Grimm Rebuts Military Medal Smears

September 8th, 2010 at 7:05 am | 9 Comments |

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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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9 Comments so far ↓

  • TerryF98

    So He did wear medals not awarded to him, had his photo taken with them on and used that photo as a campaign prop. Then he lied about it.

    Sir you have no honor!

  • easton

    Terry, you are right. If Allegretti somehow managed to get a personal photo of Grimm wearing them and tried to use it against him, then that would have been wrong. If Grimm said he had a bunch of photos, didn’t realize one was misleading and his publicist had picked it out but now he regrets the error, that would have been a great credit (and entirely believable even if not true)
    but he is talking like a punk ass bitch. He screwed up and blames others for pointing out his screw up, stating how dare anyone criticize him because he is God’s gift to earth. By the way “vetted by his supporters” is very lame. What next, “my mommy vetted me”?

    “sleep[s] under a blanket of freedom that I helped provide… you should just say thank you.”
    F you you jagoff. You sound like a conceited entitled little snot who thinks a few years of service exempts you from basic decency. A true warrior does it for love of country and does not demand gratitude, and is humble when it is offered.

  • easton

    By the way, talk about misleading headlines: Grimm Rebuts Military Medal Smears

    No, he didn’t rebut anything and certainly not smears because a smear connotes a falsehood, he cavalierly dismissed them as beneath his exalted status.

    I hope Allegretti whips him on the 14th. I looked at both websites, Allegretti is far more likable.

  • MSheridan

    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.Rebuttal? No. Had he given verifiable details regarding this “administrative mistake,” then he might have been considered to have rebutted the “smears,” although even then the question would remain as to why that picture was used in promotional material. Until he does so, those allegations would appear to be true, and are therefore not smears.

  • balconesfault

    Huh – does this mean that the Dems are Swiftboating Grimm for tacitly condoning falsehoods about his record?

    Does this mean that the GOP is opposed to pundits who never served in the military challenging the service record of someone who did?

    Just performing a little consistency check here …

  • jakester

    why bother, being consistent is so dull

  • andydp

    Just to make sure the “non military” here understand: The Presidential Unit Citation and Meritorious Unit Citation ribbons are NOT awards (medals) given to individuals. In the US Army they are given to entire units for acts of bravery in a war zone or an idividual campaign. (Like being “Mentioned in Dispatches” in the British Army) They are worn on the right side of the uniform above the pocket. (USMC wear them on the left under their medals)
    If an individual was in an Army unit when it was given the award, then they can wear it for the rest of their career. Those Soldiers who come into the unit after the award can wear it only while they are in the unit. When they leave they must remove it. I was in a unit that was awarded the Philippine Presidential Unit Award for service in the liberation of the Philippines. I wore the ribbon on the right side of my uniform while in the unit. When I transferred out I took it off. (Members of the 82nd Ariborne wear the fourragere of the Belgian Croix de Guerrre while in the 82nd because of the unit’s actions in WWII)
    I don’t know the full story on this but either the photo was taken while he was in the unit or he did not remove them when he transferred. While its not quite “kosher” and this gentleman should have known better, its not comparable to wearing a Silver Star when you didn’t earn the award.

  • MSheridan

    andydp, thanks. That really helped.

  • balconesfault

    Indeed. It is an odd quirk of this site, noted by others in the past, that very often the best information on a subject comes down in the comments.