President Barack Obama will seek another term in the 2012 election, running against one of the following candidates.
Rick Santorum won the Iowa primary, Mitt Romney won the New
Hampshire primary and Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary. With several primaries to go, the GOP nomination could go to anyone.
The following is an overview of the candidates on several key issues. All information has been retrieved directly from the candidates’ websites unless otherwise indicated.
Mitt Romney- “Keeping America American”
Romney supports maintaining education at the local and state, not the federal level. He believes that the push for smaller classroom size is promoted by teacher’s unions, and that failure to teach minority students is a civil issue, according to issues2000.org.
Romney is pro-life, and in June 2011 said, “I believe people understand that I’m firmly pro-life…And I believe in the sanctity of life from the very beginning until the very end,” according to issues2000.org.
He would change America’s energy policy by amending the Clean Air Act to exclude carbon dioxide from its purview, increase domestic production of oil via the Canadian pipeline known as Keystone XL and open America’s energy reserves for development to both reduce reliance on foreign oil and stimulate job growth.
Romney favors repealing Obama’s Affordable Care Act, returning healthcare to the states, and opposes federally mandated health care, according to issues2000.org.
Romney supports building a border fence between the U.S. and Mexico, opposes amnesty, and supports alien employment cards, according to issues2000.org.
Although once beneficial, Romney believes today’s unions have largely become detrimental to businesses. He says workers should be given a choice in whether to join a union.
He supports increasing defense spending to at least 4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to issues2000.org, he also supports the installation of a robust missile defense system.
According to 2012.presidential-candidates.org, Romney opposes same-sex marriage, opposes gays and lesbians serving in the military and opposes civil unions. He supports a federal marriage amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage.
Taxes: Romney would maintain the current personal income tax rate, eliminate capital gains taxes for individuals falling below certain income levels and reduce the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent.
Rick Santorum- “Faith, Freedom, and Family”
Rick Santorum believes that children’s education ultimately lies in the hands of parents, according to issues2000.org, and supports a one-time $500 education contribution for every low-income child to encourage savings and literacy. Santorum does not support sex education in schools as he does believe it reduces adolescent pregnancy or STDs.
Santorum has strongly stated his opposition to abortion, authoring both the Partial Birth Abortion Act and the Born Alive Infants Protection Act while in the Senate.
He would would remove bans on domestic drilling for oil, both onshore and offshore, and favors repealing the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations.
He would repeal Obama’s Affordable Care Act. He supports allowing patients to purchase coverage across state lines and allowing patients the option to participate in health savings plans and select high-deductible policies.
He supports building a fence between the U.S./Mexico border, opposes in-state tuition for illegal immigrants and supports making English the nation’s official language, according to issues2000.org.
He supports cutting and simplifying income taxes and lowering capital gains taxes and exploring domestic energy in order to create jobs, according to his website.
He opposes any cuts to defense spending, supports confronting the threat of radical Islam and supports the Patriot Act, according to issues2000.org.
He has been a vocal opponent of gay marriage, stating during the 2012 primaries that he is against any marriage or civil union between same-sex couples.
He believes that “to have a strong economy, we must have strong families – because the family is the first economy.” Santorum favors lowering personal income tax, cutting corporate income tax in half, and reducing capital gains tax.
Newt Gingrich- “Rebuild the America We Love”
Gingrich supports allowing parents to decide between public, private, parochial, or homeschool. He supports reducing the federal Department of Education, and supports the idea that college students should graduate with no debt, according to issues2000.org.
He favors a ban on abortion, parental notification before minors can have an abortion and de-funding Planned Parenthood, according to 2012.presidential-candidates.org.
He supports an energy plan that includes domestic production, supports offshore oil drilling, would end the ban on oil shale development in the American West and would replace the EPA with an “Environmental Solutions Agency.”
Like Santorum, Gingrich would reform healthcare by allowing people to purchase healthcare coverage across state lines, which he said would increase price competition.
He has a 10-step plan for immigration reform that includes ensuring all new citizens and young Americans learn American history and are taught the principles of “American exceptionalism.” The guest worker program should remain intact, he said, but should be managed by outsourced anti-fraud experts such as American Express, Visa, or Mastercard.
To promote economic stability, he said he would stop the 2013 tax increase, eliminate capital gains taxes and reduce the corporate income tax rate to 12.5 percent.
He believes that addressing the threat of radical Islam against America is of critical importance. He supports the judicious use of the military to maintain national security as well as securing American borders against terrorist agents and weapons.
Gingrich favors a constitutional amendment to establish marriage as between one man and one woman. He opposes same-sex couples adopting children, but supports gays/lesbians as educators, according to 2012.presidential-candidates.org.
He supports eliminating the marriage tax, cutting middle class taxes, and eliminating capital gains tax in order to encourage investment, according to 2012.presidential-candidates.org.
Ron Paul- “Restore America Now”
Ron Paul strongly supports homeschooling children and believes that the one-size-fits-all approach to education is ineffective, according to his website. If elected he would veto any legislation that encroaches on homeschooling parents’ rights.
Paul strongly opposes abortion and has said that if elected he would immediately work to repeal Roe v. Wade and remove abortion from federal court jurisdiction.
He supports removing restrictions on domestic drilling for oil, repealing the federal tax on gasoline, and lifting restrictions on the use of coal and oil. He would also eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Like the other candidates, Paul would repeal Obama’s Affordable Care Act and allow the purchase of health insurance across state lines. Additionally he said he would grant all Americans eligibility for health savings plans.
He strongly supports the enforcement of border security. His website says, “A nation without borders is no nation at all.” He opposes amnesty, favors ending birthright citizenship and favors streamlining the entry process of legal immigration.
To address the country’s economic and joblessness problems he said he would refuse to increase the debt ceiling, audit and then eliminate the Federal Reserve System. Paul supports the National Right to Work Law and opposes unions.
He supports securing the nation’s borders, eliminating long, financially draining wars and sending military into conflict with a clear mission. He is opposed to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) current airport screening methods.
Paul is opposed to federal efforts to define marriage. In August 2011 he stated his personal belief that a marriage should be between one man and one woman, but that the decision should be left to the states.
Paul supports eliminating death and income taxes as well as capital gains and Social Security taxes.