The 2012 presidential election is coming up quickly. President Obama will run for another term for the Democratic Party, but the Republicans must select a presidential nominee. There are several candidates, but you are probably starting to hear about a few of them more than others. However, it can be difficult to keep them straight. Here is a quick guide to the four most talked-about presidential candidates and where they fall on important issues.
Michele Bachmann was the first woman to represent Minnesota's Republican Party in congress, and has represented Minnesota's 6th congressional district since 2007. She has also served in the Minnesota State Senate. She is a devout supporter of the Tea Party movement. She supports Christian teachings in public schools, which means she also supports teaching creationism alongside evolution. She also wants to increase drilling for oil and natural gas in the United States, and she does not want to continue programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Furthermore, she has voted against the DREAM act, and disagrees with giving illegal immigrants amnesty in the United States. She also wants to ban same-sex marriage, and identifies herself as pro-life.
Herman Cain, former chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza, has been in the news lately because there are several women who are alleging that he sexually harassed them while he was still in his role as the president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. He has not held public office, which has helped him in the polls, because so many people are feeling disillusioned with the government itself right now.
He has, however, run for a presidential nomination before, in 2000, and for Senator in 2004, but neither run was successful. Cain believes that we should track teachers' performance as it relates to student test scores and re-evaluate teachers whose students do not perform in schools. He also does not believe in amnesty for illegal immigrants in the United States. Furthermore, while some have attacked him for not having a strong enough pro-life stance, he has recently come out to say that he is, in fact, pro-life. He is a devout Christian, and his policies reflect that.
Newt Gingrich is a former Speaker of the House and United States Congressman. He has supported many candidates who identify with the Tea party. His campaign has seen many ups and downs, but he is now fully in the running to become the Republican presidential candidate for 2012. Gingrich has been incredibly politically active throughout his tenure in the public eye.
In 2003, he founded the Center for Health Transformation, which was started to develop a new healthcare system that was focused on prevention and individual care. He and Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed the 21st Century Health Information Act which was a bill designed to replace paper records of patients with electronic reports. Although he has worked with Democrats, Gingrich is very conservative, and has served as a political analyst for the Fox News Channel until very recently.
Ron Paul has served on the US Congress, representing Texas's 14th congressional district. He has a medical degree, and formerly practiced as an obstetrician and gynecologist before leaving the profession for politics. He voted against the Iraq War Resolution in 2002, and is the only Republican presidential candidate to do so. He strongly wishes to uphold constitutional rights, including the right to bear arms, and opposes the Patriot Act. He also is pro-life, while he does not support any federal regulation of the death penalty. He has been quoted as saying: "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."