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Fox News/Facebook Republican primary debate: Aug. 6, 2015

First debate of the primary season

Seventeen candidates took part in the Fox News/Facebook Republican primary debate -- so large a field that it was split into two tiers. OnTheIssues covers the two tiers of the debate equally -- excerpting candidates' remarks from both segments below.

Click on each candidate's name to see that candidate's full set of debate excerpts; or click on an issue topic to see all of the candidates' views on that one topic.

Sources: Fox News/Facebook Two-Tier 2015 GOP primary debate
Click for more excerpts from the Fox/Facebook debate.


John Kasich (R-OH) and Jim Gilmore (R-VA) announce presidential candidacies: July 21 & July 30, 2015

Governors of Ohio and Virginia are the last major entrants on GOP side

These two governors are the "last" major entrants in the GOP primaries because the first Republican primary debate will occur next week -- even though these two governors will not likely make the "top ten" cut for this first debate, the timing indicates that "announcement season" has ended and "debate season" has begun.

OnTheIssues will cover each GOP debate as it occurs -- including the comments made by candidates who did not make the cut for any particular debate -- and we will report summaries here.

John Kasich's issues stances Jim Gilmore's issues stances
    Kasich on Domestic Issues
  • Crime policy: It's God's job to judge if punishment fits the crime
  • Gun Rights: More parenting better than more gun laws
  • School policy: Not enough money for public schools? Aw, give me a break!
    Gilmore on Domestic Issues
  • Crime policy: Three strikes eligibility no grounds for stay of execution
  • Gun Rights: Supporter of 2nd Amendment rights; Americans can be trusted
  • School policy: Expand Algebra Readiness Initiative; hire more teachers
    Kasich on Economic Issues
  • Energy policy: Raise severance tax on oil & gas from 20 cents upward
  • Entitlement Reform: Matthew 25 commands us to aid the less fortunate
  • Federal bailouts: Against ethanol subsidies, and all subsidies
  • Free Trade: Voted YES on 'Fast Track' authority for trade agreements
  • Tax policy: Eliminated the Ohio estate tax but hiked cigarette taxes
    Gilmore on Economic Issues
  • Energy policy: Favors drilling ANWR and also drilling offshore
  • Entitlement Reform: Maintain flexibility & funding levels for TANF block grants
  • Federal bailouts: More banking oversight, even if it means bigger government
  • Free Trade: Enforce trade law against subsidized Canadian lumber imports
  • Tax policy: Signature achievement: effort to eliminate Virginia car tax
    Kasich on Social Issues
  • ObamaCare: Accepted ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion statewide
  • Abortion: Pro-life except rape & incest; supports litmus test
  • Same-sex Marriage: Supports Amendment to prevent same sex marriage
    Gilmore on Social Issues
  • ObamaCare: No federal pre-emption of employee health plan regulation
  • Abortion: Abortion before 8 weeks not OK, but shouldn’t be prohibited
  • Same-sex Marriage: Rated “F” by National Review on pro-gay issues
    Kasich on International Issues
  • Homeland Security: Fire professor who said 9-11 victims brought on attack
  • GWOT: Congressional debate before sending in ground troops
  • Immigration Policy: Voted YES on more immigrant visas for skilled workers
    Gilmore on International Issues
  • Homeland Security: Fighting terrorism too important for partisan politics
  • GWOT: Fight war on terror like Cold War: on moral high ground
  • Immigration Policy: No amnesty for illegals; control the border

Sources: OnTheissues archives and John Kasich's memoir Stand For Something.
Click for John Kasich (R,OH) and Jim Gilmore (R,VA) stances on the issues.


Scott Walker (R-WI) announces presidential candidacy: July 13, 2015

Governor of Wisconsin is 17th major entrant on GOP side

Scott Walker enters the race as a frontrunner for the Tea Party faction. We had so much feedback from our Gov. Christie analysis (June 30 below) that we will do the same for Gov. Walker: differentiating how his stances compared to other candidates from other GOP factions:

Scott Walker's issues stances Other factions' candidate's issues stances
    Walker on Domestic Issues
  • Crime policy: Pass "castle doctrine": defend home with deadly force
  • Gun Rights: Allow concealed carry as part of right to bear arms
  • School policy: Choose schools based on objective info, not Common Core
  • Voting reform: Prevent voter fraud: require voter ID at poll
    Other candidates from other GOP factions on Domestic Issues
  • Crime policy: On "Stand Your Ground": Turn down the rhetoric (Ben Carson, populist faction)
  • Gun Rights: For assault weapon ban, waiting period, & background check (Donald Trump, populist faction)
  • School policy: Common Core is not a federal takeover (Jeb Bush, moderate centrist faction)
  • Voting reform: Supports early voting; but voter ID also ok (Rand Paul, libertarian faction)
    Walker on Economic Issues
  • Energy policy: Keep ethanol mandate until oil companies allow free market
  • Entitlement Reform: Able-bodied must work or train to get food stamps
  • Federal bailouts: Refused to participate in federal stimulus package
  • Free Trade: Global opportunity: Get WI products out to the world
  • Tax policy: Supports the Taxpayer Protection Pledge
    Other candidates from other GOP factions on Economic Issues
  • Energy policy: Let the market decide on ethanol in gasoline; end mandate (Jeb Bush, moderate centrist faction)
  • Entitlement Reform: Shift federal social programs to church, family, & community (Mike Huckabee, religious right faction)
  • Federal bailouts: Bank bailouts were needed to avoid financial unraveling (Jeb Bush, moderate centrist faction)
  • Free Trade: 20% tax on all imported goods (Donald Trump, populist faction)
  • Tax policy: No pledge on taxes; trade-offs on taxes means leadership (Jeb Bush, moderate centrist faction)
    Walker on Social Issues
  • ObamaCare: No Medicaid expansion means no waiting list for poor
  • Abortion: I'm proudly pro-life, but focus on fiscal issues
  • Same-sex Marriage: 2013: same-sex marriage issue over; 2015: issue not settled
    Other candidates from other GOP factions on Social Issues
  • ObamaCare: Expand Medicare, but no N.J. ObamaCare exchange (Chris Christie, moderate centrist faction)
  • Abortion: I am actively PRO-LIFE not just quietly pro-life (Mike Huckabee, religious right faction)
  • Same-sex Marriage: Gay marriage is settled in NJ, but keep debating nationally (Chris Christie, moderate centrist faction)
    Walker on International Issues
  • Homeland Security: Terrorists are cowards who are afraid of freedom
  • ISIS: US troops should fight ISIS alongside Kurds and Sunnis
  • Immigration Policy: 2013: Comprehensive reform; 2015: no, that's amnesty
  • PATRIOT Act: Ensure against radical Islamic terrorism on American soil
    Other candidates from other GOP factions on International Issues
  • Homeland Security: We can't isolate ourselves within our shores; we must engage (Rick Perry, moderate centrist faction)
  • ISIS: No US troops in Iraq, even against ISIS (Rand Paul, libertarian faction)
  • Immigration Policy: Pray for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, not AZ law (Jeb Bush, moderate centrist faction)
  • PATRIOT Act: The Patriot Act is intrusive; it's what the Founders feared (Rand Paul, libertarian faction)
    To summarize the definition of the GOP factions used above, which the pundits routinely talk about (keep in mind that candidates all want to appeal to more than one faction, and that factions overlap):

  • Populist faction: Populists focus on enforcing morality as well as economic policy.

  • Moderate centrist faction: Focused on working with Democrats to accomplish bipartisan goals.

  • Religious right faction: Focused on morality and values (most prominently on social issues, but also on economic issues).

  • Libertarian faction: Focused on freedom, and reduction of federal government power, including military power (this GOP faction is also represented by the Libertarian Party).

Sources: OnTheissues archives and Walker's memoir Unintimidated.
Click for Scott Walker (R,WI) stances on the issues.


Jim Webb (D-VA) announces presidential candidacy: July 2, 2015

Former Virginia Senator is 5th major entrant on Democratic side

Jim Webb will run as a representative of the "moderate centrist faction", and perhaps as a southern "Blue Dog Democrat," so we will differentiate what that means compared to other candidates in other factions of the left:

Jim Webb's issues stances Other Democratic factions' candidate's issues stances
    Webb on Domestic Issues
  • Campaign finance: Culture of corruption in Washington needs real reform
  • Crime policy: Reduce recidivism by giving offenders a Second Chance
  • Gun Rights: Voted YES on allowing firearms in checked baggage on Amtrak trains
  • School policy: Public education levels the playing field
    Other candidates from other factions on the left, on Domestic Issues
  • Campaign finance: Campaign reform in 1980s made more problems than it solved (Joe Biden, liberal establishment faction)
  • Crime policy: Longtime advocate of death penalty, with restrictions (Hillary Clinton, DLC faction)
  • Gun Rights: Gun at home more likely to cause injury than to defend home (Jill Stein, Green Party faction)
  • School policy: Supports vouchers & charters, plus more public funding (Lincoln Chafee, progressive faction)
    Webb on Economic Issues
  • Energy policy: Support alternative sources instead of drilling ANWR
  • Free Trade: Enforce existing trade laws to create fair trade
  • Welfare Reform: Voted YES on instituting National Service as a new social invention
    Other candidates from other factions on the left, on Economic Issues
  • Energy policy: (All Democratic & liberal factions agree on supporting alternative energy sources to fight global warming)
  • Free Trade: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) creates more & better growth (Hillary Clinton, DLC faction)
  • Welfare Reform: Partner with faith based community in empowerment zones (Hillary Clinton, DLC faction)
    Webb on Social Issues
  • Abortion: Supports Roe v. Wade and abortion rights
  • ObamaCare: Focus on health access, not on corporate profits
  • Same-sex Marriage: Evolution on gay marriage has been good for the country
    Other candidates from other factions on the left, on Social Issues
  • Abortion: (All Democratic & liberal factions agree on supporting reproductive rights for women)
  • ObamaCare: Make health care a right, not a privilege (Bernie Sanders, progressive faction)
  • Same-sex Marriage: (All Democratic & liberal factions agree on supporting same-sex marriage)
    Webb on International Issues
  • Iran: Iran cooperated with US in Afghanistan, until “Axis of Evil”
  • Foreign Policy: Focus on strategic threats like China, not Iraq
  • Immigration Policy: Tamper-proof ID card; stricter enforcement against employers
  • PATRIOT Act: Republicans are illegally wiretapping Americans
    Other candidates from other factions on the left, on International Issues
  • Iran: (All Democratic & liberal factions agree on negotiating with and trying to understand Iran)
  • Foreign Policy: (All Democratic & liberal factions agree on staying out of further intervention in Iraq)
  • Immigration Policy: Pass the DREAM Act (allow illegal immigrant minors to stay) (Martin O`Malley, liberal establishment faction)
  • PATRIOT Act: (All Democratic & liberal factions agree on reducing the powers of the PATRIOT Act)
    To summarize the definition of the factions on the left used above, which the pundits routinely talk about (keep in mind that candidates all want to appeal to more than one faction, and that factions overlap):

  • Moderate centrist faction: Focused on working with Republicans to accomplish bipartisan goals.

  • DLC (Democratic Leadership Council) faction: Bill Clinton called this the "Third Way;" critics call it "Republican Lite"

  • Liberal establishment faction: Focused on economic issues (de-emphasizing most social issues).

  • Blue Dog faction: Traditionally Southern conservatives, focused on issues of populist morality and military strength.

  • Progressive faction: Focused on restricting power centers, for both wealthy individuals and corporations, or large governmental institutions like the military.

  • Green Party: Anti-establishment and anti-bipartisanism (often agree with Democrats on policy but not on politics).

    The most notable difference between the Democratic field and the Republican field (below, compared to Chris Christie) is that there are numerous issues on which all Democratic factions agree, but very few on which all Republican factions agree.
While all Republicans might agree if the GOP field were smaller, it is still true that all Democrats would still agree on the issues above if their field were bigger. We even included the Green Party candidate to try to get more differentiation -- it's just not there! In other words, there have come to be numerous defining issues on the left, on which there is universal agreement, but the Republican side has no such unanimous issues.

Sources: OnTheissues archives and Christie's biography The Inside Story of His Rise to Power.
Click for Chris Christie (R,NJ) stances on the issues.


Chris Christie (R-NJ) announces presidential candidacy: June 30, 2015

Governor of New Jersey is 16th major entrant on GOP side

Chris Christie would have been a frontrunner for the GOP nominationm, but he has been hampered by the Bridgegate scandal -- the mainstream media will report plenty on that, so we won't.

The mainstream media will also report how Christie represents the "moderate centrist faction", so we will differentiate what that means compared to other candidates in other factions:

Chris Christie's issues stances Other factions' candidate's issues stances
    Christie on Domestic Issues
  • Campaign finance: Stricter limits on PAC campaign donations
  • Crime policy: Bail reform package: jail violent offenders before trial.
  • Gun Rights: Favors gun control measures from law-enforcement perspective.
  • School policy: OpEd: Christie & federal No-Child-Left-Behind push teachers; but not students
    Other candidates from other GOP factions on Domestic Issues
  • Campaign finance: Raise donor limit to largest self-donation, even if $5M (Mike Huckabee, religious right faction)
  • Crime policy: Let convicted felons regain the right to vote (Rand Paul, libertarian faction)
  • Gun Rights: New gun laws are ineffective, so don't pass them (Marco Rubio, Tea Party faction)
  • School policy: Choose schools based on objective info, not federal Common Core (Scott Walker, Tea Party faction)
    Christie on Economic Issues
  • Energy policy: Incentivize energy manufacturing & wind turbines
  • Free Trade: Jersey to Jerusalem Trade Mission: led delegation to Israel
  • Welfare Reform: Focus on income inequality drives America toward mediocrity
    Other candidates from other GOP factions on Economic Issues
  • Energy policy: Replace crony capitalism with free-market strategy (Jeb Bush, Neocon faction)
  • Free Trade: Focus on income inequality drives America toward mediocrity (Mike Huckabee, Tea Party faction)
  • Welfare Reform: Shift federal social programs to church, family, & community (Mike Huckabee, religious right faction)
    Christie on Social Issues
  • Abortion: I'm pro-life with exceptions; take it or leave it
  • ObamaCare: Expand Medicare, but no N.J. ObamaCare exchange
  • Same-sex Marriage: Homosexuality is not a sin; people are born that way
    Other candidates from other GOP factions on Social Issues
  • Abortion: I am actively PRO-LIFE not just quietly pro-life (Mike Huckabee, religious right faction)
  • ObamaCare: Didn't accept additional Medicaid money from ObamaCare (Scott Walker, Tea Party faction)
  • Same-sex Marriage: Right to gay sex implies right to bigamy, incest, & adultery. (Rick Santorum, religious right faction)
    Christie on International Issues
  • Afghanistan: I'm not a nation-building guy; we've achieved Afghan goals
  • Foreign Policy: New isolationism, & reducing anti-terrorism, is dangerous
  • Immigration Policy: Path to citizenship in context of fixing broken system
  • Middle East: Governors shouldn't offer opinions about Syria
  • PATRIOT Act: Patriot Act OK to monitor library book selections
    Other candidates from other GOP factions on International Issues
  • Afghanistan: Stay in Afghanistan until security of our country is secure (Rick Santorum, Neocon faction)
  • Foreign Policy: Against terror but first comes preserving the Constitution (Rand Paul, libertarian faction)
  • Immigration Policy: No path to citizenship for 1.65 million illegals in Texas (Ted Cruz, Tea Party faction)
  • Middle East: Saddam might have had WMD and got them to Syria before 2003 (Gov. Mike Huckabee, Neocon faction)
  • PATRIOT Act: The Patriot Act is intrusive; it's what the Founders feared (Rand Paul, libertarian faction)
    To summarize the definition of the GOP factions used above, which the pundits routinely talk about (keep in mind that candidates all want to appeal to more than one faction, and that factions overlap):

  • Moderate centrist faction: Focused on working with Democrats to accomplish bipartisan goals.

  • Religious right faction: Focused on morality and values (most prominently on social issues, but also on economic issues).

  • Tea Party faction: Focused on populist economic issues (glossing over most social issues).

  • Neocon faction: Neo-conservatives focus on asserting America's exceptional role in the world, as expressed by military strength and international leadership.

  • Libertarian faction: Focused on freedom, and reduction of federal government power, including military power (this GOP faction is also represented by the Libertarian Party).

Sources: OnTheissues archives and Christie's biography The Inside Story of His Rise to Power.
Click for Chris Christie (R,NJ) stances on the issues.


Bobby Jindal (R-LA) and Jill Stein (G-MA) both announce presidential candidacy: June 22-24, 2015

Gov. Jindal announces on June 24; Dr. Stein announces on June 22

Bobby Jindal is the Governor of Louisiana, and has been considered a "rising star" in the Republican Party for several years, but the mainstream media only reports that he flubbed his big State of the Union response speech a few years ago, and that he barely registers in national polls.

Jill Stein was the Green Party nominee for president in 2012, and the mainstream media continues to refuse to report on the Green Party at all.

We summarize their issues stances below.

Dr. Jill Stein's issues stances Gov. Bobby Jindal's issues stances
    Stein on Domestic Issues
  • Gun Rights: Gun at home more likely to cause injury than to defend home
  • Crime policy: Black Lives Matter: end racism & police militarization
  • School policy: Mobilize to simply keep public education in existence
  • Government Reform: Voter Bill of Rights: full public financing; paper ballots
  • Welfare Reform: Right to affordable housing: expand rental & home assistance
    Jindal on Domestic Issues
  • Gun Rights: Ban gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC
  • Crime policy: Open to method of execution but lethal injection ok
  • School policy: I am for standards, but against Common Core
  • Government Reform: If it's worth doing, then block-grant it to the states
  • Welfare Reform: Feds obliged to care for those who can't care for themselves
    Stein on Economic Issues
  • Mortgage Crisis: We are in state of emergency; not state of recovery
  • Free Trade: International trade boards compromise American sovereignty
  • Energy policy: Make wars for oil obsolete: 100% renewables by 2030
  • Mortgage Crisis: We are in state of emergency; not state of recovery
  • Tax policy: Fees and sales taxes hit lower and middle income hardest
    Jindal on Economic Issues
  • Mortgage Crisis: Replace "obsession with zeroes" with growth strategy
  • Free Trade: Voted NO on implementing CAFTA, Central America Free Trade
  • Energy policy: Keystone pipeline creates jobs without environmental damage
  • Tax policy: The more you pay in taxes the less you are free
    Stein on Social Issues
  • ObamaCare: ObamaCare was step backward for goal of single payer
  • Affirmative Action: Pay equity for women remains critical, despite some programs
  • Abortion: Healthcare is a right, including women's reproductive rights
  • Same-sex Marriage: First pro-gay-marriage candidate in first gay marriage state
  • Family Values: Fund community youth programs for at-risk you
    Jindal on Social Issues
  • ObamaCare: Market-based alternatives to top-down ObamaCare
  • Affirmative Action: Rated 33% by the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance
  • Abortion: Human life amendment: define "person" from conception
  • Same-sex Marriage: Supports constitutional amendment to define marriage
  • Family Values: Family values reduce poverty; war on poverty doesn't
    Stein on International Issues
  • Homeland Security: Switch from bloated military to spending at home
  • Middle East: Eliminate nuclear weapons in Middle East & whole world
  • Foreign Policy: US should behave as member of world community, not world cop
  • Immigration Policy: Extend DREAM Act beyond age 30
    Jindal on International Issues
  • Homeland Security: Ill-advised to scale back missile defense
  • Middle East: Prevent the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Foreign Policy: America is exceptional & should remain the greatest country
  • Immigration Policy: We need a high walls and wide gate

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue stances of Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) or Dr. Jill Stein (G-MA).


Donald Trump (R-NY) announces presidential candidacy: June 16, 2015

Previously ran for Reform Party nomination in 2000

Donald Trump appeals to populists and the Tea Party, but not to the party establishment nor the mainstream media. The mainstream news media cannot be trusted in their coverage of Trump because they consider him a joke, but they treated Jesse Ventura's candidacy as a joke too, until he won and became the successful governor of Minnesota. Trump is a prolific author, including Time to Get Tough and The America We Deserve. His issue stances:

Donald Trump's issues stances
    Domestic Issues
  • Gun Rights: I am against gun control
  • Crime policy: Capital punishment isn’t uncivilized; murderers living is
  • Drug policy: Legalize drugs and use tax revenue to fund drug education
  • Education policy: Bring on the competition; tear down the union walls
  • Campaign Finance: Ban soft money; but allow unlimited personal contributions

    Economic Issues
  • Corporate Taxation: 0% corporate tax would create millions of jobs
  • Income tax policy: 4 brackets; 1-5-10-15%; kill death tax & corporate tax
  • Free Trade: 20% tax on all imported goods
  • Energy policy: No Cap-and-Tax: oil is this country's lifeblood
  • Welfare policy: Food stamps should be temporary; not a decade on the dole

    Social Issues
  • ObamaCare: Kill ObamaCare before it becomes a trillion-ton weight
  • Abortion: I am now pro-life; after years of being pro-choice
  • Same-sex Marriage: No gay marriage; no same-sex partner benefits

    National Security Issues
  • Defense Policy: 3% of GNP for military is too low
  • Middle East: Stop Iran's nuclear programs by any & all means necessary
  • Foreign Policy: China is our enemy; they're bilking us for billions
  • Immgration Policy: Citizenship for illegal immigrants is a GOP suicide mission

Sources: OnTheissues archives and Trump's policy book The America We Deserve.
Click for Donald Trump (R,NY) stances on the issues.


Jeb Bush announces presidential candidacy: June 15, 2015

Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) captures frontrunner status in Republican primary

Jeb Bush, the younger brother of former President George W. Bush and son of former President George H. W. Bush, announced his candidacy for the presidency today.

The mainstream media was abuzz with speculation about how Jeb would (or would not) deal with the "Bush legacy," without explaining what that means in terms of issue stances. And Jeb himself mentioned his pedigree during his announcement speech: "Not a one of us deserves the job by right of... family narrative. It's nobody's turn," he asserted, without elaborating what that means for his presidential policies.

We summarize below Jeb's stances compared to those of his brother and his father, so you can decide for yourself if Jeb sufficiently differs or sufficiently will carry on George's policies:

    George W. Bush Jr. on Social Issues
  • Gay rights: Hard-core for traditional marriage
  • Welfare: Replace welfare with self-help
  • Conservation: Supports private land stewardship
  • Stem Cells: Compromised on stem cells
    Jeb Bush on Social Issues
  • Gay rights: Moderate for traditional marriage
  • Welfare: Replace welfare with work
  • Conservation: State-run conservation
  • Stem Cells: Hard core against stem cells
    George H. W. Bush Sr. on Social Issues
  • Gay rights: Moderate for gay rights
  • Welfare: Replace welfare with enterprise zones
  • Conservation: Personal conservation
  • Stem Cells: (No stance on stem cells)
    Where Jeb Bush agrees with George W. Bush Jr. and George H. W. Bush Sr. on Social Issues:
 
  • All are hard-core pro-life
  • All support faith-based social services
  • All support character education
  • All support abstinence education
  • All support family values
  • All support school vouchers

    George W. on Economic / Domestic Issues
  • Affirmative Action: Affirmative access
  • Health Care: Personal choice
  • Mandatory Sentencing:Tough on crime
  • Energy: Drill offshore
    Jeb on Economic / Domestic Issues
  • Affirmative Action: Dismantle affirmative action
  • Health Care: Oppose ObamaCare
  • Mandatory Sentencing:Alternatives to punishment
  • Energy: Don't drill offshore
    George Sr. on Economic / Domestic Issues
  • Affirmative Action: No quotas
  • Health Care: Optional Medicaid
  • Mandatory Sentencing:Limit appeals
  • Energy: Pioneered drilling offshore
    Where Jeb Bush agrees with George W. Bush Jr. and George H. W. Bush Sr. on Economic / Domestic Issues:
 
  • All agree on tax cuts
  • All agree on federal spending cuts
  • All agree on gun rights
  • All agree on pursuing War on Drugs

Sources: OnTheissues archives
Click for Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R,FL) stances on the issues, or President George W. Bush (R,TX) stances on the issues. or President George H. W. Bush (R,TX) stances on the issues.


Lincoln Chafee (I-RI) announces presidential candidacy: June 3, 2015

Fourth major Democratic entrant

Governor Lincoln Chafee (I-RI) announced that he would run for president in 2016 in the Democratic primary. Chafee was elected to the Senate as a Republican in 1999, and then elected to the Governor's office as an Independent in 2010. We explore his issue stances:

Lincoln Chafee's issues stances
    Domestic Issues
  • Gun Control: Common sense adherence to the Second Amendment
  • Crime: Focus on inmate skills & treatment
  • War on Drugs: I doubt our culture would allow legalizing hard drugs
  • Energy policy: ANWR: Let's leave just one place off limits
  • ObamaCare: Bipartisanship is the key to reform Medicare

    Economic Issues
  • Corporate Welfare: Voted NO on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore
  • Tax Reform: I voted against every Bush tax cut favoring the wealthy
  • Free Trade: Voted YES on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade
  • Jobs policy: Increase the minimum wage
  • Welfare Reform: Yes, government has a role in struggle against poverty

    Social Issues
  • Abortion: A woman should make her own reproductive decisions
  • Same-sex Marriage: Longtime supporter of the LGBTQ community
  • Campaign Finance: Restrict lobbyist gifts & disclose lobbyist info on Internet
  • Environment: Proper respect for our natural world & vulnerable species

    International Issues
  • Foreign Relations: End prevailing attitude of arrogant reckless war
  • Immigration policy: Supports legalization path & guest worker programs
  • Homeland Security: No tapping of our phones without a warrant
  • Middle East: Know your enemy: Al Qaeda wants US troops away from Mecca

Sources: OnTheissues archives.
Click for Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I,RI) stances on the issues.


Lindsey Graham and Rick Perry both announce presidential candidacy: June 1-4, 2015

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announces on June 1; former Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) announces on June 4

Gov. Perry ran in 2012, and was briefly considered the frontrunner before withdrawing after the South Carolina primary.

Sen. Graham will focus on his early-primary home state of South Carolina in 2016, as Perry did in 2012.

We summarize their issues stances below.

Lindsey Graham's issues stances Rick Perry's issues stances
    Graham on Domestic Issues
  • Gun Rights: Voted NO on banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets
  • Crime policy: Facilitate recovering crime victim restitution fees
  • School policy: Supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer
  • Government Reform: Increase campaign contribution limits; but no foreigners
  • Welfare Reform: Fund welfare via religious & community-based non-profits
    Perry on Domestic Issues
  • Gun Rights: Individual right to keep and bear arms
  • Crime policy: Death penalty is appropriate for those who kill cops or kids
  • School policy: Promote school choice all across this country
  • Government Reform: Cut Congress' pay in half & make them part-time
  • Welfare Reform: Many homeless chose their lifestyle; take a hard approach
    Graham on Economic Issues
  • Mortgage Crisis: Dollar-for-dollar offset: cut spending to raise debt ceiling
  • Free Trade: NAFTA drained away textile trade from Upstate SC
  • Energy policy: Greenhouse gas is a problem; but EPA shouldn't regulate it
  • Tax policy: Supports the Taxpayer Protection Pledge
    Perry on Economic Issues
  • Mortgage Crisis: No debt-ceiling increase without spending cuts & caps
  • Free Trade: NAFTA is largest job stimulus of the decade
  • Energy policy: No federal energy subsidy; let states decide on nuke waste
  • Tax policy: Lower taxes & less regulation made Texas a job leader
    Graham on Social Issues
  • ObamaCare: Let ObamaCare show itself as a continuing debacle
  • Affirmative Action: Voted YES on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions
  • Abortion: Prohibit federal funding for abortion
  • Same-sex Marriage: Support the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage
  • Family Values: Rated 100% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-Family-Value voting record
    Perry on Social Issues
  • ObamaCare: ObamaCare is an abomination for this country
  • Affirmative Action: Suing for girls in Boy Scouts is part of strategic assault
  • Abortion: More restrictions on abortion clinics; 5-month limit
  • Same-sex Marriage: Gay marriage is not protected, but judges will declare it so
  • Family Values: Free speech for "Coming Out Day" but not "Family Values"?
    Graham on International Issues
  • Homeland Security: NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a felon, not a hero
  • Middle East: More intervention in Iraq avoids an American city in flames
  • Foreign Policy: Create a democratic noose around Putin's Russia
  • Immigration Policy: Secure border now in place with comprehensive immigration
    Perry on International Issues
  • Homeland Security: NSA listening in on our phones breaches rule of law
  • Middle East: Hamas uses civilians as shields; help Israel defend itself
  • Foreign Policy: We can't isolate ourselves within our shores; we must engage
  • Immigration Policy: If Washington refuses to enforce the border, Texas will

Sources: OnTheissues archives and our 2012 book Rick Perry vs. Mitt Romney On The Issues
Click for Former Gov. Rick Perry (R,TX) stances on the issues, or Sen. Lindsey Graham (R,SC) stances on the issues.


Martin O`Malley (D-MD) announces presidential candidacy: May 30, 2015

Third major Democratic entrant

Governor Martin O`Malley (D-MD) announced that he would run for president in 2016 in the Democratic primary. O`Malley represents the progressive wing of the Democratic Party; but he will take on Hillary Clinton on anti-corporate grounds. We explore his issue stances:

Martin O`Malley's issues stances
    Domestic Issues
  • Gun Control: Further toughen the enforcement of our gun laws
  • Crime: Baltimore riot due to hopelessness, not just race & policing
  • War on Drugs: Proportionality in marijuana arrests, but not legalization
  • Energy policy: American jobs agenda to build a new renewable energy future
  • ObamaCare: ObamaCare will get past the scare tactics and will work

    Economic Issues
  • Corporate Welfare: Income gap growing due to concentration of corporate power
  • Mortgage Crisis: Why weren't Wall Street CEOs convicted in 2008 meltdown?
  • Environment: Flush Tax: fund green upgrade to wastewater treatment plants
  • Free Trade: Reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank
  • Jobs policy: New foreign policy of engagement and collaboration
  • Welfare Reform: Move from welfare to work; & raise Earned Income tax credit

    Social Issues
  • Abortion: $101M for stem cell research over six years
  • Same-sex Marriage: All are created equal, including gay, lesbian & transgender
  • Campaign Finance: Voluntary public financing for all general elections

    International Issues
  • Foreign Relations: New foreign policy of engagement and collaboration
  • Immigration policy: Comprehensive reform to bring 11 million out of shadows
  • Terrorism Policy: More equipment and training for first responders
  • Middle East: Israeli separation barrier might be called "peace wall"

Sources: OnTheissues archives.
Click for Gov. Martin O`Malley (D,MD) stances on the issues.


Rick Santorum and George Pataki both announce presidential candidacy: May 27-28, 2015

Former Sen. Santorum (R-PA) announces on May 27; former Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) announces on May 28

Santorum ran in 2012, and won some primaries before withdrawing. Santorum was Senator from Pennsylvania and appeals to both the Tea Party and the religious right; he authored It Takes a Family.

Pataki is the first GOP entrant from a "blue state" (Democratic New York); he appeals to centrists and will focus on his ability to work with Democrats.

We summarize their issues stances below.

George Pataki's issues stances Rick Santorum's issues stances
    Pataki on Domestic Issues
  • Gun Rights: Supports gun control legislation
  • Crime policy: Abolished parole for violent felons
  • School policy: Fund charter schools as independent non-profit entities
  • Government Reform: Empower the citizens to take back our government
    Santorum on Domestic Issues
  • Gun Rights: Lifetime A+ rating with the NRA; despite trigger lock vote
  • Crime policy: Broken homes increase delinquency, crime, and jail
  • School policy: 2006: college for all; 2012: college for all is snobbish
  • Government Reform: Line-item veto needed; spending transparency until then
    Pataki on Economic Issues
  • Mortgage Crisis: Slash job-killing regulations & cut taxes too
  • Free Trade: Invest in math & science innovation to compete with China
  • Energy policy: Tackle climate change via private & market-based initiatives
  • Tax policy: Throw out incomprehensible tax code: simpler, lower rates
    Santorum on Economic Issues
  • Mortgage Crisis: I opposed the Wall Street bailouts and the auto bailout
  • Free Trade: 1993: Voted against NAFTA because it hurt PA industries
  • Energy policy: No federal energy help needed; we did it on Marcellus Shale
  • Tax policy: Simplify tax code: just 5 deductions; everything else goes
    Pataki on Social Issues
  • ObamaCare: Revere America: work to repeal ObamaCare
  • Affirmative Action: Support principles embodied in the Equal Rights Amendment
  • Abortion: Favors abortion rights; supports banning partial birth abortions
  • Same-sex Marriage: Opposes same-sex marriage; supports gay & lesbian rights
  • Family Values: Our parents never felt like victims even in Great Depression
    Santorum on Social Issues
  • ObamaCare: Promote Health Savings Accounts as market-based solution
  • Affirmative Action: Affirmative program for minority business-building
  • Abortion: No abortions even in cases of rape; one violence is enough
  • Same-sex Marriage: Right to gay sex implies right to bigamy, incest, & adultery
  • Family Values: Address breakdown of American family from bully pulpit
    Pataki on International Issues
  • Defense Policy: A strong America is a safe America: strengthen our military
  • Middle East: Make sure Iran never has a nuclear weapon
  • Foreign Policy: We must win the War on Terror to keep America safe
  • Immigration Policy: Immigrants come to work, not for government handouts
    Santorum on International Issues
  • Defense Policy: Stay in Afghanistan until security of our country is secure
  • Middle East: Iran's theocracy encourages use of nuclear weapons
  • Foreign Policy: Keep embargo on Cuba--the heart of cancer in Latin America
  • Immigration Policy: We need immigration; but we need respect of the law

Sources: OnTheissues archives and our 2012 book Rick Santorum vs. Newt Gingrich On The Issues
Click for Former Gov. George Pataki (R,NY) stances on the issues, or Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R,PA) stances on the issues.


Mike Huckabee (R-AR) announces presidential candidacy: May 5, 2015

Former governor of Arkansas, and winner of 2012 Iowa presidential caucus, enters race

Huckabee appeals to populists and the religious right; he is a prolific author, including Do the Right Thing. His issue stances:

Huckabee's issues stances
    Domestic Issues
  • Gun Rights: Second Amendment is about freedom, not about hunting
  • Crime policy: Nonsense of Three-Strikes makes system overrun with people.
  • School policy: I'm against Common Core; it differs from its original intent.
  • Government Reform: Roach Motel: DC supposedly place to serve, not to be served

    Economic Issues
  • Corporate Welfare: Axis of evil exists between Washington and Wall Street
  • Mortgage Crisis: Infrastructure projects: start immediately, for stimulus
  • Free Trade: Trans Pacific Partnership isn't fair trade or free trade
  • Energy policy: Oil has not just shaped our foreign policy; it's deformed it

    Social Issues
  • ObamaCare: Healthcare reform requires cultural change over a generation
  • Affirmative Action: Women should control libido rather than rely on Uncle Sugar
  • Abortion: Culture of life encompasses more than just abortion issue
  • Same-sex Marriage: If GOP abdicates on gay marriage, they lose guys like me

    National Security Issues
  • Defense Policy: US boots on the ground to fight ISIS ok, if others join too
  • Middle East: Islamo-fascists hate us & want to destroy our way of life
  • Foreign Policy: Keep the Cuban embargo; lifting it rewards Cuba

Sources: OnTheissues archives and Huckabee's book Do the Right Thing.
Click for Gov. Mike Huckabee (R,AR) stances on the issues.


Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson both announce presidential candidacy: May 4, 2015

Both enter growing Republican field

Carly Fiorina (R,CA) was the CEO of Hewlett Packard, and the mainstream media will speculate endlessly about her status as the only female candidate in the GOP field.

Ben Carson (R,MD) was a pediatric neurosurgeon, and the mainstream media will speculate endlessly about his status as the only African-American candidate in the GOP field.

We summarize their issues stances below.

Carly Fiorina's issues stances Ben Carson's issues stances
    Fiorina on Domestic Issues
  • Gun Rights: Opposed 1994 assault weapon ban; opposes no-fly list gun ban
  • Crime policy: Supports capital punishment for certain crimes
  • School Choice: Supports less federal & more local control of education
  • Government Reform: Abolish earmarks; limit federal salaries
    Carson on Domestic Issues
  • Gun Rights: Law-abiding citizens have right to guns without registration
  • Crime policy: Stop politically-correct prejudice against blacks vs. whites
  • School Choice: School choice increases competitive nature of education
  • Government Reform: Too many lawyers in government; get more doctors in
    Fiorina on Economic Issues
  • Corporate Welfare: Focus on supporting small family-owned businesses
  • Mortgage Crisis: Key to recovery is less government, taxation, & regulation
  • Free Trade: Change rules about outsourcing; current climate forces it
    Carson on Economic Issues
  • Corporate Welfare: Highest corporate tax rate causes highest national debt
  • Mortgage Crisis: 1990s deregulation paved way for 2008 economic meltdown
  • Free Trade: Stop severe trade imbalance via stiff tariffs
    Fiorina on Social Issues
  • ObamaCare: Repeal ObamaCare; it's vast legislative overreach
  • Affirmative Action: Women professionals are not treated the same as men
  • Abortion: Overturn the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion
  • Same-sex Marriage: Marriage is between a man and a woman; but civil unions ok
    Carson on Social Issues
  • ObamaCare: ObamaCare is the worst thing since slavery
  • Affirmative Action: Compassionate Action instead of Affirmative Action
  • Abortion: The thought of abortion for convenience is repugnant
  • Same-sex Marriage: Redefining marriage is slippery slope with disastrous ending
    Fiorina on International Issues
  • Defense Policy: Keep Gitmo; don't try foreign terrorists in civilian court
  • Middle East: Impose crippling sanctions against Iran
  • Foreign Policy: Lack of American leadership causes world trouble
    Carson on International Issues
  • Defense Policy: Roman Empire fell because military was stretched too thin
  • Middle East: Morality of war in Iraq was highly debatable
  • Foreign Policy: US is exceptional, with different values than rest of world

Sources: OnTheissues archives
Click for Carly Fiorina (R,CA) stances on the issues, or Ben Carson (R,MD) stances on the issues.


Bernie Sanders (D-VT) announces presidential candidacy: April 30, 2015

Second major Democratic entrant

Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced that he would run for president in 2016 as a Democrat. Sanders represents the progressive wing of the Democratic Party; the mainstream media will explore the politics of his taking on Hillary Clinton. We instead explore his issue stances:

Bernie Sanders' issues stances
    Domestic Issues
  • Gun Control: Voted YES on prohibiting foreign & UN aid that restricts US gun ownership
  • Criminal Sentencing: Require DNA testing for all federal executions
  • War on Drugs: Legalize medical marijuana
  • Campaign Finance: Citizens United opens up the road to oligarchy

    Economic Issues
  • Corporate Welfare: Cap deductions for CEO pay; count perks as profit
  • Mortgage Crisis: Cap the home mortgage interest deduction at $300,000
  • Environment: Cut subsidies of wealthy farmers; increase grazing fees
  • Free Trade: Voted NO on implementing CAFTA, Central America Free Trade

    Entitlement Issues
  • ObamaCare: Make health care a right, not a privilege
  • Affirmative Action: Constitutional Amendment for equal rights by gender
  • Welfare Reform: Voted YES on instituting National Service as a new social invention

    Social Issues
  • Family Planning: Provide emergency contraception at military facilities
  • Same-sex Marriage: ENDA: prohibit employment discrimination for gays

    National Security Issues
  • Terrorism Policy: Bush’s tracking citizens’ phone call patterns is illegal
  • Middle East: Get Saudis & regional powers involved with fighting ISIS
  • Defense Budget: End nuclear weapons and B-2 bomber production
  • Anti-Communism Policy: Allow Americans to travel to Cuba

Sources: OnTheissues archives and book review of Outsider in the House by Senator Sanders.
Click for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I,VT) stances on the issues.


Marco Rubio (R-FL) announces presidential candidacy: April 13, 2015

Third major GOP entrant

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida announced that he would run for president in 2016. Marco Rubio represents the Tea Party wing of the GOP:

Rand Paul's issues stances
    Domestic Issues
  • Gun Rights: 2nd Amendment is a cornerstone of our democracy
  • Capital Punishment: Endless death row appeals hinder justice
  • War on Drugs: No responsible way to recreationally use marijuana
  • Term Limits: Term limits ensure new people and ideas

    Economic Issues
  • Budget Deficit: Real problem is $1T deficit each year since 2009
  • Business Tax Reform: Eliminate taxes on capital gains; lower corporate tax rates
  • ObamaCare: ObamaCare stifles entrepreneurship with regulation
  • Welfare Reform: War on Poverty shows big-government approach fails

    Social Issues
  • Family Planning: Expand birth control exemption for faith-based organizations
  • Gays in the Military: No evidence to change policy of don't ask, don't tell

    National Security Issues
  • Terrorism Policy: No greater risk than radical Islamic terrorists
  • Iranian Sanctions: Iranian nuclear weapons: prevention instead of containment
  • Military Priorities: We've over-militarized our foreign policy
  • Cuba Policy: Cuba must improve on human rights for engagement to continue

Sources: OnTheissues archives
Click for Sen. Marco Rubio (R,FL) stances on the issues.


Hillary Clinton (D-NY) announces presidential candidacy: April 12, 2015

OnTheIssues releases book on Hillary Clinton's issue stances

Hillary Clinton announced that she would run for president in 2016. Hillary represents the establishment Democratic Party; the mainstream media will explore her opposition in her primary from progressives such as Warren and Sanders, and centrists such as O`Malley and Webb We instead explore her issue stances:

Hillary Clinton's issues stances
    Domestic Issues
  • Gun Control: Rein in idea that anybody can have a gun anywhere, anytime
  • Criminal Sentencing: Mandatory sentences have been too widely used
  • War on Drugs: Divert non-violent drug offenders away from prison
  • Voter Registration: Same-day voter registration; no oppressive ID requirements

    Economic Issues
  • Corporate Welfare: Enough with corporate welfare; enough golden parachutes
  • Budget Deficit: Look back to 1990s to see how I’d be fiscally responsible
  • Environment vs. Economy: $5B for green-collar jobs in economic stimulus package
  • Business Tax Reform: Perhaps raise capital gains tax, but at most to 20%

    Entitlement Issues
  • ObamaCare: Non-employer system better; but don’t turn back ObamaCare
  • Affirmative Action: Equal pay is not yet equal
  • School Vouchers: Supports public school choice; but not private nor parochial
  • Welfare Reform: 1990s welfare work requirement was critical step despite flaws

    Social Issues
  • Family Planning: Advocates birth control but OK with faith-based disagreement
  • Same-sex Marriage: I support gay marriage personally and as law
  • Personal Faith: I have always felt the presence of God in my life

    National Security Issues
  • Terrorism Policy: Called war on terror “Bush’s war” but has played active role
  • Iranian Sanctions: Political restraint against Iran’s Ahmadinejad was a mistake
  • International Alliances: NATO essential for evolving threats of the 21st century
  • Russia Policy: Take a harder line with Russia’s Putin

Sources: OnTheissues archives and our book Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush On The Issues
Click for Secy. Hillary Clinton (D,NY) stances on the issues.


Rand Paul (R-KY) announces presidential candidacy: April 7, 2015

OnTheIssues releases book on Rand Paul's issue stances

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky announced that he would run for president in 2016. Rand Paul represents the libertarian wing of the GOP and the Tea Party; the mainstream media will explore the politics and horse-race based on that; we instead explore his issue stances:

Rand Paul's issues stances
    Domestic Issues
  • Gun Rights: Don't let the liberals tread on the Second Amendment
  • Criminal Sentencing: Blacks look who's in prison & conclude cops out to get them
  • War on Drugs: War on drugs has unintentionally had a racial outcome
  • Term Limits: Instead of bringing home the bacon, bring home politicians

    Economic Issues
  • Corporate Regulation: Punishing the rich means the poor lose their jobs
  • Budget Deficit: We borrow $1M per minute; mandate a balanced budget
  • Environment vs. Economy: EPA regulations cost $15 trillion in 2012
  • Business Tax Reform: Cut corporate tax in half to create millions of job

    Entitlement Issues
  • ObamaCare: Compassion cannot be delivered in the form of coercion
  • Affirmative Action: Women won the "war on women": no longer downtrodden
  • School Vouchers: Allow school choice for everyone, white, brown, or black
  • Welfare Reform: Federal "gifts" don't generate wealth but perpetuate poverty

    Social Issues
  • Family Planning: Supports religious freedom to deny contraceptive coverage
  • Same-sex Marriage: Don't register guns federally, nor marriages
  • Flag Issues: End US aid to countries that burn our flag

    National Security Issues
  • Terrorism Policy: TSA is a testament to Islamic terrorist's success
  • Iranian Sanctions: Keep all options on the table, but don't declare war on Iran
  • Military Priorities: We've over-militarized our foreign policy
  • Cuba Policy: Good idea to end Cuba embargo; it hasn't worked

Sources: OnTheissues archives and our new book Rand Paul vs. Jeb Bush On The Issues
Click for Sen. Rand Paul (R,KY) stances on the issues.


Harry Reid (D-NV) announces retirement: March 27, 2015

Fourth incumbent Senator to announce retirement for 2016

Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid announced that he will not seek re-election in 2016.

The job of Minority Leader of the United States Senate is just as important as being the Majority Leader. It gives you so much opportunity to do good things for this country. And that’s what I am focused on.

I am going to be here for another 22 months, and you know what I’m going to be doing? The same thing I’ve done since I first came to the Senate.

We have to make sure that the Democrats take control of the Senate again. And I feel it is inappropriate for me to soak up all those resources on me when I could be devoting those resources to the caucus, and that’s what I intend to do.

Reid's retirement sets up one of the hottest Senate races of the 2016 season. The other two hot races so far are OH and PA. The likely candidates who may run in the 2016 Senate races in those three states follow:

Nevada Senate candidatesOhio Senate candidatesPennsylvania Senate candidates

Sources: Statement from reid.senate.gov plus OnTheissues archives
Click for Harry Reid (D,NV) stances on the issues.


Ted Cruz (R-TX) announces presidential candidacy: March 23, 2015

First major candidate to formally announce

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas announced that he would run for president in 2016, becoming the first Republican candidate to declare himself officially in the race.

What does a "formal announcement" or an "official declaration" mean? Nothing, actually, except that it generates news headlines. The legal status that matters is to form an "Exploratory Committee" that can accept campaign donations, or to create a website that can accept donations....

Candidates' Presidential Announcement Status

Sources: New York Times plus multiple news sources plus OnTheissues archives
Click for Sen. Ted Cruz (R,TX) stances on the issues.


Governor's State of the State speeches: Jan 7-14, 2015

Coverage begins with AZ, KY, NJ, NY, VA, and WI

OnTheIssues covers governor's State of the State speeches as a primary source of issue material for incumbent governors. State of the State speeches traditionally occur early in the year: mostly in January, but some into February and March. We focus on newly-elected Governors and also on governors considering a presidential run. Below is our initial coverage; check back as more speeches are made....

AZ: State of the State speech by newly-elected Governor Doug Ducey (R); Jan. 12, 2015
KY: State of the Commonwealth speech by Governor Steve Beshear (R); Jan. 7, 2015
NJ: State of the State speech by Governor Chris Christie (R, considering run for presidency); Jan. 12, 2015
NY: State of the State speeches by Former Governor George Pataki (R, considering run for presidency); Jan. 5, 2005 and Jan. 4, 2006
VA: State of the Commonwealth speech by Governor Terry McAuliffe (D, elected in 2013); Jan. 12, 2015
WI: State of the State speech by Governor Scott Walker (R, considering run for presidency); Jan. 12, 2015

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances; and check back in the coming weeks to see additional SOTS coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for 2014 State of the State speeches and 2015 State of the State speeches.


New Congress sworn in: Jan. 6-8, 2015

Republicans officially take over Senate

The "freshman class of 2015" got sworn in to the House and Senate this week. OnTheIssues.org has created a new issues page for eahc and every incoming House and Senate member, covering the basics of their campaign promises and their political philosophy. Over the coming months, we will add to that their bill sponsorships and voting record, for comparison to their campaign promises.

Governors are generally sworn in during the first week of January also, but on a schedule determined by each state. Each and every newly-elected governor also has a new page linked below.

Sources: OnTheIssues Archives
Click for Senate debate coverage.

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