Pryor says Cotton has "sense of entitlement" over military service

LITTLE ROCK (KATV)- Sen. Mark Pryor said his opponentin the race, Congressman Tom Cotton, has a "sense of entitlement,"when asked about if Cotton's military service qualified him for the Senate.

In an interview with NBC News, Pryor was asked about Cotton's militaryservice in which he said he has "total respect" for his opponent'stwo tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and would "never criticize"Cotton's military service. Pryor said he was thankful for Cotton's service. Thereporter asked Pryor if he sees it as a qualification to become a senator.

"Uh, no. There's a lot of people in the senate that didn't serve in themilitary. In the senate we have all kinds of different people, all kinds ofdifferent folks that have come from all different kinds of back grounds and Ithink that's part of this sense of entitlement that he gives off. Is that it'salmost like 'I served my country therefore let me to the Senate.' That's nothow it works in Arkansas," Pryor said.

Cotton's campaign fired back in a statement.

"This is a sad display of arrogance from a career politician who hasbeen seeking office for more than two decades and an insult to everyone who hasserved. {}Senator Pryor has proven once again how truly out-of-touch withArkansans he is, just as when he voted for Obamacare, the wasteful stimulus,all the bailouts and for President Obama's agenda more than 90% of thetime," said Cotton campaign spokesperson David Ray.

The Arkansas GOP held a press conference in response to Cotton's comments.

"Military service is a great qualification for public service and adamn good one at that," said Doyle Webb, chairman of the ArkansasRepublican Party, "This according to senator pryor is entitlement? How outof touch and offensive could one united states senator be."

Pryor's campaign told Channel 7 News that the words were taken out ofcontext and that Pryor was talking about Cotton's political ambitions.

"Of course Mark is grateful for Congressman Cotton's service, but thiscampaign is about two very different records in Congress and it's Cotton'sirresponsible votes against Medicare, Social Security and affordable studentloans that matter most to Arkansas voters," said Pryor deputy campaignmanager Erik Dorey.

The Pryor campaign held their own press conference at Pryor's campaignheadquarters today with four veterans defending Pryor's comments.

"I watched the interview. I didn't think it was offensive at all,"said a veteran Mike Ross, not the gubernatorial candidate, "I'll tell you,that guy, Mark Pryor, works for veterans he doesn't disrespect them."