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Posted on Dec 6, 2011 Print this Article

2012 Presidential Candidate Survey Results Released

The Military Culture Coalition has released responses to the MCC 2012 Presidential Candidate Survey, which asked six questions about military social issues such as gays in the military, enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the military, religious liberty for chaplains, and subjecting women to direct ground combat and Selective Service registration.

Center for Military Readiness President Elaine Donnelly coordinated the non-partisan MCC Presidential Survey together with fourteen other conservative organization leaders whose signatures can be viewed in the December 6, 2011, news release posted here:

Military Culture Coalition Releases Results of 2012 Presidential Candidate Survey

Results of the MCC Survey could be pivotal with conservative voters in the early voting states.  Undecided voters in IowaNew Hampshire, and South Carolina will want to take into consideration the answers of candidates PerryBachmann, and Santorum, which provide insight into their views on national defense and social issues.   

Now that this educational survey is complete, CMR hopes that voters will take it from here, asking the same questions of candidates Romney, GingrichPaul, and Huntsman.  All of the candidates should be willing to answer questions on six issues that are important to military men and women, who are losing confidence in the current Commander-in-Chief.

Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Senator Rick Santorum indicated in their answers that they would have joined Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in voting against the repeal of the 1993 law regarding gays in the military, which was rammed through the lame-duck session in December 2010.  All three indicated that they would call for a full review of the consequences of repealing the law, which was usually called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and take administrative or legislative steps to restore sound policies that improve the All-Volunteer Force. 

As in 2008, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney declined to respond to the CMR Presidential Candidate Survey questions about his position on repeal of the 1993 gays-in-the-military law.  Nor did he indicate that he would review and remedy the consequences of repeal.  

According to the New York Times, in 1994 Romney sent a letter to the Massachusetts Log Cabin Republicans stating that he would do a better job than his opponent, Senator Ted Kennedy, in "mak[ing] equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern."  Romney also endorsed Bill Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy as "the first in a number of steps that will ultimately lead to gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation's military."   


Former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Congressman Ron Paul failed to answer any of the six military/social questions asked in the Military Culture Coalition Survey.  Congressman Paul, however, voted for legislation to repeal the 1993 law twice in 2010.  The repeal was rushed through the lame-duck session in December, 2010, following only superficial hearings in the Senate and none in the House.  

Congressman Paul suggested in a recent interview that most misconduct in the military involves heterosexuals, not explaining why it would benefit the All-Volunteer Force to burden commanders with new varieties of sexual misconduct.  His additional comments about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" failed to recognize that the catch-phrase applied to Bill Clinton's expendable administrative policy, not the actual law that Congress passed, which should have been retained.

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman did not respond to the MCC 2012 Presidential Candidate Survey, and businessman Herman Cain promised a statement that did not materialize prior to the suspension of his campaign.

This is a PDF of the MCC Survey, which included brief statements introducing the six topics:

Military Culture Coalition 2012 Presidential Candidate Survey

The survey also provided more detailed background information on each of the questions: 

Background: MCC Presidential Candidate Survey

Candidates were invited to answer with a "Yes" or "No" on an electronic form that provided space for additional comments:  

1.  Homosexuals in the Military

If you had been a member of the 111th Congress in 2010, how would you have voted on the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repeal Act?

  • Perry and Santorum answered "No."  Bachmann did vote "No" in 2010.

2.  LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender) Law in the Military

As Commander-in-Chief, will you order full and specific reviews of the consequences of LGBT Law and related policies in the military, and take administrative or legislative steps to restore sound policies regarding homosexual conduct that improve the All-Volunteer Force?

  • Perry, Bachmann, and Santorum answered, "Yes."

3.  The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the Military

Will your administration instruct the Department of Defense and Department of Justice to respect, enforce, and defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act in the military?

  • Perry, Bachmann, and Santorum answered, "Yes."

4.  Religious Liberty and "Zero Tolerance" of Dissent

As Commander-in-Chief, would you order the Defense Department to impose career penalties on military chaplains and personnel who express sincere concern or disagreement with the LGBT law and related policies in the military?

  • Perry, Bachmann, and Santorum answered, "No."

5.  LGBT Celebrations

Will your administration continue "LGBT Equality" observances, permit "gay pride" events on military bases, and expand the current policy to accommodate transgendered personnel?

  • Perry, Bachmann, and Santorum answered, "No."

6.  Women In or Near Direct Ground Combat

As Commander-in-Chief, would you assign female soldiers and Marines to direct ground combat units that attack the enemy with deliberate offensive action; i.e., infantry, armor, and Special Operations Forces?

  • Perry, Bachmann, and Santorum answered, "No."

The following conservative leaders signed the letter to the presidential candidates.  All organization names are for identification purposes only, and the survey was conducted for educational purposes, not to endorse candidates.  

Elaine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness

Al Cardenas, Chairman, American Conservative Union

Andrea Lafferty, President, Traditional Values Coalition

Tom Minnery, Executive Director, CitizenLink (Policy Arm of Focus on the Family)

Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring

Phyllis Schlafly, President, Eagle Forum

Gary Bauer, President, American Values

Tim Wildmon, President, American Family Association

Frank Gaffney, President, Center for Security Policy

Rev. Rick Scarborough, President, Vision America

Andy Blom, Executive Director, American Principles Project

Dr. James Dobson, Founder and President, Family Talk

Chris Carmouche, Founder & President, Grasstops USA

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel

Kristian M. Mineau, President, Massachusetts Family Institute.  

The Center for Military Readiness has conducted a quadrennial non-partisan survey of presidential candidates in the past four presidential election cycles. 


Posted on Dec 6, 2011 Print this Article