Republican Primary Candidates

Adjoa Mante, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, November 22nd, the Republican presidential candidates participated in yet another debate, this one dealing with National Security.

These debates allow voters to familiarize themselves with the platforms, mannerisms and passions of the candidates. Through debates, interviews and campaign speeches, the personalities of the remaining candidates are coming clearer and clearer into focus.
According to an old RealClearPolitics Average of several current polls, Gingrich has 23.8% of the vote, followed by Romney at 21.3%, Cain 15.5%, Perry 8%, Paul 8%, Bachmann 4.8%, Santorum 2.3%, and Huntsman at 2.3%.

Following the release of this poll, Cain announced his withdrawal from the race. Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, John Huntsman, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum are the current declared candidates who participated in the debates, and although most have generated a stir in the media with strong speeches or gaffes, there does not appear to a definite front-runner.

The Harriton Banner decided to take a look into the candidates and their positions.

Newt Gingrich (23.8%)
Speaker of the House in 1994, 68-year-old Newt Gingrich held a position that made his a familiar name in many American households and has been gaining support amongst the Tea Party. Following the debate on Tuesday, Gingrich surged ahead in the polls and also gained the support of the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper.

Gingrich is enlisting voter help to create a list of “ideas for changing Washington on day one of a Newt Gingrich Presidency.”

Ideas currently on the list are, “End the attorney general’s assault on the states” and “Restore conscience clause protections for Healthcare Workers,” among others.

Gingrich’s past contains some demons that may limit his votes. During the Clinton impeachment scandal, Gingrich admitted he himself had engaged in an extramarital affair despite berating Clinton publicly for the Lewinsky scandal.

Mitt Romney (21.3%)
Mitt Romney, a 64 year-old former governor of Massachusetts, is no stranger to campaigning game.

After running for Republican nominee in 2008 and loosing to McCain, Romney is back and during the past few years has worked to gain support of the conservative groups whose support he lacked in the past.

Romney’s platform emphasizes cuts in federal spending, reform of entitlement programs and giving states power to expand health care access.

While Romney touts his business experience as proof that he is qualified to steer the nation’s economy, conservatives have voiced concerns over a healthcare program in Massachusetts similar to Obamacare and his Mormon beliefs.

Voters and other Republican candidates also accuse Romney of inconsistency because of his shaky stances on abortion and global warming.

Rick Perry (8%)
As the 61 year-old governor of Texas and Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Perry is using his experience creating jobs in Texas to launch a campaign based on social conservative values and inspiring economic growth.

On his website, www.rickperry.org, Perry highlights five important issues that are key to his platform: jobs, fiscal responsibility, security, healthcare and social issues. Perry claims his Cut, Balance and Grow plan will balance the budget, create jobs and make our nation more fiscally responsible.

However, in a debate last month, Rick Perry struggled to name the third government agency he planned to eliminate as president. Perry has tried to “play it off” by doing interviews and asking voters “What agency they would like to forget.”

Michelle Bachmann (4.8%)
Bachmann is a 55 year old Minnesota state representative known for her Tea Party stance.
Michele Bachmann is running on a constitutionally conservative platform that includes limited government and tax increases. Bachman states that her priorities are to “restore the economy and create millions of new jobs”, “repeal Obamacare”, cut spending, “strengthen the family and defend marriage” and “rebuild respect” for our nation.

John Huntsman (2.3%)
The 51 year-old former governor of Utah has extensive foreign policy experience, having held diplomatic positions under both Bush administrations.

Huntsman is more socially moderate than most of the other candidates, and on his website focuses on economic and trade issues as opposed to social issues.

Huntsman has targeted Romney as one of his top competitors, featuring a video of Romney flip-flopping on various political issues.

Ron Paul (8%)
At 76-years old, congressional veteran Ron Paul has long been challenging American policy while touting his libertarian views.

Ron Paul has strong positions on many political topics. He is pro-life, wants to end the Federal Reserve, lower taxes, create a “Liberty Amendment” to abolish the income and death taxes, protect gun rights and enforce border security.

Rick Santorum
Pennsylvania’s own former senator, 53 year-old Rick Santorum is a conservative not oft spoken of in this presidential race.

Santorum is receiving support from Sarah Palin and has written anti-abortion legislation.
Fun fact: Santorum’s comments on homosexuality in a 2003 interview angered some of the LBGT community and in retaliation, gay columnist Dan Savage attached an “unsavory” phrase to Santorum’s name in a website, which now frequently appears whenever one googles his name.

Herman Cain
The 66-year-old Herman Cain gained support in the Republican race when he burst onto the scene with his refreshingly simple solutions that appear to address the nation’s economic problems.

However, he announced his withdrawal from the presidential race due to attacks on his reputation through claims of sexual harassment and infidelity. It appears that Ginger White, an Atlanta businesswoman, admits to having a 13 year affair with Cain, and her confession may have had something to do with Cain’s choice to run, although he called the allegations false.
He officially pulled out of the race, closing with a lovely quote from the recent Pokemon movie, and announced that his “Plan B” for voters would be to influence politics through a website called “Cain Solutions” instead of through the White House.