Who Wants To Be President?
By Bernard Healy-Garcia and Aidan Coyne
A breakdown of official presidential candidates, and those likely to declare.
There are always two horses in the running for the presidency: the Democrat and Republican stallions. The question, just three years out from our last presidential election, is which side’s horse will ride into the victor’s circle. There are already several declared candidates and a slew of other potential candidates. This is the list thus far and their positions on policy issues.
Description/Bio: Democrat. Former U.S. Secretary of State and former U.S. Senator from New York. After first playing second fiddle to her husband Bill, and then President Obama, Hilary is now running herself and hoping to finally take center stage. Hillary may face potential problems regarding both her husband’s extramarital affairs and her decisions as Secretary of State during Benghazi.
Abortion: Clinton stands by the motto “safe, legal and rare.”
The Economy: She encourages bankruptcy reform, encourages fiscal responsibility but especially emphasizes the need to make the economy work for the middle class.
Gay Marriage: She has declared she has changed her views on same-sex marriage, switching from an opponent in the 1990s to an ardent supporter today.
Marijuana Legalization: Clinton believes in permitting the use of medical marijuana, and a “see-how-it-goes” approach to determine recreational use.
Education: Hilary has voted to increase funding in the past, also emphasizes the importance of preschool education in children.
Description/Bio: Republican. U.S. Senator from Texas. He is a very right-wing conservative and has already begun making moves. Cruz is making limited floor and committee votes on many hot-button issues so that media won’t scrutinize his decisions.
Immigration: He is firmly against amnesty, and supports deportation of illegal immigrants and maintaining a secure border.
Economy: Cruz wants to balance the budget; he plans on doing so by cutting spending specifically, and not through increasing revenue by raising taxes.
Education: He wants to be managed by the local communities, he is wary of giving national government control over what and how schools teach.
Environment: He voted no on protecting many waterways, he is generally skeptical of environmental causes.
Description/Bio: Republican. U.S. Senator from Kentucky. Just like Senator Cruz, he is a very right-wing conservative, but has a particular libertarian streak that his campaign hopes will appeal to young people. The son of well-known Congressman Ron Paul, Rand is following in his father’s footsteps by running for president.
Economy: Senator Paul advocates cutting corporate taxes in half; he believes that this would lead to the creation of a million jobs.
Gay Marriage: Paul believes marriage should only be between heterosexuals, and that same-sex couples should only have contracts.
Marijuana Legalization: Senator Paul wants to end the over-criminalization of the drug; this is a stance that demonstrates his libertarian leanings.
Education: He wants to see the proliferation of more charter schools nationally and calls for less federal control.
Government Reform: He demands that the legislature have term limits; he also criticizes the close relationship between government and big business which he believes is antithetical to truly free markets
The Environment: Paul proclaims a belief in balancing the ideals of both safety of the environment and business deregulation.
Description/Bio: Republican. U.S. Senator from Florida. He is one of the younger candidates, and appeals to a broad spectrum of both moderates and conservatives within the Republican Party. If he can capture the nomination, he may prove helpful in winning his home state of Florida, which is a crucial swing state.
Abortion: Rubio takes a hardline position and is completely against abortion.
Women Issues: He opposes the government ensuring paycheck fairness and likewise doesn’t think it is the government’s role to guarantee equal pay for women.
Marijuana: Rubio believes there is no responsible way to use marijuana recreationally, and therefore opposes its legalization.
Environment: Senator Rubio believes that the free market will save the environment, not strict government mandates.
Education: He also favors vouchers for public school, instead of increasing federal help.
Government Reform: He wants to ban stock trading based on congressional insider knowledge.
Description/Bio: Independent Senator from Vermont. Describes himself as a “democratic socialist,” but his goal in running is likely not so much to win as it is to drive the presumptive Democratic nominee, Clinton, to the left.
Gay Marriage: Senator Sanders is a strong supporter of same-sex marriage and gay rights.
Education: Sanders supports a higher level of funding and is not a believer in the efficacy of school vouchers as a serious reform.
Abortion: He consistently votes to expand women’s access to abortion, as well as increased access to contraceptives in general.
Environment: Sanders supports protecting the environment through federal protection, even at the expense of American economic interests.
Description/Bio: Republican. Former Governor of Arkansas. Huckabee distinguishes himself from the rest of the field with his strong appeal to evangelical Christians and social conservative bona fides.
Abortion: Huckabee is strong and outspoken opponent of abortion, with one of the most consistent pro-life legislative records nationwide.
Economy: While Huckabee touts his record as a balancer of budgets, he is more economically moderate than many other GOP candidates and spoke favorably of stimulus efforts during the last recession.
Environment: He is not primarily focused on this issue, but believes in conservation as a principle.
Gay Marriage: Huckabee fiercely opposes same-sex marriage, and does not believe it is an appropriate topic for the Supreme Court to decide.
Description/Bio: Republican. Former CEO of tech company behemoth Hewlett-Packard. She is conservative and business-minded, but may be hindered in her quest for the nomination by her lack of experience in a political office.
Economy- Fiorina believes in less government intervention, less taxation and less regulation.
Education- She advocates for less national, and more local, control of education.
Abortion- Fiorina is generally pro-life but believes in providing greater exceptions for cases of rape or incest.
Immigration- Fiorina is in favor of the DREAM Act but also opposes general amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Description/Bio: Republican. Conservative author and retired neurosurgeon. Popular with grassroots conservatives and a trenchant speaker, but like Fiorina, will likely be hurt by lack of experience.
Economy: Carson says that “the free market works” and therefore opposes government regulation.
Legalization of Marijuana: He is against the recreational use of cannabis on moral grounds but approves of medical use of the substance.
Immigration: Carson wants to secure the southern border and thinks that a guest worker system is superior to our current system of deportation.
Education: Carson is a supporter of school choice, or the expansion of the use of vouchers in education.
Description/Bio: Republican. The former governor and descendant of the Bush dynasty, Jeb is hesitating but will most likely run for president. His biggest enemy will be his last name; Bush. He would be seen as the third of the Bushes to obtain the presidency. Given the fact that his brother was very unpopular, this may prove to be a major obstacle, albeit not one of his doing.
Gay Marriage: Jeb is opposed to same-sex marriage but isn’t very enthusiastic about speaking about the issue.
Immigration: Bush favors an eventual “path to citizenship” for all illegal workers.
Marijuana Legalization: Like many of his fellow Republican candidates, Bush also opposes the legalization of marijuana
Environment: He believes in state-run conservation of lands, but also tends to support pro-business legislation against environmental concerns.
Stay tuned for more candidates, as there are many more to step up. Some of the hopefuls will have more of a chance than others, others will essentially be jokers, such as Waka Flocka Flame, who is still looking for petition signatures. But what is known, is that the campaigning has begun and the train is only going to pick up more and more steam as it chugs along.