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Is Ron Paul the favorite candidate of US military personnel?

Ron Paul says it’s time to bring US troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. He also says he's raised more money from current members of the armed forces than any other GOP hopeful.

By Staff writer / October 19, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R) ofTexas, speaks during a Republican presidential debate Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Chris Carlson/AP

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Ron Paul says it’s time to bring US troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. He thinks the US national security establishment is puffing up the threat from Iran’s nuclear program – possibly to involve the nation in another overseas conflict.

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He’s opposed to the use of American armed forces in nation-building activities, and in general he thinks it’s time Uncle Sam stopped serving as the world’s policeman.

These positions put him at odds with the more hawkish members of the GOP presidential field. But here’s something interesting: according to the Paul campaign, he’s raised more money from current members of the armed forces than any other Republican hopeful.

“If you add up all the donations to all the other Republican candidates from military, active-duty people, I get twice as much because they’re sick and tired of these wars and they know they’re not working out,” said Mr. Paul earlier this month during an appearance in Washington at the National Press Club.

Wow. Is this claim really true? Now that the Federal Election Commission has released 3rd quarter fundraising reports, we can check on it. Let’s go to the videotape, as the late great D.C. sportscaster George Michael used to say.

First off, we’ll note that Paul is punching above his poll numbers, fundraising wise. According to the RealClearPolitics rolling average of major polls, Paul right now is the choice of 8.1 percent of GOP voters, putting him in fifth place in the race for the nomination.

But in what pundits like to call the “money primary,” Paul is third. He’s raised $12.6 million this election cycle, to Mitt Romney’s $32 million and Rick Perry’s $17 million.

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