronze Star. But that wasn’t enough. Old campaign materials, now seeing a new light of day, out Cotton for lying about being an elite Ranger, Salon reported on Saturday.
For instance, there was this: “My experience as a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan and my experience in business will put me in very good condition,” Cotton told the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record.
Colorado Democratic Representative Jason Crow called out Cotton on Twitter. “[email protected], unless you wore one of these berets you shouldn’t be calling yourself a Ranger. Truth matters,” Crow wrote.
Crow served in the Army’s elite 75th Ranger Regiment during tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and tweeted an image of himself wearing the distinctive Ranger beret.
Turns out Cotton attended a two-month Ranger training course, open to all members of the military. But he never actually served as a Ranger, contradicting materials and speeches from his 2012.
Playing clean-up for Cotton on Saturday, spokeswoman Caroline Tabler clarified to Newsweek that Cotton had not served in the 75th Ranger Regiment, and claimed the senator had not intended to embellish the truth.
“To be clear, as he’s stated many times, Senator Cotton graduated from Ranger School, earned the Ranger Tab, and served a combat tour with the 101st Airborne, not the 75th Ranger Regiment.” Some call that stolen valor.