GOP Senate candidate Mike McCalister “is facing questions about whether he padded his resume and misrepresented his military service,” according to The Miami Herald. He issued a letter today saying he did not lie.
McCallister’s letter, published today by the Herald, states, “I’m writing to clarify an issue with you. Yesterday, a Miami Herald reporter called me a liar. At issue is whether or not I testified to Congress. I’m not a career politician who has spent years perfecting my rhetoric and changing my positions based on which way the political winds blow.”
The retired U.S. Army Reserves colonel has fashioned himself on the campaign trail as an “in the trenches” candidate who participated in “black ops” and even testified before Congress on national security.
But McCalister now admits he never spoke before Congress. He denies ever saying “I testified.” However, he did say the phrase on at least two occasions at campaign events, according to witnesses and videos posted on YouTube.com that stretch back to his 2010 unsuccessful bid for governor.
According to an article published last week by the Herald, a veterans group “that calls itself ‘Stolen Valor‘ has been asking McCalister about his record for more than a month. They haven’t gotten anywhere, but McCallister quietly changed facts and toned down his rhetoric on his website.”
McCalister participated in Saturday’s U.S. Senate debate in Orlando, at which the four candidates “spent most of the time agreeing with each other,” according to The Florida Independent’s Travis Pillow: ”The four Republicans are all opposed to abortion (with some nuances), and they all believe taxes should be lower, the federal government should be smaller, the United Nations undermines America’s sovereignty and states’ rights should be paramount.”