Skip to comments.Veterans Favor Obama Over Romney - They're Sick of War
Posted on 05/14/2012 6:38:42 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
According to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, veterans favor Obama over Romney by as much as seven percentage points. They favor cutting the defense budget. Read more...
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (Reuters) - Mack McDowell likes to spend time at the local knife and gun show "drooling over firearms," as he puts it. Retired after 30 years in the U.S. Army, he has lined his study with books on war, framed battalion patches from his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, a John Wayne poster, and an 1861 Springfield rifle from an ancestor who fought in the Civil War.
But when it comes to the 2012 presidential election, Master Sergeant McDowell is no hawk.
In South Carolina's January primary, the one-time Reagan supporter voted for Ron Paul "because of his unchanging stand against overseas involvement." In November, McDowell plans to vote for the candidate least likely to wage "knee-jerk reaction wars."
Disaffection with the politics of shock and awe runs deep among men and women who have served in the military during the past decade of conflict. Only 32 percent think the war in Iraq ended successfully, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. And far more of them would pull out of Afghanistan than continue military operations there.
While the 2012 campaign today is dominated by economic and domestic issues, military concerns could easily jump to the fore. Nearly 90,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan. Israeli politicians and their U.S. supporters debate over whether to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities as partisans bicker over proposed Pentagon budget cuts.
Mitt Romney has accused President Obama of "a dangerous course" in wanting to cut $1 trillion from the defense budget - although the administration's actual proposal is a reduction of $487 billion over the next decade.
"We should not negotiate with the Taliban," the former Massachusetts governor contends. "We should defeat the Taliban." He has blamed Obama for "procrastination toward Iran" and advocates arming Syrian rebels.
Romney, along with his primary rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, had also accused Obama of "appeasement" toward U.S. enemies - a charge that drew a sharp Obama rebuttal. "Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al-Qaeda leaders who've been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement," the president shot back. He has reproached GOP candidates: "Now is not the time for bluster."
If the election were held today, Obama would win the veteran vote by as much as seven points over Romney, higher than his margin in the general population.
FADING COOL FACTOR
The GOP's heated rhetoric, aimed at the party's traditional hawks, might be expected to resonate with veterans. Yet in interviews in South Carolina, a military-friendly red state, many former soldiers expressed anger at the toll of a decade of war, questioned the legitimacy of George W. Bush's Iraq invasion, and worried that the surge in Afghanistan won't make a difference in the long run.
"We looked real cool going into Iraq waving our guns," said McDowell, 50, who retired from the 82d Airborne Division in November with a Legion of Merit and two Bronze Stars. "But people lost their lives, and it made no sense."
Now he worries. "I really don't like the direction we are going, how we seem to come closer daily towards a war with Iran."
In Columbia, where McDowell lives in a leafy subdivision, the streets are named for American Revolutionary war heroes, and the Confederate battle flag still flies on the capitol grounds. Pizza parlors offer a 10 percent discount to uniformed soldiers from nearby Fort Jackson, one of eight military bases that pump $13 billion a year into the state's economy.
In exit polls, a quarter of voters in January's primary identified themselves as veterans.
Among them were Karen and Kelly Grafton, devout Southern Baptists who live in the small town of Prosperity, outside Columbia, and spend their vacations at Nascar races. They voted for Santorum.
"He just came off a little bit better than the others," said Karen Grafton, 51, a real estate agent who served 20 years in the Air Force. "He stuck to his story about what he has done and what he will do."
The Graftons' votes, however, like many veterans', can't be taken as evidence of a hard-line military stance. Registered Republicans, they cast their ballots for Obama in 2008 because he promised to bring the troops home from Iraq.
"I went to war for George Bush," said Grafton, 48, a retired Army master sergeant who served in special operations units in Somalia and Iraq. "But we can't keep policing the world."
Karen Grafton, a retired Air Force recruiter, said she'll be "glad when we're out of Afghanistan." The military budget? "I'm sure it can be cut," she said. "Everyone has to make concessions." Still, many former soldiers worry that Pentagon cuts could mean stingier salaries, pensions, and education and housing benefits.
What an absolute crock
It’s Reuters/Ipsos and I don’t believe a word, not one single solitary word. The military utterly despises Obuggery with a perfect hatred.
This is bull!. There is no way Veterans or Active Duty Military will vote for Obama. Many retired military people like myself are disenvhanted with the war in Afghanistan, but that doesn’t translate into a vote for Obama. Obama and the Democrats would “Gut” the military if they have their way. Veterans and Active Military aare for the most part conservatives and they will never vote for Obama.
This active duty family won’t be voting for Obama.
My daughter’s boyfriend was in 25th Tropic Lightning in Afghanistan. He’s Latino and can’t stand Obama. He said he didn’t re-enlist because the officers that were in command under Bush have been replaced with Obama believers and the ROE are insane.
How many lives has Obama cost the military?
How many lives has Romney cost the military?
I rest my case.
Typical MSM propaganda piece. They find a handful of useful idiots and then trumpet it as being representatative of the group as a whole. Sadly, some veterans qualify as “useful idiots” too.
What a bunch of Bull Obama.
I know of no military person who doesn’t step aside, cock his head, and spit when the name “Obama” is mentioned.
They loathe, hate, and generally want to take a big smelly Obama on the Cretin-in-Chief.
Were I still in, I’d seriously question the intelligence and promotability of anyone who didn’t hate the very ground this idiot walked on.
So let me get this straight...
Veterans, who are sick of war, favor the current CIC who has continued the war...?
Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, if Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit!
What planet are these people living on? I’d say more about the MSM and its agenda but I’d be banned forever and the authorities would pay me a visit. Sheeeesh!
there is a fool born every minute. apparently, the MSM is going to find them all, and write a story about them during this election cycle.
What did British war veterans do when given the opportunity to vote at the successful conclusion on WW2? They didn’t vote for Churchill.
What happened to GW Bush after the victory in Desert Storm? America voted for the other guys, and we got Clinton.
Voters are an ungrateful lot. It’s always “what are you going to do for me next.”
I agree. They probably found like 3 veterans for 0bama, made it into a story. There is no way the active military would support 0bama.
Not from what I hear from active military and veterans. Obambi is wholly scorned from top to bottom. Just where in the hell did they get this kind of data?
This sounds more like an anecdote than an actual news item.
Polls are now used to create public opinions.
I agree. Unfortunately, some of Romney's foreign policy advisers have a recent history that does not inspire great confidence either.
Right, so the ideal solution is to continue the trend we are on. Consistently gut the greatest defense in the world down to absolutely nothing, and allow the UN to "handle" Iran.
I swear, the selfishness and stupidity of some people is enough to make me vomit.
South Carolina, as well as most in the Active military, will go to the Republicans this November. This, despite the cherry-picked "interviews" of the Stalinist AssPress, is merely a handful of democrat @ssholes in the military, most of whom would sooner see America destroyed before allowing it to have a strong defense.
It’s not just the veterans. The American people are tired of fighting a war without seeing any end to it. Even Romans understood that a pro-longed war means defeat eventually. Democrats want to continue the war to protect the people that hate us. Congress needs to step up and stop this senseless BS. To accomplish that, we need to change Congress and rebuild our own country and let the sand bunnies do what they will. If they become a problem to us, take them out and get it over with.
Media BS or dumb troops? Tired of strained resources? Obama wants to cut more! Tired of war in the ME? Have you forgotten Libya?!
Give me break!
Yeah, why don’t they actually poll those of us who are active military or have family serving?
That's what I'm afraid is going to happen and the nation is then going to have to face some hard questions on the re-institution of a military draft. While American resources are great, our money and manpower is not unlimited.
I'm not military, but I don't believe this article for a second!
I figured this might happen once they loaded the ranks with homosexuals.
Exactly. The passions and emphasis may be different from the leftist establishment, but they're as fanatic in getting us into foreign entanglements as anybody.
Wait. Read the article again. I don’t see where even one of the quoted persons said they will vote for Obama. They used quotes to show that they hate the war and the direction we’re going but then quoted polls to try to make their case. What a crock.
I don’t know if I buy this, especially as Obama shows no particular tendency to keep the U.S. out of foreign wars.
Not being a veteran myself, I can’t really say much except that I do wonder if there aren’t some veterans who tire of our modern strategies, and would like us to either fight all-out or stay out in the first place.
The foreign policy bipartisan consensus have chosen endless war and nation building over the idea of punitive expeditions. Our Afghan involvement should have started the afternoon of 9/11/2001 and been over by the end of that year.
I volunteer at the local VA Hospital 2 times a week, and the VAST majority of veterans I speak with agree with me, that they will vote for "Anybody But Obama"!
In fact, the majority of black veterans won't vote for him either.
Did not know this was/is mittens position. Is it? If is disagree based on the devil one knows verses the devil one does not know.
the surge in Afghanistan won't make a difference in the long run
Surges do not work (imho) because the surges (alone) do not allow modification to ROEs whereby the enemy is destroyed. Without the accompaniment of the will to win thereby destroying whatever enters the path there is a no-win via a surge. Neither political party has had the win to win since WWII. Win-able wars have become unnecessary according to our elected otherwise winning would have been easy.
Whatever ‘they’ print, I will believe the opposite.
Those currently serving and the general population may be tired of the ‘war’, but decades later it will be our young who will pay the price.
A la Carter.
Polls and surveys are mostly useless.
Dallas is home to a number of reserve and guard groups - some guys "at work" tell now of going to Africa as a reserve unit...what's up with that?
Not sure how we solve the middle east problems, but Iraq was not done well - till GWB changed from a Pentagon based system into a "surge" from folks in the field. The pentagon guys are only too happy to send young people off to war; while they play golf at Andrews.
(imho) it would have been over is less than one year (perhaps eight months or less). It was always a given bin Laden was in pakistan. The saudis should have had their wakeup call as well. iran should have been obliterated where the mullahs did not live through 9/13. Hind sight is always 20/20 though (imho) many of the top brass were ignored (for the reason of fear) by those having been elected. (imho) Americans are tired of wars where the ROEs make it impossible to win.
What they do is go to the Democrats who tell them they want a story about “X.” This week they asked for a story about “Vets for Obama.” I am betting these three have never voted for a Republican in their lives.
I believe Obama also went into Somalia. Panetta is plumping for a Syrian engagement. And we’ll probably be in Iran before November.
Demographics are important but so is simply verify the authenticity of those polled. The Gallup folks regularly documented that twice as many respondents claimed to have served in Vietnam than actually did. People embellish when you get to anything more than age, sex and political affiliation.
“Here, look at the monkey. Look at the silly monkey!”
Well, they have been selling the military to gays and women as some kind of professional step up, not to make war. Worse is the erring leadership, which tries to retain the best with “package plans”, which basically makes it look like an extention of entitlement in the leadership. Obama is the worst leader and is trying to brainwash the troops and make them fund all this garbage communist non-profit organizations attached to the Federal government charity drive list.
The military is to be designed as a flying unstoppable machine/bullet targeted at enemies, it is not a career thing, nor something carrying the warrant of a local official like a cop.
But...but...it’s a ‘Global Force for Good.’
Indeed. The media always rephrase things to feelings. The military man should know about the commitment to a mission and eventual losses of any kind within the scope of the mission uncompromising aspects. This ethic is not drilled when signing up or goes out the way after Basic Training.
The final question to the military man and family is this one: who do you want to shake your hand at a military funeral when you or your loved one is a casket?
Certainly not Obama gay-pedophile-rapist types in my books. And that is the crux of the question.
I'm not so sure about that anymore. A buddy of mine went back into the active reserves a few years back because he “missed the camaraderie”. He's told me since that the military isn't the same as when we were in—and the change is NOT for the better—the PC cr@p has permeated into everything. And, I was astonished and appalled to see an 0bama bumper-sticker in the PX parking lot at Ft Sam Houston last week!
That pretty much sums it up. But I’m not in favor of trying to civilize people who like to bugger little boys and find goats to be more attractive than women. There are “republicans” out there, who believe that we must do what the British Empire couldn’t do over the course of three centuries and three wars. I thought the objective was to go over there kill some jihadis, drop some bombs and get the hell out! It don’t take TEN years to do that! What interests do we have over there that we can’t protect with a long-range missile launch???
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