At the end of May, Gallup released a poll that found Mitt Romney leading President Barack Obama by 24 points, 58% to 34% among veterans, who make up 13% of the population. Romney, who did not serve in the military, was doing better among veterans against Obama than veteran John McCain did. McCain beat Obama by 10 points among veterans in 2008.
A week later, on June 5, the Associated Press conveniently and coincidentally published a story that hammered Romney — and three generations of his family — for not having served in the military while giving Obama a pass for not having served.
The AP noted that although Romney was an early supporter of the Vietnam War, he avoided military service at the height of the fighting by seeking and receiving four draft deferments, which included a “a 31-month stretch as a ‘minister of religion’ in France, a classification for Mormon missionaries that the church at the time feared was being overused.”
The story also emphasized that neither Romney’s father nor his sons have served in the military and referenced his father’s comments about having been “brainwashed” in Vietnam. Those comments essentially ended his father’s chances of becoming president.
The article also cites liberal veterans like Jon Soltz and implies that Romney is being hypocritical for asking Americans to serve in any capacity — even in areas outside of the military — because Romney did not serve. But Obama, who repeatedly and incessantly speaks about a national culture of “service,” gets spared from such insinuations of hypocrisy.
Make no mistake, the AP story was written to help Obama by attempting to cut into Romney’s lead in the polls among veterans.