The Few, The Politicians: Candidate Told By Marines To Withdraw Campaign Ad

GOP candidate Vaughn Ward has run into problems over his campaign ads, but not with the FCC. The Marine Corps has ordered him to change his campaign ad in which he appears in uniform and promises to help repeal Obamacare. The body armor shown in the picture may now become useful. The ads violate a prohibition on involving the military in political campaigning.

Ward is a decorated major in the Marines and is going for the Republican nomination on May 25th to challenge Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick in November.

The Marines demanded a “prominent and clearly displayed disclaimer that neither the military information nor photographs imply endorsement by the Department of Defense or their particular Military Department.”

Ward admitted the error and withdrew the ad. What is interesting is that the rules do not prohibit the wearing of the uniform, but only the image of candidates”in uniform as the primary graphic representation” in campaign material. Since Ward’s photo is only one-third of the ad, the picture itself did not violate the rule.

For the full story, click here.

12 thoughts on “The Few, The Politicians: Candidate Told By Marines To Withdraw Campaign Ad”

  1. Gee 4 point print. Is he also mailing out magnifying glasses?

    IraqVet is totally right. Everybody in the military knows this kind of behavior is wrong. There’s no grey area here. He’s being disingenuous in claiming he didn’t know it violated DOD regs.

  2. Just a note on the inevitable description of Vaughn Ward as a “decorated Major”: the US military hands out some medals like candy. For officers, it is the norm to receive a medal at the conclusion of every tour of duty. I rather doubt that there is such a thing as an “undecorated” Major in the entirety of our armed forces.

    Also, it’s disheartening to watch the Marine Corps brass treat this Major with kid gloves, while a mere private who dared show up at a political rally in uniform would certainly get disciplinary action.

    The US military used to have a VERY strong cultural tradition of remaining apolitical. For example, General Eisenhower made a point of resigning his military commission before he became president (his military status was re-instated only after his presidency). Other generals made a point of never voting, because they felt it would be improper to “vote for their bosses.” And everybody in the military still knows that you should never, ever wear your uniform to political events.

    But the increasing climate of media-driven polarization in this country has eroded the military’s apolitical culture. Cracks started appearing during the Clinton administration, when an Air Force general achieved notoriety for making disparaging remarks about the President in a public speech. And now some officers who “grew up” in this less stringently apolitical military culture apparently see no problem with basically campaigning in uniform.

    In a country that has to date avoided the “military junta” problem that most other countries have experienced, these Ward campaign materials are a troubling symptom of a changing military culture.

  3. Mr. Ward is merely the commissioned officer version of the Second Amendment Tea Party folks who march armed to remind us that they intend to “take their country back” come hell or high water. So what’s his plan? Will he threaten to blow away opposing members of Congress unless they support repeal? Or is he pushing to be named company commander of the House Appropriations Committee? Someone needs to remind him that even George Washington hung up the old uniform when he assumed the presidency.

  4. ONE word should guide these loons – V E T O !!!

    As long as O is pres…they’re done…end.

  5. When are these people going to get consistent? They need to march down to the nearest VA hospitals and protest that our wounded veterans are being tormented by truly Socialist healthcare! GASP! If they believe in what they’re saying, they should be trying to get the VA hospital system shut down, and push veterans out into the private health insurance marketplace. Why is MittRomneyCare so awful, but government owned/run hospitals for veterans OK?

  6. I don’t get it. All he has to do is put on a disclaimer (in teeny tiny print) – and maybe drop his tri-care as rafflaw suggests – and he can continue to use the ad. There are plenty of people that will vote for him based on this ad.

    I’m waiting for GS ads touting the company as the best presidential candidate. No disclaimers needed there!

  7. When we stop producing men/women like him better start your Chinese/Russian/North Korean/Iranian language lessons….

  8. Just another ignorant Palin-type … dummies will vote for him … intelligent people won’t.

  9. mespo,

    It’s just as strange as that people somehow equate business success parlayed into political gain makes for good leadership too.

  10. It’s as old as the Republic to parlay one’s military service into political gain. Strange that folks think the two are even remotely related.

  11. Why doesn’t this misguided Marine want to repeal his Tricare insurance coverage if he doesn’t like the alleged big government programs?

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