A decorated Iraq War veteran from St. Charles, Mo., who says he hasn’t even met Donald Trump has formed a grass-roots, all-volunteer organization to draft the New York real estate mogul for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Trump can restore America’s status in the world, says Nick McLaughlin, who saw combat in three Iraq tours and was injured when hit with shrapnel from a car bomb in Ubush, Iraq.
"Under Barack Obama, America has become a laughingstock around the world," McLaughlin says in a news release announcing the effort to draft Trump. "America needs a strong leader like Donald Trump to restore America's economic strength and respect around the world."
McLaughlin, who has never been active in politics before, said he had filed the committee with the Federal Election Commission and that the organization is not directed, authorized, or funded by Trump.
"I have never met Mr. Trump, but I am certain he is the man America needs," said McLaughlin, who was awarded a Purple Heart and nine other medals, including a Presidential citation.
He said his group wants to persuade Trump to announce his candidacy by the end of this year.
Trump has talked about running in several recent interviews, including one with Newsmax
, and he has said he may announce in June.
The draft committee is trying to collect a half-million signatures on a petition at its website, www.DraftTrump2012.com, urging Trump to enter the 2012 contest.
McLaughlin also announced that Lynn Krogh, former deputy press secretary for New York Gov. George Pataki and former executive director of the Young Republican National Federation, is national political director of the Draft Trump 2012 Committee, with the responsibility to set up Draft Trump Committees in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, Florida, and other early caucus and primary states.
McLaughlin met Krogh at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., where Trump delivered a well-received speech during the weekend.
Mark J. LaLiberte is the New Hampshire Draft Trump coordinator. LaLiberte was the public policy adviser for Rep. Frank Guinta, former Manchester mayor. He also was an editor for Business NH Magazine and the Portsmouth Herald.
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