Breaking down the GOP candidates

Greg Parlier

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Mitt Romney
Age: 64
Education: Brigham Young University, Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School
Career: Former Governor of Massachusetts, founded Bain Capital Investment Firm, helped run 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, lost 2008 Republican nomination to Arizona Sen. John McCain

 

Issues:
-Economy
Romney touts experience in public and private sectors. He supports conservative lawmakers’ “cut, cap and balance” approach to curb federal debt spending.

 

-Health care
Romney wants to repeal Obama’s health care reform bill and give options to the states. He defends the similar Massachusetts law that he signed, which earned him criticism from Republican opponents. He claims it worked for Massachusetts but never said it would work on a federal level.

 

-Foreign Policy
Romney said he will “pursue a strategy of American strength” rather than apologize for America abroad, as he claims has been Obama’s approach.

 

-Same-sex marriage
“I believe we should have a federal amendment in the Constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman because I believe the ideal place to raise a child is in a home with a mom and a dad,” he said in a debate in Ames, Iowa.

 

-Abortion
Pro-life

 

 

Newt Gingrich
Age: 68
Education: Emory University, Tulane University
Career: Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, led the House in the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton, left Congress in 1999, served on the Defense Policy Board under President George W. Bush.

 

Issues:
-Economy
Gingrich wants to make the Bush-era tax cuts permanent, according to his website. He also wants to eliminate capital gains taxes, lower the corporate tax rate, eliminate the estate tax and make major changes to how the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration operate.

 

-Health care
Gingrich wants to allow health insurance to be sold across state lines, change the tax treatment for health insurance premiums, make substantial changes to Medicare and Medicaid, make Health Savings accounts more available and pass medical malpractice reform.

 

-Foreign policy
“Only a grand strategy for marginalizing, isolating and defeating radical Islamists across the world will lead to victory,” Gingrich said in regards to U.S. involvement abroad. He has also been critical of U.S. involvement in Libya.

 

-Same-sex marriage
Gingrich believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. He believes the federal government should enforce this law, superceding state law.

 

-Abortion
Pro-life

 

 

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)
Age: 76
Education: Gettysburg College, Duke University School of Medicine.
Career: Current representative from Texas in the House, on the Financial Services Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee and chairman of the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology. Formerly a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force, a specialist in obstetrics/gynecology, served on Congress in the late 70s and early 80s.

 

Issues:
-Economy
Paul is critical of the Federal Reserve, which he would like to eliminate altogether. He would also like to return the U.S. to the gold standard, do a thorough audit of the Fed’s books and audit all of U.S. gold holdings at Fort Knox.

 

-Health care
Paul wants to repeal the Democratic health care reform bill, allow insurance to be sold across state lines and expand access to health savings accounts.

 

-Foreign policy
Paul is an outspoken critic of the U.S. military’s expansionist approach to foreign policy. He has voted to put limits on U.S. involvement in Libya and wants to end U.S. involvement overseas.

 

-Same-sex marriage
Paul believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but he also believes the federal government shouldn’t be involved in the issue of marriage.

 

-Abortion
Pro-life. He has said he would like to shift control of abortion to the states.

 

 

Rick Santorum
Age: 53
Education: Penn State University, University of Pittsburgh, Dickinson School of Law
Career: Former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, also served on the House of Representatives.

 

Issues:
-Economy
Santorum would reduce the corporate tax rate to zero for firms that engage in manufacturing. He does not support raising taxes in an ailing ecomony.

 

-Health care
He is critical of the health care bill in Massachusetts and the Democratic reform bill.

 

-Foreign policy
Santorum favors an expansionist, interventionist approach to U.S. foreign policy. He voted in favor of using force in Iraq when he was in the Senate and against several measures that would put limits on how the Bush administration conducted the war on terror. He also voted in favor of legislation that funded the Defense Department. On his website, Santorum expressed his belief that the nation’s leaders should call the “War on Terror” what it is, “a war with radical Islam.”

 

-Same sex marriage
Santorum believes in a traditional definition of marriage, and has expressed support for a traditional definition of marriage at the federal level that would supercede all state definitions. “We can’t have 50 marriage laws,” he said.

 

-Abortion

Pro-life

 

Sources: CNN, GOP candidate’s websites

 

 

Email Greg at [email protected]