A gotcha moment was turned into a YouTube ad today after a New York Republican’s reply to an interview question sounded oddly similar to a part of the famous “You Can’t Handle the Truth” scene in A Few Good Men.
Michael Grimm, running for the Republican nomination in New York’s 13th Congressional District, was answering a question about a press release put out by Grimm’s opponent, Michael Allegretti. The press release, titled ‘Blumenthal, Kirk… Grimm???’, accused Grimm of wearing the Army Presidential Unit Citation and the Army Meritorious Unit Citation in a campaign photo; awards that Grimm has not earned.
There are also some concerns about whether Department of Defense regulations forbid Grimm from using a picture of himself in uniform as part of campaign literature.
Grimm told the interviewer on NY1’s Inside City Hall that Allegretti “sleep[s] under a blanket of freedom that I helped provide… you should just say thank you.” The original line, said by Jack Nicholson’s Colonel Jessep to Tom Cruise’s Lieutenant Kaffee in the film, was that Kaffee “sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer you just said ‘thank you’ and went on your way.”
As if for comical effect, Grimm later told the interviewer that “what you see in my life, you’ve seen in the movies.”
In words one could have imagined uttered by Jack Nicholson himself, Grimm told the New York Observer in a separate interview that “to have this petulant child say anything about my military service when he hasn’t served a day in his life is truly distasteful.”
Grimm explains the photos by saying that at the time that the photo was taken, the medals were authorized, but that there had been an administrative mistake.
“I did not intend to quote the movie. I’m not going to deny the fact that I’ve seen the movie many times… that was just from the heart,” Grimm told FrumForum. “[Allegretti] is trying to smear a combat veteran because his campaign is dying… trying to say broadly that I lied about my service in the Persian Gulf, trying to draw the comparison between myself and Blumenthal.”
Grimm is a veteran of the First Gulf War, and later worked to fight Wall Street crime as an FBI Special Agent as a member of the Financial Fraud Squad. To his credit, he’s been able to secure the endorsements of John McCain, Iraq Veterans for Congress, and Rudy Giuliani.
“I was well-vetted by all those who have endorsed me, so I don’t think [the medal allegation] has had any impact whatsoever, other than to rally my supporters who have endorsed me. Subsequent to this happening, Moving America Forward endorsed me, probably the biggest pro-troop group in America today,” said Grimm.
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