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GOP Primary: Candidate Positions

February 6th, 2012

The following is a guest post from Bridget Sandorford. If you are interested in guest posting at Geek Politics, check out the guidelines here.

It can be tough wading through all the campaign rhetoric to get at the core of what each candidate believes. Even when candidates are asked pointed questions in debates, they have a sneaky way of side-stepping questions or giving vague answers. To help you understand where each of the leading candidates stands on major issues, we’ve made the following helpful table:

Newt Gingrich

Mitt Romney

Rick Santorum

Ron Paul

The Economy

In the interest of smaller government, he wants to scale back regulation and restrict the Fed’s power to set interest rates so low. He wants to make Bush tax cuts permanent, eliminate inheritance and capital gains taxes, and reduce the corporate tax rate to 12.5 percent.

He backs long-term reforms to achieve a balanced budget and lower taxes. He also favors limiting regulation in the financial industry and promoting trade. He backs social programs like unemployment compensation but favors reform for long-term solutions.

A free market is seen as the key to promoting economic prosperity. He favors lower corporate and capital gains taxes, and wants to eliminate corporate taxes for manufacturers. He also favors fewer regulations. Encourages more drilling for oil and gas.

He wants to eliminate the IRS and cut all personal income taxes. He also favors eliminating the Federal Reserve to return to the gold standard.

National Security

Supports increasing spending on the military to remain competitive with foreign powers. Backs a war against Iranian nuclear interests, extending reach of the Patriot Act, and continuing use of Guantanamo.

Holds out war against Iranian nuclear interests “if needed.” Does not consider water boarding to be torture and feels that foreign suspects have no constitutional rights.

Considers national security to be a top priority and action in the Middle East to be important for promoting American values.

Opposes military action in Iran. He also opposes expanding the Patriot Act and considers waterboarding to be torture. He wants to reduce troop levels and cut funding to the Pentagon.


Supports a voucher system for public education, and wants to reduce the Department of Education.

He once supported closing the Department of Education but has since changed his stance. Support No Child Left Behind.

Supports reducing the size of the Department of Education. Supports No Child Left Behind.

Wants to eliminate the Department of Education and let decisions to be made at the local and state level. Believes that parents should have choice of school and students should be able to opt out of public education.

Health Care

Supports tax credits to make health care more affordable, as well as a high risk pool for those who can’t afford coverage. Opposes Obama’s health care plan. He previously supported mandatory coverage.

Though his health plan as Massachusetts governor was used as the blueprint for Obama’s health care plan, he opposes Obamacare. He supported a mandate for coverage in the state, but opposes one at the federal level. Supports subsidies for the elderly to buy private insurance instead of going on Medicare.

Named the repeal of Obamacare as his number one priority. Supported prescription drug program for the elderly under the Bush administration.

Calls Obamacare “the worst possible answer” to what he sees as a broken health care system. Opposes mandatory coverage and any subsidies for insurance.

Of course, there are many more issues to consider, and voters should take the time to investigate each candidate before choosing. Who are you supporting in the primary? Tell us why in the comments!

About the Author:

Bridget Sandorford is a grant researcher and writer for CulinarySchools.org. Along with her passion for whipping up recipes that incorporate “superfoods”, she recently finished research on culinary colleges and culinary schools.

Author: Derek Clark Categories: 2012 Election Tags: