A Donald Trump rally in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, Tuesday night became an occasion for personal recollection for the Republican candidate.
Trump reminisced about, among other things, the fact that he was not drafted during the Vietnam War and his personal reasons for abstaining from alcohol.
Asked why he decided to run, Trump said, “I always felt a little guilty” about not being drafted during the conflict.
“I love the country,” he elaborated. “I’ve seen what it can do. I didn’t serve. I haven’t served. And frankly I had deferments because of college, like a lot of people did … I always felt a little bit guilty.” Trump, currently leading GOP polls, cited a high draft number and “a foot thing” among the other reasons he wasn’t drafted.
Trump also expounded on his reasons for not drinking alcohol, recalling a friend who attended the Wharton School of Finance with him. The man “became a massive alcoholic,” Trump said, and “lost his family. Lost his home. Brilliant guy lost everything because of alcohol.” (Trump has also cited his brother’s death from alcoholism over 30 years ago as a major turning point in his life.)
Trump also doubled down on his claims that the recent terrorist attacks in Paris could have been prevented by looser gun laws, and reiterated his stance that Muslims in New Jersey had been seen celebrating in the streets after the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.
“We have to be very vigilant,” he continued. “Something really dangerous is going on.”