U.S. Troops Deployed Abroad Reject McCain’s Iraq Plans, Donate 6:1 To Obama

ap080721026377.jpg Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has repeatedly claimed that he can speak for the interests of U.S. troops and best represent what they want. During a November 2007 debate, for example, McCain said:

I want to — and I want to tell you something, sir. I just finished having Thanksgiving with the troops, and their message to you is — the message of these brave men and women who are serving over there is: Let us win. Let us win.

Moreover, he has charged that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), “who does not understand what’s happening in Iraq or fails to acknowledge the success in Iraq, would rather lose a war than lose a campaign.”

But a new analysis by Open Secrets finds that the U.S. military is increasingly rejecting McCain as its spokesman. Obama has received nearly six times as much money from soldiers deployed overseas. Even anti-war libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who has suspended his campaign, has received more than four times as much as McCain:

Despite McCain’s status as a decorated veteran and a historically Republican bent among the military, members of the armed services overall — whether stationed overseas or at home — are also favoring Obama with their campaign contributions in 2008, by a $55,000 margin. Although 59 percent of federal contributions by military personnel has gone to Republicans this cycle, of money from the military to the presumed presidential nominees, 57 percent has gone to Obama.

McCain leads Obama by $4,000 in Marine Corps donations, although in all the other branches — including in the Navy, in which McCain served — Obama is leading “by significant margins.” Army Specialist Jay Navas cited Iraq war policies as a key reason he gave to Obama: “We’ll complete our duty — I’m deploying next year — because it’s a commitment I made to the nation, not to a president. But we all know that Iraq was a big mistake.”

Not only is Obama’s withdrawal plan — redeployment within 16 months — seemingly more popular amongst U.S. troops, but is also favored by Iraqi government officials. Even many wealthy donors in the United States who contributed to Bush in 2004 have been reluctant to donate to McCain because of his Iraq policies.

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