A new poll released by the Pew Research Center surveying veteran households’ responses to the president’s decision to release five Taliban prisoners in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl does not bode well for Obama. 1,004 people from veteran households were polled, and 55 percent of them said that the prisoner exchange was the “wrong thing” to do.
“Fifty-five percent of those households said that Obama’s decision to exchange the Taliban leaders for Bergdahl was the “wrong thing” to do. Only 26 percent of veteran households said it was the right move, and 18 percent offered no opinion,” reports The Daily Caller.
Non-veteran households feel a bit different about the prisoner exchange carried out by the Obama administration. Only 38 percent of non-veteran households feel that the Bergdahl deal was the “wrong thing” to do. 37 percent of non-vet houses think that it was the “right thing” to do.
Regardless of military status, the American public does not have sympathetic feelings towards Bergdahl. 12 percent of military households said that they feel sympathy for Bergdahl, while only 17 percent of non-military households said that they feel sympathetic towards Bergdahl’s plight.
Bergdahl has claimed that his Taliban captors kept him in a metal cage for months at a time. These captors include members of the Haqqani network. The Obama administration has argued that Bergdahl was in imminent physical danger while being held captive by the Taliban.
U.S. officials have claimed that Bergdahl was found in relatively decent physical health upon his release from captivity.
“Not surprisingly, the Pew Research Center/USA Today poll showed a stark partisan divide. Seventy-one percent of Republicans said that Obama made the wrong decision, while only 24 percent of Democrats agreed. Sixteen percent of Republicans thought Obama’s decision was the right one; 55 percent of Democrats thought it was the correct move,” continues The Daily Caller.
Foreign policy matters usually are subject to partisan interpretation, so these findings by the Pew Research Center are expected. Republicans will attempt to latch onto this newest mishandling of foreign affairs by the Obama administration in order to paint the Democratic Party as the party of incompetence.
The Bergdahl scandal will weigh heavily on the Democratic Party going into this year’s midterm elections, as the public is not seeing the upside of trading five Taliban commanders for a deserter that led to the deaths of multiple armed servicemen.