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Political Breakdown: 2012 Presidential Elections

Gingrich. Romney. Bachman. So many names have been flying and buzzing around over the past few months that the whole idea of the upcoming presidential election might have you confused or in a tizzy. Although November 4, election day, is currently far away, the drama will be drummed up as the months churn on and it’s important that you understand why.

In this series, we will be providing you with information and analysis about the upcoming elections, politics, and what they mean for you as a voter. We’ll break it down–everything from the Iowa Cacus to who the hell is Ron Paul to the national party-affiliated conventions. Because it’s important for you to know what’s going on with your government.

The Republicans will be scrounging around up until June 26 through a string of primaries across the nation, rallying for support to see who will be named the Republican Presidential Nominee  by the 2012 Republican National Convention on August 27, 2012. There are several key players in the running for this title and results from the Iowa Cacus, which is usually seen as the starting gun for the entire presidential election, showed that Mitt Romney was in the lead by eight points. But who are these people and what do they believe in?

Besides bashing President Barack Obama for his service in office, the presidential nominees are an interesting group who are claiming to change America in light of its current status. Meet the 7 Republican Presidential Candidates.

Michele Bachmann

She declared that she would be running for office on June 27, 2011. The 55 year-old female is a congresswoman from Minnesota who is originally from Waterloo, Iowa. She has never run for President, but got her guns to run from strong support of Tea Party activists. She has a proven track record to raise money (proven by the more than 3 million she’s raised for her campaign). Bachman appears to be running on the Republican steam of gender after the selection of Sarah Palin as Senator McCain’s vice-presidential nominee.

Bachmann voted against Wall Street bailouts but is strongly against amnesty in immigration. She’s a critic of the AmeriCorps program, calling against the mandatory installment of public service. She doesn’t believe in global warming, wants creationism taught in public science classes along with evolution, does not support minimum wage increases, is a strong proponent for nuclear power, doesn’t believe that America should be a part of an international global economy, wants to ban same-sex marriage,  thinks Obama is anti-American, and wants to phase out Social Security and Medicare.

Newt Gingrich

As Former Speaker of the House, this 68 year-old Republican announced his bid for presidency on May 11, 2011. A current college professor, Gingrich has a solid support in his party and is seen as a neutral ideas guy and respected intellectual who is known for his grass-roots organizing efforts. What turns people off about him is his personal life. He’s had multiple divorces and issues with fundraising.

Gingrich is a strong supporter of education, calling it “the number one factor in our future prosperity”. He has partnered with Al Sharpton on several education issues. He believes the Environmental Protection Agency should be replaced by an Environmental Solutions Agency and he’s a believer in religious expression. He also favors strong borders against immigration and a guest-worker program. He believes in saving resources and thinks there should be a flex-fuel mandate for cars sold int the U.S. (cars should be able to run on multiple type of fuels.

Mitt Romney

This 64 year-old is the former Governor of Massachusetts and is a popular name in the running, as he ran as a presidential candidate in 2008. A successful businessman that attended Harvard, Romney is gaining great appeal for Republicans. One of his biggest challenges is his Mormonism, which seems to come into conflict with more socially conservative evangelical Christians that seem to make up Republican voters.

In his early days, Romney was largely non-political. His political philosophies have flipped-flopped since his running in 1994’s senate race, which has made people skeptical of him.  After the passage of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Romney called for its appeal and believes that healthcare should be left up to states, rather than being a national mandate. This was quite an ironic move after he installed universal healthcare in Massachusetts under his term as governor. In 1994 and 2002, he was a supporter of abortion and now claims he is anti-abortion.  His goal is to revitalize job creation in the U.S.

Rick Perry

He’s a 61 year-old Texan who gets his appeal from the Tea Party and his experience as one of the longest-serving governors of Texas. His biggest challenge is his “my way or the highway” style, which makes compromising on major political issues difficult. He declared to run on August 13, 2011.

He opposes the legal recognition of same-sex marriages and the DREAM Act, although he did support a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition for colleges and later apply for permanent residency in 2001. He believes there should be changes to current Social Security and that a flat-tax should be applied to citizens.

 

John Huntsman

He’s the 51 year-old former ambassador to China who declared his run on June 21, 2011. He is popularly believed to be a moderate who would work well off of Obama’s views, however he is not currently leading in the polls.

He is a supporter of civil unions and is strong proponent for immigration and the reduction of greenhouse gases. However, he has consistently voted against abortion rights. He wants to revitalize the economy and supports the improvement of foreign affairs.

Ron Paul

Almost everyone knows this 75 year-old name. He has sought the bid for presidency twice in the past; first as a Libertarian in 1988 and as a republican in 2008. He’s got a tight bandwagon that will do anything to get his name out there and he attracts people by his libertarian philosophy. The only think that confuses Republicans is his support of legalizing drugs and his strong opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He’s an endorser of constitutional rights and is against the death penalty. He doesn’t believe the government should be involved in healthcare and believes most policies should be handled on the state  level. He wants to end the war on Drugs by deregulating marijuana usage, and doesn’t believe in raising taxes. He opposes affirmative action, and is highly critical of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, stating that it interfered with the labor market and did not improve race relations: “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society”.

Rick Santorum

The 53 year-old former Senator of Pennsylvania declared his bid for presidency on June 6, 2011. He is also a former lawyer and is leading in the polls with Mitt Romney. He is seen as socially conservative and supports “compassionate conservatism”, which he claims “relies on healthy families, freedom of faith, a vibrant civil society, a proper understanding of the individual and a focused government to achieve noble purposes through definable objectives which offers hope to all.” He is known for being confrontational and in-your-face when it comes to policy decisions.

Santorum believes that current immigration laws need to be strictly enforced and does not currently believe int the “right to privacy”. He supports the War on Terror and is a strong believer and supporter of Bush’s foreign policy doctrine. He also thinks that global warming is “junk science” and that we should be able to drill for oil anywhere.

Herman Cain

The only African-American Republican candidate dropped out of the race after allegations of sexual abuse arose in fall of 2011. He was CEO of a pizza chain.

 

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