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Veterans think President Obama made wrong call on Bowe Bergdahl


A new poll shows military veterans and their families say overwhelmingly that President Obama made the wrong call by trading five Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. And a plurality of all Americans agree.

The USA Today/Pew Research Center poll shows people in households with veterans disapprove of the deal 55 percent to 26 percent. In addition, according to USA Today, veterans themselves disapprove 68-16, and 33 percent of veterans say they are "angry" about the deal, while just 6 percent say they sympathize with Bergdahl, who has been accused of deserting his unit.

Among all Americans, 43 percent disapprove of the deal, while 34 percent say it was the right thing to do.

The poll is the second to deal in-depth with the Bergdahl deal since the situation got heated last week. A Washington Post/ABC News poll last week showed Americans were split on the deal.

Not surprisingly, Republicans are more unhappy with the deal than Democrats, with 71 percent opposed. But about one-quarter (24 percent) of members of Obama's own party are also unhappy.

While people might not like the deal, though, they generally agree that any soldier who is held as a prisoner of war should be rescued. Americans say 56-29 that any American should be rescued, regardless of the circumstances.

In other words, it appears that many Americans think Bergdahl should have been rescued, but don't necessarily think the administration paid the right price.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.



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