Contractor bucks back Barack

In the race for campaign dollars, Barack Obama is leading John McCain in money raised from supporters associated with defense contractors, according to Roll Call.

At the end of July Obama had raised $410,443 from supporters associated with the defense companies, while McCain had received $393,954, the Washington newspaper said, quoting data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Contractors apparently are turned off by McCain's reform talk and opposition to Congressional earmarks.

John Lehman, a former Navy secretary who's frequently mentioned as a possible Defense Secretary under McCain, told Roll Call that there's no question McCain would target weapons spending. "I think everything is on the table. There have got to be tradeoffs [in the Defense budget]," said Lehman, a top national security adviser to the McCain campaign.

Lehman said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld initially sought to take on out-of-control weapons spending, but he was sidetracked by the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq War. He said a McCain Pentagon would likely renew those efforts, along with pushing other business reforms, including cutting civilian personnel and limiting costly changes to defense contracts after they are awarded.

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