Video caught Vice President Kamala Harris failing to salute military personnel as she boarded Air Force Two this week — and now, she’s taking heat for it.
According to the Washington Examiner, conservatives including former New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Bernard Kerik are calling the move by Harris “disgraceful” and disrespectful to the brave men and women in uniform.
“A clear demonstration”
The remarks from Kerik came in a tweet Monday, where he also shared a clip of the incident.
“Kamala Harris refuses to salute the honor guard at the steps of the aircraft,” the former commissioner wrote. “It is a clear demonstration of her dislike for those in uniform, both law-enforcement and military.”
DISGRACEFUL: @VP Kamala Harris refuses to salute the honor guard at the steps of the aircraft. It is a clear demonstration of her dislike for those in uniform, both law-enforcement and military. pic.twitter.com/7QFHzamnt7
— Bernard B. Kerik (@BernardKerik) March 23, 2021
Breaking with custom
As the Examiner noted, Turning Point USA founder and president Charlie Kirk offered similar criticism, reporting in a tweet of his own the next day, “Kamala Harris doesn’t salute members of the military as she gets on Air Force Two, breaking with a customary tradition of respect.”
Kirk went on to ask his followers: “Remember when she and Joe Biden tried to sell the lie that *Trump* was the one who didn’t respect the troops?”
Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza weighed in as well, recalling Harris’ cavalier response when asked by a reporter about whether she would travel to the U.S.–Mexico border amid an ongoing surge there.
“Kamala Harris failed to salute our troops as she boarded her plane last night,” D’Souza wrote in a tweet Tuesday. “And she openly laughed when asked if she’ll be visiting the border amidst a growing crisis,” he added, calling the vice president’s attitude “shameful.”
A time-honored tradition
According to the Washington Examiner, President Ronald Reagan first began the tradition of saluting uniformed personnel. “I know all the rules about not saluting in civilian clothes and so forth, and when you should or shouldn’t,” Reagan reportedly told the Florida Times-Union in the 1980s.
“So, I said to the commandant, I said, ‘Look, I know all the rules about saluting in civilian clothes and all, but if I am the commander in chief, there ought to be a regulation that would permit me to return a salute,’” he added.
President Joe Biden, for his part, made a point of giving salutes during his time in the vice presidency, as did former Vice President Mike Pence, the Examiner noted.