Although he clashed with other Republican candidates over the nation's foreign policy during the 2008 presidential primary, Congressman Ron Paul outraised every single other presidential candidate in both major parties when it came to donations from the military. With even more of the public seemingly warming up to Ron Paul's non-interventionist foreign policy this time around, it's perhaps no surprise that he's done it again.
Wading through the data in the Federal Election Commission's report for second quarter fundraising this year, activists at the popular Ron Paul website, Liberty Forest, crunched the numbers and reported that their candidate had outraised every single other Republican candidate from sources that list the military as their employer, and had even outraised America's sitting Commander-in-chief, Barack Obama.
Here's the breakdown:
Cain - $6223
Romney - $5000
Bachmann - $2550
Newt - $1025
Pawlenty - $250
Santorum - $250
Johnson - $0
Total GOP (excluding Ron Paul) - $15298.00
Paul - $36739.79
Obama - $28833.99
This would appear to be more good news for the Ron Paul campaign as it ramps up an aggressive bid to win the Ames straw poll in Iowa, but just why do military employees seem to support Ron Paul so consistently over all the other candidates? It could be due to Ron Paul's own time of service in the military as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force and US Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. This distinguishes the Texas congressman in that no other candidate in the Republican field (nor President Obama) has served in the U.S. military.
It could also be due to the fact that Ron Paul is the only candidate in the Republican field to have ever received an endorsement from President Ronald Reagan. During a tough primary battle back in the day, Ronald Reagan praised Ron Paul's record of being strong on national defense while putting the needs of the troops first:
"Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense. As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first. We need to keep him fighting for our country."
Ron Paul himself has suggested in past interviews that his strong support from the military indicates their frustration with America's current foreign policy. When Ron Paul made headlines last election cycle for raising the most political donations from military members, campaign spokesman Jesse Benton said:
"I think that our fighting men and women want to protect America, defend our Constitution and defend our borders. I think they’re sick and tired of being sent overseas on these police actions and getting caught in the middle of these civil wars, and want someone like Ron Paul speaking sense. They signed up to defend our country, not police the world, and I think they’re hungry for leaders who do that.”
While it's not uncommon to hear conservative pundits and activists say they love Ron Paul's commitment to balanced budgets, low taxes, a strong Dollar, and free markets, but don't agree with his foreign policy, they could benefit by taking a closer look at where those who are employed by military are largely putting their money.