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If he were president, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul says, the United States would remove its forces from Afghanistan as "quickly as the ships could get there."
In a July 20 interview with PBS’s "NewsHour," the Lake Jackson Republican continued: "It's insane on what we're doing. And I'll tell you one thing about this business about the military: We just had a quarterly (campaign finance) report, and they listed all the money that all the candidates got from the military. I got twice as much as all the other candidates put together on the Republican side, and even more than Obama got, which tells me that these troops want to come home as well because they know exactly what I'm talking about."
There’s no clear-cut way to gauge why members of the military gave to Paul’s campaign or to others. But we wondered if Paul was squared away on how much more money his presidential campaign reaped from members of the military.
A posting on his campaign website the same day he appeared on "NewsHour" sheds a little light. Headlined "Ron Paul Campaign Raises Most Donations From Military," it says that Paul has "raised more than any other current presidential candidate in donations from members of the military. Of those donors who indicated their occupation and employer, Paul topped the other contenders."
Next, we turned to the presidential candidates’ latest campaign finance filings compiled by the Federal Election Commission, which breaks out donations by donors’ employers. In an interview, commission spokeswoman Mary Brandenberger told us the agency makes sure that each report complies with a federal law requiring candidates to list the occupation of each donor of $200 or more.
A caveat: We did not achieve accounting-quality math in this look; there’s no quick way to do so. It’s also possible we missed a donation or two. Consider the numbers that follow in the ballpark.
That said, from April through June, Paul fielded more than $25,000 from individuals who listed their employer as a branch of the military.
Combined, six other Republican presidential candidates listed donations from members of the military totaling about $9,000. Our most-to-least breakdown: Herman Cain, $2,850; Mitt Romney, $2,750; Michele Bachmann, $2,250; Newt Gingrich, $500; and Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum, $250 each.
On the Democratic side, Obama’s campaign received more than $16,000 in donations from members of the military.
After we conducted this rough check, Paul’s campaign spokesman, Gary Howard, said by email that their numbers showed that Paul garnered $34,480 from members of the military; other GOP candidates fielded $13,848 and Obama took in $19,849.
Summing up, Paul’s military-connected contributions for the three months more than double such contributions to all the other Republican presidential candidates—and they also exceed Obama’s.
We rate his statement True.
Federal Election Commission, campaign finance filings, second quarter 2011 contributions by employer for "MICHELEBACHMANN.COM," "BACHMANN FOR PRESIDENT," "FRIENDS OF HERMAN CAIN INC.," "NEWT 2012," "OBAMA FOR AMERICA," "RON PAUL 2012 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE INC.," "PAWLENTY FOR PRESIDENT," "ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT INC.," "RICK SANTORUM FOR PRESIDENT,"
PBS NewsHour, program segment, "Ron Paul: 'Freedom Is a Young Idea and We're Throwing It Away,' " July 20, 2011
Telephone interview, Mary Brandenberger, public affairs specialist, Federal Election Commission, July 22, 2011
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