Mid-Week Update: Meet the Candidates!

In the spirit of not taking anything for granted here at PRP, it seemed like a reasonable use of time to take a minute to introduce our dear readers to the Republicans running for President. It’s still early days, the first GOP primary isn’t until February, but for all intents and purposes, the field is pretty much set. Running for President of the United States takes a lot of organization, money, and work, and all those things take time to build up. The longer a potential candidate takes to enter the race, the more hurdles he or she will have to overcome. At this point, those hurdles are starting to become nearly insurmountable.

So, without further ado, here are your 2012 Republicans running for President!

Michele Bachmann – Representing Minnesota’s 6th district since 2007, Bachmann is a favorite of Tea Party voters for her “starve the beast” views on the federal government. Bachmann has pledged to overturn Barack Obama’s health insurance reforms, and to avoid tax increases at all costs. Before entering politics, Bachmann worked as a tax attorney with the Internal Revenue Service. Michele Bachmann is known for founding the Tea Party Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Herman Cain – Cain is the former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, as well as having served the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City as the deputy chairman and chairman. Cain is running on his experience as a businessman, claiming that his experience will make him able to turn the struggling economy around, if he is elected, through private sector solutions, stepping aside and letting businesses do what they want in order to grow. Herman Cain’s previous political activities include serving as a senior advisor to Bob Dole’s 1996 campaign for the presidency, as well as an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate in 2004.

Newt Gingrich – The former Speaker of the House hasn’t held elected office since he left the Speakership in 1999, but that does not mean Gingrich has left the public arena. Gingrich has kept up a busy schedule as a political commentator and writer. While he regularly is a guest on cable news programs and talk radio, he has also kept up a fairly rigorous publishing schedule, coming out with seventeen books since he left Congress, including a number of alternative histories of the Revolutionary, Civil, and Second World Wars. Gingrich is viewed as something of an “ideas man” within the field of Republican contenders, due in part to his role in crafting the 1994 Contract with America that helped earn Republicans landslide wins in the midterm Congressional elections.

Jon Huntsman – Huntsman served as the sixteenth governor of Utah before being called up to serve in the Obama administration as U.S. Ambassador to China in 2009. Huntsman is seen as a moderate Republican, having previously recognized the science behind man-made climate change, and evolution. He has taken shots at his rivals’ positions on these issues, adding to the view that Huntsman is a more centrist figure in the field of potential nominees.

Gary Johnson – Johnson served as Governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003, and is seen as one of the more libertarian candidates in the race. Johnson has been a critic of the War on Drugs, supports a guest worker program to give immigrants a way to earn legal status, is in favor of civil unions, and is against the continuation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his tenure as governor, Johnson vetoed 750 bills, more than all 49 other governors combined.

Thad McCotter – Representing Michigan’s 11th congressional district since 2003, McCotter has been known to buck Republican orthodoxy by advocating protectionist trade policies. McCotter has been an outspoken opponent of the Affordable Care Act, and claimed that it would lead to “government-encouraged euthanasia.” McCotter has proposed tax-breaks for pet owners, and is the proud owner of a “star-spangled” Fender Telecaster guitar, which he has been known to play at rallies.

Ron Paul – Well known as the champion of libertarian virtues, Ron Paul has been seen as a voice crying in the Republican wilderness for years. With the popularization of libertarian ideals due in part to the rise of the Tea Party movement over the past few years, Dr. Paul’s small-government message seems to have found its audience. With the popularization of small-government, personal freedom ideas, Paul’s potential supporters suddenly find themselves with a whole slew of candidates vying for their attention. A staunch libertarian, Paul opposes U.S. military involvement abroad, and current federal drug policy.

Rick Perry – A late entrant to the race, Perry has quickly rocketed to the top of the field in many national polls. Perry is campaigning on the fact that since the end of the recession in June 2009, 47% of the nation’s new jobs have been created in Texas, under Perry’s governorship. Perry’s campaign claims that this is due to having fewer regulations in the state that prevent businesses from growing and creating jobs. While Perry has been courting the support of Tea Party voters, the main thrust of the Perry campaign is that as president, Perry would be able to spur job growth using the same methods used in Texas.

Buddy Roemer – Roemer represented Louisiana’s 4th congressional district from 1981-88, before serving as governor from 1988-92. Roemer was elected as a Democrat, but switched to the Republican party in 1991 at the urging of the Bush White House. The former governor of Louisiana is running for president on a platform stressing campaign finance reform, balancing the federal budget, and repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Mitt Romney – Mitt Romney served as the governor of Massachusetts from 2004-07, after a successful career in business. Romney served as CEO of Bain & Company before founding Bain Capital, a private equity investment group. The Romney campaign is running on the assertion that Romney’s experience in the private sector combined with his experience as a state governor will allow him to forge working relationships with America’s business leaders in order to create jobs. Romney is typically seen as socially moderate, although commentators have noted that his views seem to have shifted to the right as the primary contest has heated up.

Rick Santorum – Santorum served as a United State Senator from Pennsylvania from 1995-2007, during which time he established himself as one of the more socially and fiscally conservative candidates in the race. Santorum was seen as a darling of the ultra-conservative base of the Republican party before more dynamic conservative candidates entered the race. Santorum also is known for his ongoing feud with commentator Dan Savage, after making comments comparing homosexuality to bestiality.


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