Murray told TheDC that Moran’s comment insults America’s veterans and active duty service members, and it would come as a surprise to the families of those buried at Arlington National Cemetery, which lies in the district, that their loved ones did not die in public service to their country.
“To say military service isn’t public service is startling verbage,” Murray said. “For someone who sits on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to disparage military service is amazing to me.”
Media outlets such as Fox News, The Washington Examiner, The Weekly Standard, and National Review posted stories over the weekend publicizing Moran’s comment, which the congressman has not backed away from.
Moran sought to deflect Murray’s criticism, saying he “commends” his opponent’s military service and has consistently supported the military.
“The point Congressman Moran was making is that Northern Virginia is a region that prides itself on local civic engagement – serving in the PTA, on local boards, working with non-profits to help those less fortunate and also serving in elected office,” Moran’s campaign said in a press release. “Because Murray has virtually no ties to our community – moving here a scant 18 months ago in order to run for Congress – it is difficult to see how he can adequately represent Northern Virginia.”
Murray’s situation closely mirrors that of Pennsylvania’s Democratic U.S. Senate nominee, Rep. Joe Sestak, who successfully ran for Congress in 2006 shortly after retiring as a Navy admiral, despite his having not consistently lived in the district he was elected in since the 1970s.
Murray also hit Moran for stating on his campaign literature that he had been endorsed by veterans groups such as the Disabled Veterans of America and the Military Officer’s Association of America despite the fact he wasn’t, according to The Washington Examiner.
“The congressman has an arrogance of power,” Murray said.