MCC Releases Results of 2012 Presidential Candidate Survey

 Conservative Candidates Perry, Bachmann, Santorum Provide Solid Answers

       Romney, Gingrich, Huntsman Fail to Answer Six Questions on Military/Social Issues

Ron Paul Voted for Gays in the Military

December 6, 2011 - 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. (See News Release here.)

Center for Military Readiness President Elaine Donnelly coordinated the non-partisan MCC Presidential Survey together with fourteen other conservative organization leaders whose names are provided below.

Donnelly predicted that results could be pivotal with conservative voters in the early voting states.  "Undecided voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina will want to take into consideration the answers of candidates Perry, Bachmann, and Santorum, which provide insight into their views on national defense and social issues."  

She added, "Now that this educational survey is complete, we hope that voters will take it from here, asking the same questions of candidates Romney, Gingrich, Paul, 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.

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 failed to respond to the MCC 2012 Presidential Candidate Survey, and businessman Herman Cain’s campaign 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.  For more information on the Military Culture Coalition Presidential Candidate Survey, call Elaine Donnelly, 734/464-9430.


Elaine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness


Al Cardenas, Chairman, American Conservative Union






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


James C. Dobson, Ph.D., Founder and President, Family Talk






Gary Bauer, President, American                Values


Frank Gaffney, President, Center for Security Policy






Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring


Phyllis Schlafly, President, Eagle Forum






Andrea Lafferty, President, Traditional Values Coalition


Tim Wildmon,President, American Family Association






Chris Carmouche, Founder & President, GrasstopsUSA


Rev. Rick Scarborough, President, Vision America






Mathew Staver, Founder & Chairman, Liberty Counsel


Andy Blom, Executive Director, American Principles Project





Kristian M. Mineau, President, Massachusetts Family Institute



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