Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg took a swipe at President Donald Trump while coming to the support NFL anthem protesters such as former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

On the heels of saying that Kaepernick has a right to protest against the U.S.A., Buttigieg took a swing at Trump for not serving in the military.

“The way I feel about it is the flag that was on my shoulder when I served represented, among other things, our right to free speech,” the Navy veteran and long-shot candidate for the Democrat nomination for president told TMZ.

“You don’t have to like it, but one of the reasons we serve was to defend that right, the right of peaceful protest and the idea that we can protest what is wrong with our country,” Buttigieg said of the protests Kaepernick kicked off in 2016, and that ended in 2017.

Then, Buttigieg took aim at the president.

“If the president had served,” Buttigieg added, “Maybe he’d feel a little more strongly about some of those freedoms. And, I get that there’s a lot of strong opinions about this, but that’s part of why we served.”

Buttigieg mischaracterized the reaction to Kaepernick’s protests. Few said Kaepernick had no right to protest against the country. What most opposed was his assumption that he had a right to impose his protests on football fans.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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