A couple months back, combat veteran and Republican congressional candidate Brian Mast was accused of only running for Congress solely because of his double-leg amputation, and because of his injury, Mast would have an advantage over his Republican primary challengers.Mast’s story of survival is compelling, without a doubt.
At the time, it was Attorney Rick Kozell who was accused of saying that Mast only wore shorts to exploit his prosthetics.
Now that same accusation of Mast continues to circulate throughout Florida’s 18th congressional district, as the father of three continues to campaign around the district, leaving many to wonder if he really is exploiting his prosthetics.
One politico, who asked that do not divulge his name, says that at political events, Mast makes it a point walk up to the podium from at least 30 feet away just to show off his injury.
The same person said that Mast also hangs the cane he uses to walk with on the actually podium, giving the impression that he wants to make sure everyone sees that he uses a cane.We spoke to Mast about his wearing of the shorts during a press call with reporters. Here is what Mast said about the claim:
This is politics. It’s a full contact sport as they say, so people are going to say whatever they want. I don’t mind telling anyone, two prosthetic legs hopefully not one day ever define me. Prosthetic legs don’t define me. I think they are an example of what my commitment to America, and I’d like to think that commitment to America is what defines me as person.-Brian Mast
Mast has also stated that he wear shorts because it is easier to get dressed every day, saying that his prosthetic legs do not bend the way most legs do, leaving the job of getting him dressed to his wife Brianna.
As Mast continues to campaign, the question about him wearing shorts will also continue to be raised.
Mast has to know that this is an advantage to his congressional campaign, how could he not?The case can be made that he is exploiting his injury every time Mast speaks about his injury and sacrifice.
Is Mast exploiting his injury, just like President Obama exploited him during the 2011 State of the Union address?
Brian Mast and his wife Brianna were guests of President Obama and Jill Biden just four months after he was injured in Afghanistan.
Here is what Vice President Joe Biden’s wife Jill (pictured standing to Mast’s right) stated about the White House invitation to the Masts:
Today, I am particularly pleased to have two such special Americans join me as my guests at tonight’s State of the Union Address: Army Sergeant Brian Mast and his wife Brianna.
I met Brian and Brianna at one of my favorite events last year – the annual Thanksgiving dinner that my husband Joe and I host for wounded warriors and their families at the Vice President’s Residence. Joe and I are always filled with such gratitude for both the commitment and the enormous sacrifices made by the families who join us for this meal and at other events and meetings throughout the year. Families whose service to our country all too often goes unrecognized.
Last September, while Brianna was juggling the stresses of being a first-time mother with a deployed husband, Brian was seriously injured by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan — losing both of his legs just below the knee and an index finger, while also suffering a broken arm and shrapnel wounds. Brianna moved from Michigan with her infant son, Magnum, to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to be by her husband’s side during his recovery. Day in and day out, Brianna has devoted herself to aiding her husband’s recovery while caring for their young son.- Jill Biden (Whitehouse.gov)
Expect this picture to be circulated around.
We reached out to Mast to get some insight about his acceptance of the invitation to the SOTU address, and asked him what he thought of the direction in which Obama has taken the country.Mast has gone on record of bashing the Obamacare law, as well as calling out Obama of having a weak foreign policy.
Here is what the Mast campaign sent over to us:
Yes, I accepted the White House’s invitation to attend the 2011 State of the Union address. Regardless of my opposition to his political agenda, I was still an active duty soldier in the U.S. Army, and he was still my Commander-in-Chief, and the President of the United States.
My wife Brianna and I were honored to have been invited, and we thank President Obama for recognizing my commitment and willingness to offer all I have in defense of our great country.
Service to country transcends across political and ideological lines.-Brian Mast