A majority of people think Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has more respect for the military than President Donald Trump, according to a new poll.
Respondents to an ABC News/Ipsos poll were asked who has more respect for the military, with 61% saying Biden compared to 37% who said Trump. The poll was conducted between Sept. 11-12 with 533 adults with a margin of error of 4.7 percentage points.
Eighty-one percent of Republicans said Trump had more respect for the troops while 93 percent of Democrats said Biden.
The poll was conducted after an article in The Atlantic reported Trump called American war dead “losers” and “suckers.” Parts of the report have since been confirmed by Fox News and The Washington Post.
Trump denied the remarks, telling reporters, “It’s a fake story and it’s a disgrace they’re allowed to do it,” according to The New York Times.
Biden, whose son Beau served in the Iraq War, condemned Trump’s reported comments, calling them “deplorable,” “sick,” “disgusting,” and “un-American,” the Times reported. ”I’ve never been as disappointed in my whole career with a leader that I’ve worked with, president or otherwise,” he said.
Trump has also recently taken aim at military leadership, accusing them of profiting off war.
“I’m not saying the military’s in love with me -- the soldiers are, the top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy,” the president said during a Sept. 7 White House news conference.
In a Military Times poll released on Aug. 31, 41.3% of surveyed active-duty troops said they would vote for Biden, compared to 37.4% who said they would vote for Trump.
Nearly half of respondents said they had an unfavorable view of Trump, and 42% said they “strongly” disapprove of the president.
The latest Military Times poll was in stark contrast to a similar survey conducted in 2016 comparing military opinions of former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and then-Republican presidential candidate Trump.
About 40% of the 2,486 active-duty troops surveyed said they would vote for Trump compared to 20% who said they would vote for Clinton.
In 2016, 60% of military members voted for Trump compared to 34% who voted for Clinton, according to CNN exit polls.
Some military members have expressed doubt that Trump made those remarks reported by The Atlantic and other outlets.
Theron Martin, a U.S. Army private, told The Los Angeles Times, “I don’t believe it. I think people are trying to throw dirt on him. It’s an election year.”
“He may have said stupid things; he often does,” Martin told the publication. “If he did say that, it is absolutely disrespectful.… Shame on him. But he’s still doing a good job as president. He’s taking care of the economy and the military. He upped our pay.”
Not all veterans feel the same way.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who served in the Afghanistan War, said on Fox News Sept. 4 that “the amazing thing to me is how little respect (Trump) has for the intelligence of his own supporters.”
“This president has been disrespecting the military from the day he let some sucker in his youth go in his place to serve in Vietnam because he didn’t want to,” Buttigieg said, referring to Trump’s five draft deferments during the Vietnam War. “The president today lied on Twitter about never calling John McCain a loser. Now he’s asking us to believe, OK, he’s lying about that today, because we can check and see the footage, but he’s not lying about the other stuff? He must think we’re all suckers.”