GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul consistently has said that the United States should get out of Afghanistan and Iraq and that American military bases around the world should be closed. In this campaign, Paul is getting more donations from people who work for the military than either President Obama or any of the other Republican presidential candidates. That analysis comes from Paul’s campaign and was confirmed recently by Politifact, the fact-checking project of the St. Petersburg Times. “Our fighting men and women take an oath to protect America, defend our Constitution and defend our borders,” Paul campaign chairman Jesse Benton said.
“They look at Ron Paul and see a leader who takes their oath seriously and who will fight to ensure that we don’t misrepresent that oath by sending them off to police the world, instead of defending our country.” This is a trend that also came up in the 2008 campaign. USA TODAY’s Fredreka Schouten reported then that Paul and Obama got the most military donations in the last White House race, using an analysis by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. There’s no way to know for sure whether the campaign donors who list the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy and National Guard as their employer back Paul because of his stance on the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars or for his libertarian views on the economy and fiscal policy — issues for which he is well known. Still, the military donations to Paul are worth noting. Paul first mentioned the latest trend in a July 20 interview. Politifact went to fact check his comments and, using its own review of the campaign-finance reports for April through June, found they were true. Paul’s campaign told Politifact that Paul raised $34,480 from people in the military, compared with $19,849 for Obama and $13,848 for the other GOP presidential candidates. The Center for Responsive Politics says $11,350 of Paul’s military donations come from people who work for the Army. In the 2008 campaign, the center found that individuals employed by the Army, Navy and Air Force were Paul’s top three sources of campaign donations.