Paul, Obama collect most military donations to run
In 2000, Republican George W. Bush raised double the amount of Democrat Al Gore among military personnel. In 2004, in a race scarred by negative advertising from a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that questioned Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry’s service in Vietnam, Mr. Bush raised $1.50 from the military for every $1 his Democratic opponent collected.
But by just before the nominating conventions of 2008, with the war in Iraq a significant issue and onetime prisoner of war Arizona Sen. John McCain promising a sustained commitment and Mr. Obama favoring withdrawal, troops favored Mr. Obama over Mr. McCain with their contributions. His advantage jumped from modest among all troops to a ratio of 6 to 1 among those deployed abroad.
For some who have seen combat, choices motivated by the realities of war may actually run counter to their broader political beliefs.
“It’s more practical and individual rather than ideological,” said J.D. Gordon, a retired Navy commander who this week founded Protect America, a national-security-themed super PAC that will run ads for the Republican presidential nominee and in congressional races. “I don’t agree with it, but I understand it,” he said of the desire for an end to foreign entanglements among some war-weary soldiers.
“A lot of them have done deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq and don’t ever want to go back.”
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