The charge made by the Obama campaign is that the veterans’ groups are “Swift Boat 2.0”--referring to the group that launched a series of ads (never refuted) in 2004 contesting claims by then-Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry about his war record. Left-wing groups aligned with the Obama administration have even gone so far as to call the U.S. Navy Seals “gutless” for their participation in criticism of Obama.
Ryan Zinke, a member of the Montana state Senate and a U.S. Navy SEAL from 1985 to 2008, told Breitbart News: “It's a sad time for America when a President has to resort to bully tactics, intimidation, and misleading personal attacks against anyone who dares to speak out and be heard. The good thing is Americans have a long history of defeating tyrants.”
Joel Arends, recipient of the Bronze Star and chair of Veterans for a Strong America, said:
The president's team is more serious about labeling a group of veterans as “swift boaters” than they are about going after the leakers in his administration. The reality is as simple as it is disturbing - American lives are now in danger because this White House under the leadership of President Obama have leaked vital national security secrets. And instead of appointing a special prosecutor - this President dispatches his campaign team to smear a group of vets looking out for their buddies in uniform. It just shows the lack of seriousness on the part of this administration.
If they want to call us swift boaters because we are looking out for our buddies on the battlefield that's fine with me - we'll take the political body blows for our comrades in order to ensure that the American people fully understand our position on the issue and see the administration's intransigence on this issue.