Who Are These People? A Summary of the Presidential Candidates

On November 8, 2016, millions of Americans will head out of their houses to submit their ballot for the 2016 presidential election. By that day, the primaries will have whittled down from the large pool of candidates to one representative for the Democratic party, one representative for the Republican party, and maybe some independents trying to stake their claim on the White House. As the numbers are right now, there are five potential democratic candidates and a whopping 16 candidates for the GOP which comes to a total of 21 known potential presidential candidates. The question is, how much do you really know about the people who might become the leader of our country? 

 The Democrats


Lincoln Chafee 

Former Rhode Island governor and U.S. senator Lincoln Chaffee announced his campaign June 3, 2015. Chaffee has degrees in Classics from Brown University and Horseshoeing from Montana State University. His platform includes “Prosperity through Peace”, an initiative to assist in the restoration of American prestige by working with the United Nations (UN) to promote peace on an international level.  He also wants to strengthen the economy through a fair tax structure and expanding health care to all Americans. The environment is also a priority for Chaffee who promises to “work tirelessly” to reduce greenhouse gasses. Lastly, he aspires to ensure freedom for all Americans, which includes a woman’s right to her own reproductive health. (More Info about Lincoln Chafee) 

Hillary Rodham Clinton 

Former Secretary of State and U.S. senator announced her campaign via video message April 12, 2015. Clinton has a degree in political science from Wellesley College and obtained her Juris Doctor (JD) from Yale University Law School. A JD is required to practice law in the United States. Recently, Clinton has been plagued with controversies accusing her of corruption and hiding emails. Clinton’s multifaceted platform looks to address a lot of current issues in the country. Some of Clinton’s goals include making America the “clean energy superpower” of the century, providing quality education from early childhood to college, and reforming the criminal justice system. (More Info about Hillary Clinton) 

Martin O’Malley 

Former Maryland governor and mayor of Baltimore announced his campaign May 30, 2015. O’Malley has a degree in Political Science from the Catholic University of America and received his JD from the University of Maryland. O’Malley seeks to reform the economic system by fighting for better wages and bringing accountability to Wall Street. He also proposes to make college debt-free for all. He acknowledges that as a country, many people must choose between career or family and suggests that maternity and paternity leave, equal pay, and safe and affordable child care should not be a luxury reserved for the few. (More Info about Martin O'Malley) 

Bernie Sanders 

United States Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders has served in government since 1981. First as Mayor of Burlington, then as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, then as a U.S. Senator. He announced his campaign April 30, 2015 on Capitol Hill. He holds a degree in political science from the University of Chicago. Sanders’ platform encourages a progressive economy that creates jobs and raises wages. Universal health care and environmental protection are also priorities for Sanders. Sanders openly supports the Iran Deal and actively fights for women’s rights. (More Info about Bernie Sanders) Jim Webb 

On July 3, 2015, Jim Webb launched his campaign for the 2016 presidential election. He completed his education at the United States Naval Academy and received his JD from Georgetown University Law Center. Webb points out that the average CEO makes close to 350 times the average worker’s pay. This gap is extremely large compared to other countries. He acknowledges that “we cannot tax ourselves into prosperity” and seeks to simplify the tax code and eliminate many loopholes. His foreign policy emphasizes maintaining our relationship with foreign allies and acting against terrorist organizations that are a direct threat to our national security. (More Info about Jim Webb) 

The Republicans 

Jeb Bush 

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush (Jeb stands for John Ellis Bush) announced his campaign June 15, 2015. He received a degree in Latin American studies from the University of Texas. Jeb’s foreign policy calls for keeping some American troops in Iraq to help train Iraqi forces but otherwise keeping American forces out of the war with the group referring to itself as the Islamic State. He does not support the Iran deal or repairing relationships with Cuba, and actually suggests strengthening the embargo. On immigration, Bush says that illegal immigrants should be offered a path to legal status. He supports the Common Core standard for education. Bush has yet to offer a detailed proposal to confront the issues plaguing the national economy and budget. (More Info about Jeb Bush) 

Ben Carson 

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson declared his campaign May 4, 2015 in Detroit. He received his undergraduate education at Yale University, receiving a degree in psychology. He then continued on to the University of Michigan to receive his M.D.. His political prowess was noted after Carson spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013. Carson is pro-life, believing that human life begins at conception and must be protected. Carson has also noted that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is a “looming disaster”. Carson is also a supporter of the Israeli state. For the economy, Carson hopes to ratify a Balanced Budget Amendment that would mandate politicians in Washington D.C. to balance the federal budget. (More Info about Ben Carson) 

Chris Christie 

New Jersey governor Chris Christie declared his campaign June 30, 2015. Christie received his degrees from the University of Delaware, political science, and Seton Hall University, JD. On the issues, Christie has said that American troops may need to fight the Islamic State and that he has “grave concerns” about the Iran Deal. He has been critical about President Obama’s move to better relations with Cuba as well. When it comes to immigration, Christie is not concerned about stricter boarder security. He has said that he would eliminate the wage tax for those older than 62 or younger than 21 and entering the work force. As governor, Christie boasted about fixing the New Jersey economy, only to have his promises fall through later. (More Info about Chris Christie) 

Ted Cruz 

United States Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, declared his campaign March 30, 2015. He received a degree in public policy from Princeton University, and got his JD from Harvard Law. Cruz’s foreign policy favors deploying United States troops to fight the Islamic State. He stands by Israel and does not support the Iran Deal. On the economy, Cruz has said that he would abolish the IRS and place a flat tax that would only work if taxes were increased for most low- and middle-income families or massively cutting spending. Cruz is against the Common Core, and supportive of charter schools. He is pro-life, even in cases of rape and argued for a federal law in U.S. Supreme Court that was against late-term abortions. (More Info about Ted Cruz) 

Carly Fiorina 

Carly Fiorina is the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and the only Republican woman currently in the race for the presidency. On Good Morning America, Fiorina announced her candidacy May 4, 2015. Fiorina’s foreign policy calls for an American backing of Ukraine to fight Russian forces and is against the Iran Deal. Fiorina has fallen into step with other Republican party members about tightening boarder security but has said that she would support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. She opposes raising the federal minimum wage and believes that reducing government regulations will help the economy flourish. (More Info about Carly Fiorina) 

Jim Gilmore 

Former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore declared his candidacy July 30, 2015. He attended the University of Virginia for both his undergraduate career as well as law school. His foreign policy states the need to win the war on terrorism and radical Islam and seeks to repair damaged relationships with allies. He aspires to remove illegal immigrants who are criminals from the streets and secure the boarders while recanting cities’ ability to announce themselves as sanctuaries for illegal immigrants. He will repeal "ObamaCare" and replace it with a “patient-oriented” healthcare system. For the economy, Gilmore promises to cut taxes for all Americans and execute tax reform. (More Info about Jim Gilmore) 

Lindsey Graham 

Since 2003, Lindsey Graham has been a United States Senator from South Carolina. June 1, 2015 is when Graham announced his running for the presidency. He attended the University of South Carolina for his degree in psychology and JD. His three main priorities are “securing our nation”, “securing our future”, and “securing our values”. In order to secure our nation, Graham promises to be “Commander in Chief on day one” and place over 10,000 troops in the Middle East to defeat radical Islam. He does not support the Iran Deal and promises to provide unwavering support for Israel. To secure our future, the economy must be fixed. Graham proposes simplifying the tax code and revamping entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. As far as securing our values, Graham is pro-life and supports the second amendment. (More Info about Lindsey Graham) 

Mike Huckabee 

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee launched his campaign May 5, 2015. He attended Ouachita Baptist University and received a degree in religion. Huckabee supports forceful military action against radical Islam, which he sees as a grave threat to the country. He supports Israel and does not stand with the Iran Deal. In the past, he proposed lifting the Cuba embargo to assist the rice farmers in Arkansas but now opposes bettering relations with Cuba. Economically speaking, he does not wish to raise the federal minimum wage but unlike many other Republican party members Huckabee is a strong supporter of entitlement programs. (More Info about Mike Huckabee) 

Bobby Jindal 

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal declared his campaign June 24, 2015. He attended Brown University and got degrees in biology and public policy and got a Master’s degree from Oxford University. One of his top priorities is eliminating ISIS and radical Islam worldwide. He calls the Obama administration out for a crumbling foreign policy, and suggests a strong defense while still supporting allies like Israel. Jindal states that a growing government stops job growth in the private sector. As Louisiana governor, he cut more than 30,000 bureaucratic jobs and plans to do the same in Washington. He is pro-life and an advocate for veterans and plans to make them more of a priority on a national scale. (More Info about Bobby Jindal) 

John Kasich 

Current Ohio Governor John Kasich announced his campaign at a rally at Ohio State University (OSU) on July 21, 2015. OSU is Kasich’s alma mater, he received a political science degree there. On the issues, Kasich recognizes that the Unites States will probably have to send troops to Iraq to battle the Islamic State because the U.S. is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He is a self-identified “strong and emotional supporter of Israel” and does not support the Iran Deal. Kasich is a supporter of the Common Core, which many of his party members have criticized as the government overstepping their boundaries. His tract record as Ohio Governor includes balancing budgets, cutting taxes, and creating jobs for Ohioans. (More Info about John Kasich) 

George Pataki 

The former three term governor of New York announced his race for the White House on May 28, 2015. Pataki attended Yale University where he obtained a degree in history and got his JD from Columbia Law School. He believes that troops should be deployed to defeat the Islamic State and is unsure about the Iran Deal. Pataki supports a path to legal status for illegal immigrants. If elected president, Pataki has said he would repeal ObamaCare, end Common Core, and stop the “overreach” of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). By doing all of that, the size of the federal work force would be cut by about 15 percent. He has also suggested abandoning the current tax code and creating a brand new one from the ground up. (More Info about George Pataki) 

Rand Paul 

Kentucky senator Rand Paul announced candidacy April 7, 2015. He attended Baylor University and Duke University School of Medicine where he got his MD. Unlike many other Republicans, Paul supports the Iran Deal. He says that it is preferable to war. Paul also supports the Obama administration’s motion to remove the Cuban embargo, stating that it has not worked to take down the Castro regime. He does not support allowing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Economically, Paul opposes the Federal Reserve’s control and suggests that Congress should take over all responsibilities. (More Info about Rand Paul) 

Marco Rubio 

Florida senator Marco Rubio announced his running for the presidency April 13, 2015. He attended the University of Florida where he majored in political science and he received his JD from the University of Miami School of Law. Rubio has acknowledged that in order to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weaponry, military action might be necessary. Rubio also stands by Israel and generally supports efforts for foreign aid. He believes in securing the boarders but also allowing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. In the economy, Rubio ultimately seeks to loosen the reins that the government hold tightly and to cut taxes. (More Info about Marco Rubio) 

Rick Santorum 

Former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Sa

ntorum, announced his candidacy May 27, 2015. Santorum attended Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Dickinson School of Law receiving a degree in political science, an MBA, and a JD, respectively. Santorum’s foreign policy addresses a need to crush ISIS as soon as possible. Santorum supports Israel and says that President Obama is wrong to negotiate peace with the Palestinians. On immigration, he opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants and believes that the economy is suffering because foreign-born laborers take jobs from Americans. Unlike other party members, Santorum is open to the idea of raising the federal minimum wage. He is focused on income inequality and says that the Republican party should be less concerned with business man with the business sector and pay more attention to wage earners. (More Info about Rick Santorum) 

Donald Trump 

Donald Trump announced his candidacy June 16, 2015 at Trump Tower. Trump is the son of real estate developer Fred Trump and rose to fame as the host of The Apprentice. Trump received a degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Trump has said he has a “foolproof way” to defeat the Islamic state with haste, but refuses to provide details of his plan. He supports Israel, and blames President Obama for weakening the U.S.-Israeli alliance. Trump suggests building a physical wall to strengthen boarder security and opposes a path to allow illegal immigrants legal status. Economically, Trump considers borrowing and simulative Federal Reserve policies a threat to the American economy. He accuses countries like Japan and China for manipulating currency to increase exports that “are truly hurting our economy and our jobs”. (More Info about Donald Trump) 

Scott Walker 

Current governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker announced his running for the presidency July 13, 2015. Walker did not finish a degree, but attended Marquette University for a short time. Walker’s foreign policy is not opposed to sending American troops to Syria to confront the Islamic State, saying “we’re not going to wait until they bring the fight to us – we’re going to bring the fight to them, and fight on their soil”. He would cancel any agreement that the Obama administration may make with Iran and is against repairing relations with Cuba. He supports allowing illegal immigrants to earn legal status, but calls for greater boarder security and the enforcement of immigration laws. Walker has not explained his plans for the federal tax system, but based on his actions as Wisconsin governor he is likely to call for broad-based tax cuts. He does not fully support the idea of removing the federal tax system all together but says that it “sounds pretty tempting”. Another one of Walker’s focal points is job creation, and he presided over the state of Wisconsin during a period of job growth for many Midwestern states. (More Info about Scott Walker)


Make sure you get out there and vote on November 8th, 2016!