In 1965 my dad started the Swift Boat program in Vietnam. Those brave sailors served honorably and did dangerous work. Guys like Rick Reed had no right to trash it for partisan gain 1/ https://t.co/cCwjn4hiyl
— John Ismay (@johnismay) August 29, 2022
Quite the record, per Stripes:
… A longtime partner at the political ad firm Stevens Reed Curcio & Potholm, Reed worked on campaigns for numerous Republican candidates, including senators George Allen and John Warner of Virginia, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois. He also made ads for John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2000 and served as a senior media adviser to Donald Trump in 2016, after launching his own consulting company in Alexandria. By then, he was being hailed by Fox News host Tucker Carlson as “the smartest political consultant I know.”
“Rick was an exceptional talent and a gifted ad maker,” Fitzgerald said in a statement shared by Reed’s family. “In my case, he took a very young, virtual neophyte, and vaulted him into a U.S. Senate seat. His dry wit and contagious sense of humor made campaigning fun, and his clients loved him.”
Reed remained best known for his work with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group of about 200 former Navy officers and enlisted sailors who alleged that Kerry, the senator from Massachusetts and Democratic presidential nominee, had embellished his record during the Vietnam War, when he captained Swift boats in the Mekong Delta and was awarded honors including the Silver Star. Among other claims, they asserted that Kerry received his first of three Purple Hearts for a minor, self-inflicted wound, and said that he was unfit to serve as commander in chief because of his antiwar activism after returning from Vietnam.
Their claims were fiercely disputed by the Kerry campaign and later undermined by news reports, which revealed that some of the men criticizing the senator had previously filed written reports lauding his heroism. Many of the veterans who spoke in the commercials did not serve on the same Swift boats as Kerry, and other veterans questioned the accounts of some who said they did.