Republican Senate candidate Chuck DeVore, currently trailing third in the California polls behind Carly Fiorina and Tom Campbell, has been caught overstating and misrepresenting his military record. According to the Los Angeles Times:
Throughout the campaign, DeVore has emphasized his service as a military officer and a young Reagan White House appointee at the Pentagon as experiences that helped make him the most qualified candidate. But at times he appears to have overstated those accomplishments, particularly his experience under fire and his role in the development of a U.S.-Israeli anti-ballistic-missile defense program. He also has faced criticism for acting on behalf of a group with ties to political contributors.
A cornerstone of DeVore's Senate bid is his 24 years in the California National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve, which he argues has given him national security expertise lacked by his better-known, better-funded GOP rivals; former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and former Rep. Tom Campbell. He trails both in polls.
During a radio debate with them in early March, DeVore talked of being the sole candidate in the Senate race with military experience. "I'm a lieutenant colonel of military intelligence within the U.S. Army," he said. His campaign material shows he's a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army retired reserves.
DeVore said both references are accurate because the retired reserves are part of the Army: "My nameplate says U.S. Army."
He spoke during the debate of being "shot at in Lebanon" but did not make clear that the shooting occurred in the 1980s while DeVore was a college student studying Arabic and other subjects in the Middle East. Nor did he note that while the shooting was in his vicinity, there was no indication he was a target or was in actual danger.
It seems like this story is one-part Dick Blumenthal serving in Vietnam, one-part Hillary Clinton facing sniper fire in Bosnia. And it can't help that DeVore has made his service a cornerstone of his campaign. The Times reports: "Chuck DeVore made sure that the June 8 ballot described him as 'Assemblyman/Military Reservist' because, the Irvine lawmaker said, he didn't want to be mistaken for just another politician."