The Candidate Breakdown 2011

Mitt Romney speaks at a Republican Presidential debate on September 12, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Mike Carlson
President Barack Obama addresses high school students on September 8, 2009 in Arlington, Virginia. Photo by Win McNamee/ Getty Images North America.
Rick Perry delivers a speech at an Orange County Republican Party rally on September 8, 2011 in Newport Beach, California. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/ Getty Images.



Barack Obama

Rick Perry

Mitt Romney

Candidate Background:

Obama: Prior to being elected the 44th US President, Obama served seven years as an Illinois State Senator and three years in the US Senate.

Perry: Perry has been the governor of Texas since 2000. Perry’s experience in public office also includes six years in the Texas House of Representatives, and eight years as the Commissioner of Agriculture in Texas.

Romney: Romney was the governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. He also ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, losing to John McCain.

What is this candidate’s stance on illegal immigration?

Obama: Obama supports immigration legislation, but has ordered a higher priority placed on the immigration trials and investigations of criminals, thus reducing deportation threats against illegal, but law-abiding, immigrants.

Perry: Perry advocates the use of extensive and technologically savvy border security. However, the Tea Party often accuses him of being soft on illegal immigration as governor of Texas.

Romney: Romney supports construction of a border fence and an employment verification system designed to inflict severe penalties on employers hiring illegal immigrants.

“We must stop providing the incentives that promote illegal immigration,” Romney told members of a Hispanic Republican conference in Tampa.

What is this candidate’s history with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual (LGBT) rights and same-sex marriage?

Obama: Obama advocates equal rights for the LGBT community, but has not squarely supported same-sex marriage. He encouraged Congress to repeal the military’s “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” policy, and withheld government support from the “Defense of Marriage Act.”

Perry: Perry supports a new constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman.

Romney: Romney supports the same constitutional amendment as Perry.  “I do not want to discriminate against gay people in employment or housing or other parts of their life,” Romney told Human Events magazine in 2006.

What are this candidate’s fiscal views?

Obama: Obama proposes to extend tax cuts for middle and low-income classes, while raising taxes for the higher classes, who have “avoided” fair and proportionate taxation. He also suggests revisions of government regulation to prevent unnecessary strain on small business.

Perry: Perry proposes tax cuts made by using the “line-item veto” system he employed in Texas, especially to help small businesses. As governor of Texas, he never signed an “unbalanced” budget.

Romney: To bring down the national debt, Romney touts spending cuts instead of additional taxes. He has also proposed a hard cap on federal spending.

What are some quotes that help define this candidate’s views and personality more accurately?

Obama:  “I am the eternal optimist. I think that, over time, people respond to civility and – rational argument,” Obama said in a White House press briefing in 2009.

Perry:  “If you don’t support the death penalty and citizens packing a pistol, don’t come to Texas,” Perry writes in his 2010 book Fed Up!

Romney:  “The idea of government running anything and thinking it will do a better job than the private sector is a very bad idea indeed, and suggests a lack of understanding of how our economy works,” Romney told CNBC in 2007.

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