Arkansas Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor said his opponent Republican Rep. Tom Cotton feels he is entitled to join the Senate because he had served in the military.
Cotton is not yet finished with his first term in the House, but he has trained his focus on moving to the Senate chamber and ousting Pryor, who is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents this cycle.
Cotton served two tours in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, and frequently mentions his military record during his campaign.
In an interview with NBC News that aired Wednesday, Pryor said a military record was not sufficient qualification for the Senate.
Pryor said he had “total respect” for Cotton’s military service, and said “I would never criticize anyone for serving our country.”
But, asked that made Cotton qualified for the Senate, Pryor replied: “Uh, no.”
“There’s a lot of people in the Senate who didn’t serve in the military. In the Senate we have all kinds of different people, all kinds of different folks that have come from all kinds of different backgrounds,” Pryor said. “And I think that’s part of this sense of entitlement that he gives off is that almost, it’s like, ‘I served my country therefore let me to the Senate.’ That’s not how it works in Arkansas.”
Pryor instead focused on Cotton’s record in the House, saying, “I don’t see where he’s passed a bill, I don’t see where he’s really accomplished anything in the House. And he seems to have run for the House just in order to run for the Senate.”
Cotton’s campaign attacked the remarks.
“This is a sad display of arrogance from a career politician who has been seeking office for more than two decades and an insult to everyone who has served,” said Cotton campaign spokesman David Ray. “Senator Pryor has proven once again how truly out-of-touch with Arkansans he is, just as when he voted for Obamacare, the wasteful stimulus, all the bailouts and for President Obama’s agenda more than 90% of the time.”