Candidates prepare for presidential election
As the 2012 presidential election draws closer, candidates for the position have begun refining their platforms in order to gain the needed votes.
President Barack Obama will be running for the Democratic party and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will be running for the Republican party.
Various ABC News reports say that Obama plans on continuing work started in his first term, improving the immigration policy and returning all troops home from Afghanistan. He also wishes to lower rates on student loans, a plan Romney agrees with.
According to his website, Romney plans to “rebuild foundations of the American economy on the principles of free enterprise, hard work and innovation…increase trade, energy production, human capital and labor flexibility” if elected. Additionally, he plans to spend less than 20 percent of the gross domestic product, repeal Obamacare to save $95 billion and decrease the amount of money for foreign aid to save $100 million.
Coinciding with these financial ideas, junior Cole Clay is most concerned about the candidates’ fiscal policies.
“It will matter what they do about the debt more than anything else,” Clay said.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Romney has spent $5 million on his campaign, while Obama has spent $20 million on his.
Romney was previously running against Republican Newt Gingrich, who recently called off his campaign to support Romney, knowing he would receive the nomination.
“I think you have to at some point be honest with what’s happening in the real world, as opposed to what you’d like to have happened,” Gingrich said in an article in the New York Times.
In mid-April, Republican Rick Santorum announced that he would no longer be running for office. According to McClatchy Newspapers, he did so knowing there was the possibility of losing the primary for his home state of Pennsylvania he had represented in Congress for 16 years. However, Santorum remains firm in his resolve to bring down Obama’s plans.
“This game is a long, long, long way from over,” Santorum said in McClatchy Newspapers when he announced the end of his campaign. “We are going to continue to…make sure that we defeat President Barack Obama.”
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is currently running for the Republicans as well. Paul hopes to lower U.S. spending by $1 trillion in his first year, get rid of the Transportation Security Administration, repeal Obamacare and make various tax cuts, according to his website. In his campaign speeches, he has promised to be a strict constitutionalist.
“I have personal beliefs,” Paul said in the New York Times. “I believe that individuals should have the right to their life, the right to their liberty and also the right to keep what they earn. Fortunately for me, the Constitution and my personal beliefs come together. Because the oath of office doesn’t say, ‘Well, I’m going to Washington and I’m going to fulfill my personal beliefs.’ It says that we go to office and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
However, when compared to Romney, Paul has had little success in winning votes.
Behavior that some might characterize as mudslinging has also begun between the candidates and their supporters. One such incident occurred when supporters of Obama stated beliefs that Romney would not have made the same decision as Obama to kill Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, which was met with frustration by Romney.
“It’s totally inappropriate for the president to express to the American people the view that he has that he had an important role in taking out Osama bin Laden,” Romney said in an article in the Los Angeles Times. “I think politicizing it and trying to draw distinction between himself and myself was an innappropriate use of the very important event that brought America together…had I been President I would have made the same decision.”
The candidates can only hope that comments such as these do not cost them supporters. All they can do is continue spreading their message and wait until November finally arrives and the next President is elected.