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Who’s Who in the Republican Race for President (and Why You Should Care)

Collegiettes™, I know that politics can often come off as boring and confusing. I also know that CNN and Fox News aren’t the most interesting channels to watch. And trust me, I completely understand that watching a Republican Presidential debate is not a fun way to spend a Friday night.

But to be perfectly blunt, no matter how dull politics seems to you, it’s important to understand the basics of our country’s current political climate and to have some understanding of what these candidates stand for. No matter where you are, it’s quite possible that you may find yourself with a group of people discussing politics who are interested in hearing your opinion. In that case, you should have one! So here’s a short list of all the Republican candidates who are currently in the race and a little information about them so that you’ll never be caught off guard in a political discussion!
Mitt Romney is the former governor of Massachusetts and is known as a bit of a flip-flopper. Before he began his campaign, his opinions and ideologies were a bit more moderate. For example, as governor of Massachusetts, he implemented statewide healthcare (similar to Obamacare). Now that he’s running for the Republican presidential bid for president, however, he’s changed his views a bit to be more conservative. He is personable and experienced, but many Republicans don’t want him to run for president.

Rick Perry is the current governor of Texas. He boasts that under his leadership, the job market in Texas has grown considerably. He used to be a Democrat, but now has many conservative views, such as his opposition to legalizing gay marriage. He is also known for comparing Social Security to a Ponzi scheme. Many late night TV show hosts have compared Perry to “George W. Bush if he never quit drinking” because of a confusing speech he made in New Hampshire last week in which he appeared intoxicated.
Herman Cain is the current front-runner in the elections. He is extremely conservative, and is pro-life as well as against gay marriage. He is the creator of the famous “9-9-9” economic plan, which would make all sales tax, business tax, and income tax in the nation 9%. His latest appearances in the news have been to address the recent allegations that he sexually harassed at least three women back when he was the president of the National Restaurant Association. Although there are legal documents proving that Cain settled with the accusers, there is no solid evidence that he actually harassed these women.
Michelle Bachmann is a candidate representing the Tea Party movement. She is often known for making spontaneous or unscientific statements, like when she said that a woman’s daughter became “mentally retarded after receiving an HPV vaccination.” She is strongly conservative, believing that the government should remain as small as possible and give out less handouts to members of the lower class.
Ron Paul is a libertarian, which means that he believes the federal government should stay out of all aspects of citizens’ lives. Because of this, he believes that government-run organizations that regulate private business (such as the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA) are unconstitutional. He has said that most, if not all, industries in the country should be privatized.
Jon Huntsman, Jr. has served under several presidents (from both political parties) as an ambassador to China and was also governor of Utah. He is a more moderate Republican, believing that abortions should be allowed if a woman’s life is in danger or if she is raped and that gay men and women should be allowed to have civil unions (although he opposes gay marriage.) He believes that the country and the Congress need to get together to find a compromise that will solve the debt crisis in the US.
Rick Santorum is extremely conservative. His politics stay true to the party. He is often quiet during the debates, but is perhaps most known for his strong opposition to civil unions and gay marriage.
Newt Gingrich is the former Speaker of the House for the Republican party. He is most talkative in debates when he insists that the other candidates shouldn’t lash out at each other; he believes that fighting amongst themselves will hurt their campaigns and strengthen President Obama’s campaign. He believes that the federal government should be smaller and wants to get rid of the EPA.

Now that you know the basics about each candidate, feel free to discuss politics all you want! Even though the election isn’t for another year, it’s always good to know something about who’s who in politics in this country!

Source: televised debates and politico.com


Northeastern '16

I was a student. Now I am not.
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