On Tuesday, TheBlaze brought you a provocative new video ad released by the Super PAC, Special Operations For America (SOFA), in which combat veterans express that they risk their lives so that America will never have to "bow down" to foreign leaders. The 30-second spot culminates in the display of a now infamous-photograph of President Barack Obama bowing to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
Since "Bow to Nobody" was officially released at the "Defending Our Defenders" event at Republican National Convention Tuesday evening, it has garnered nearly 112,000 views as Wednesday afternoon.
An official press release on the SOFA website explains that the video "highlights this administration’s fundamental disbelief in strong, American leadership. Our service men and women showcase America’s strength and freedom, but their service is sorely discredited when their leader bows on the world stage. They have fought far too hard."
TheBlaze caught up with Montana State Sen. Ryan Zinke, a former Navy SEAL commander and chair of SOFA, to talk about the motivations behind the ad and get his take on the 2012 campaign.
“The ad itself accurately portrays where this President is," Zinke said in an official release prior to our interview. "It accurately portrays his core belief that America should not lead. This President is shaping America to be one of the followers, to relinquish our role as a world leader. I didn’t fight 23 years as a Navy SEAL to watch America bow to anybody.”
Zinke, who said that the Obama campaign's recent ad in which Bill Clinton speaks of the president's choice to raid Osama bin Laden's compound, and that discusses the political, rather than loss-of-life ramifications of a potentially botched mission, was what prompted him to make "Bow to Nobody." Below is that ad, for reference:
The former SEAL also pointed to the growing number of special operators who have formed political groups to criticize the president over leaking sensitive information to the press expressly for political gain.
A crucial aspect of SOFA for the Montana state senator is that his organization be as "transparent" as possible. He said he ensures that his PAC's funds and expenditures are all "above board" so as not to give the critics any rope. Pointing to his groups integrity, he added that SOFA's board comprises former senators, governors and veterans and that they are very careful with fact-checking what they place on their website.
The 23-year SEAL member who rose to the ranks of commander at (not of) SEAL Team 6, said that one the lessons he learned along the way is that everyone is accountable, "including the president." To this end, Zinke believes that President Obama does need to be held accountable for releasing CIA documents, which he said was done solely for career-advancing purposes. He referenced the young Navy SEAL who has come under fire for recently releasing a book to illustrate the hypocrisy
"How do you hold SEAL accountable and not the president?" Zinke asked with incredulity
"The president does it to make a movie and get elected," as opposed to a young SEAL who was actually there
Regarding the Osama bin Laden raid, Zinke believes that, as Commander in Chief, Obama's role in making the decision to conduct the operation -- which Zinke applauds him for -- should be recognized, but that there were many involved in setting the stage. "He [Obama] was able to make that decision because our specials operations [forces] are so well trained." The Montana native gave credit to the Air Force and all other branches of the U.S. military, as well as our intelligence agencies and in particular, the Bush administration for making bin Laden a priority for so long.
Zinke, who believes that part of leadership means ensuring U.S. troops are well-equipped, said that if Obama is reelected the economy will suffer another devastating blow that will in turn effect the military.
"I believe in American exceptionalism," the Montana Republican stressed. "Our role is to lead by example." As the last great superpower the state senator said that he hopes America will not have to rely on coalitions and allies to defend ourselves moving forward in the wake of a potential Obama second-term.
He added that the service men and women he meets with all seem to be on the same page, and that that is why we are seeing a growing contingent of veterans speak out against this administration's policies.
"The military should remain apolitical, but as a veteran, I think it's a duty of ours to speak out and be an active participant," Zinke told TheBlaze.
Moving forward, "Bow to Nobody" is bound to cause controversy and Zinke is prepared. He said that he anticipates bullying and misinformation from the usual host of critics, but that he also hopes the other side of the aisle would actually "look at the issues." With security breaches affecting our troops he asked if it is really "in our best interest" to dismantle and discredit military. "I am respectful of the other party," Zinke told TheBlaze. "If the opposition has a compelling argument, we will hear them out, but I think we need to have a debate."
Zinke said he is also prepared to be compared to the "Swift Boat" veterans, which he adamantly claims SOFA is nothing like. "We are no swift boat," he said before explaining that troops are done a grave disservice when veterans start fighting veterans. "I have chosen not to criticize the few vets who have been used as surrogates."
"I am confident when Americans are informed...they will choose a change in leadership," he added.
For reference, the ad, "Bow to Nobody," is featured below. It opens with the Zinke reciting the poignant line that, as a Navy SEAL:
"We sacrifice not because we have to, bleed not because we want to...we fight because we need to, and sometimes we die. Because we love this country."