Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal officially endorsed Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) for president on July 18. A former Marine infantry officer who deployed to Iraq four times, Moulton joined McChrystal on MSNBC to discuss the endorsement, and whether he's bothered that he hasn't found a spot on the crowded Democratic debates so far.
"I'm reminded of a veteran that I met on my first campaign back in 2014," Moulton said during the interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.
"He was a World War II sailor from the Pacific and he said, 'Seth if you win this race promise me that you'll go to Washington as an American, not a Democrat or a Republican, but as an American.' Well, Gen. McChrsytal is a great American. One of the greatest Americans I've ever known. Someone who's put his life on the line for our country for decades, to keep us safe, to keep our values strong, and that's what this race is ultimately about."
A retired four-star general, McChrystal commanded U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan during the troop surge of 2009, before he resigned following a Rolling Stone exposé that quoted McChrystal trash-talking the Obama Administration's handling of the war in Afghanistan — that whole affairwas also the basis for a satirical drama starring Brad Pitt.
As for McChrystal's endorsement of Moulton, he credited their personal friendship, and Moulton's background as a "combat leader" and his "competence." McChrystal gave his first-ever political endorsement to a candidate in 2014 when he backed Moulton's run for Congress, according to The Hill.
"Leadership in our country is first and foremost about character," McChrystal told MSNBC. "Second I think about competence, not just personal competence but the ability to shape and lead an honest good team. And lastly about specific policies or politics. And so I'm endorsing Seth Moulton, I've known him for years. I think he'd be the best president for our nation for where we are now and where I think we need to go."
When asked why McChrystal chose to throw his endorsement behind Moulton rather than any of the other two dozen Democratic candidates, he replied that: "[Moulton has] been a combat leader. I've been able to watch him up close in his values. I think he's the right person for the future. And we've really got to think about what's right for the decades in front of us. There's going to be emerging requirements. we need to be set up with a forward focus."
Of the endorsement, Moulton's 2020 presidential campaign published a statement from the candidate noting that "If that's not proof that we're doing something great with this campaign, I don't know what is."