Dem Congressional Candidate Asks Why Military Service Makes Someone Qualified to Run for Office

September 19, 2016

Randy Perkins, a Democrat running for Congress in Florida’s 18th district, berated his Republican opponent, Brian Mast, on Monday for claiming that his military service qualifies him to serve in Congress.

"So tell me why the sacrifices and the services that you have provided for this country make you capable of solving issues?" Perkins asked Mast, a double-amputee veteran of the war in Afghanistan, at a recent candidate forum. Perkins then listed off numerous issues and asked Mast how he would fix them.

"Well, it’s what’s involved in that service that makes me very capable of solving any number of those issues," Mast responded.

Before Mast could explain how he would address various issues, Perkins interjected and told him to pick two specifically.

Mast named the ongoing problems with the Department of Veteran Affairs and recent changes to the rules of engagement for combat as issues for which he could offer solutions if elected to Congress. Perkins again interrupted Mast before he could offer his solutions.

Perkins became incensed that Mast offered up issues relating to the military and continued to talk over the Republican.

Perkins became defensive when Mast called him thin-skinned, angrily exclaiming, "I’m not thin-skinned!"

Another video from the forum shows Perkins again becoming heated during the debate when the two candidates discussed television ads being aired for their race. Perkins appeared to object to ads portraying him benefiting from pay-to-play business schemes.

"You’ll let the [National Republican Congressional Committee] do your dirty work for you, but you’re not man enough to stand behind your own ads," Perkins said. "So be a man, and stand behind your own ads."

"I’m constantly a man," Mast replied.