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Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates
Crippled America,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
by Cory Booker (2016)
The Truths We Hold,
by Kamala Harris (2019)
Smart on Crime,
by Kamala Harris (2010)
Guide to Political Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Where We Go From Here,
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
Promise Me, Dad ,
by Joe Biden (2017)
Conscience of a Conservative,
by Jeff Flake (2017)
Two Paths,
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
Every Other Monday,
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
Courage is Contagious,
by John Kasich (1998)
Shortest Way Home,
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
The Book of Joe ,
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Our Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
This Fight Is Our Fight,
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
Higher Loyalty,
by James Comey (2018)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
Books by and about the 2016 presidential election
What Happened ,
by Hillary Clinton (2017)
Higher Loyalty ,
by James Comey (2018)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Hard Choices,
by Hillary Clinton (2014)
Becoming ,
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Meet the Press: Meet the Candidates 2008 series, individual interviews with Tim Russert, throughout 2008

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
    Mike Huckabee: Life question reflects nation’s nature & equality of humans.
    Mitt Romney: Supreme Court had said feds should stay out of abortion.
    Mitt Romney: I took action as governor to preserve the sanctity of life.
    Mitt Romney: No punishment for women who have partial birth abortions.
    Mitt Romney: Outlaw embryo farming, but allow using surplus embryos.
    Fred Thompson: Heart swayed by sonogram of his unborn child.
    Fred Thompson: No human Life Amendment; let states decide individually.
    Fred Thompson: Life begins at conception, but allow early abortions.
    Fred Thompson: Opposes partial birth ban; but no parental notification.
    Bill Richardson: Supreme Court model cannot be justice who dissented on Roe.
    John McCain: Concerned if women undergo illegal dangerous operations.
    Joe Biden: No public funding for abortion; it imposes a view.
    Joe Biden: Supports partial-birth abortion ban, but not undoing Roe.
    Joe Biden: Accepts Catholic church view that life begins at conception.
    Mike Huckabee: Pro-life includes improving life after birth.
    Mike Huckabee: Outlaw all abortions; err on the side of life.
Budget & Economy
    Hillary Clinton: Freeze mortgage interest rates for five years.
    Rudy Giuliani: Goal of balancing budget, but no pledge.
    Chris Dodd: Chairs Banking Committee; hedge fund managers donated $727K.
    Joe Biden: Invest in new programs by ending war & eliminating tax cuts.
Civil Rights
    Hillary Clinton: MLK recognized that working within the system was necessary.
    Ron Paul: Civil Rights Act was more about property than race relations.
    Mitt Romney: Supports Employment Nondiscrimination Act at state level.
    Barack Obama: Being gay or lesbian is not a choice.
    Fred Thompson: Dislikes gay marriage, but states allowed to do it.
    Joe Biden: Civil unions ok; gay marriage is probably inevitable.
    John Edwards: Let gays serve in the military.
    John Edwards: No gay marriage, but no discrimination & civil unions.
    Mike Huckabee: Respect gay couples but no gay adoptions.
    Mike Huckabee: USA has gone from Barney Fife to Barney Frank.
    Ralph Nader: Washington DC is corporate-occupied territory.
    Ralph Nader: Obama & McCain differ, but neither takes on corporations.
    Rudy Giuliani: Will not sever consulting firm ties unless legally required.
    John Edwards: Worked for hedge fund in 2006, but close hedge fund loophole.
    Mike Huckabee: 1999: doubled methamphetamine sentences.
    Ron Paul: War on drugs is out of control; revert control to states.
    Mike Huckabee: Increased school taxes, by court order, and schools improved.
    Ron Paul: Close Dept. of Education, but don’t dismantle public schools.
Energy & Oil
    Barack Obama: Gas tax holiday is a classic Washington gimmick.
    Barack Obama: Voted for failed IL gas tax holiday & learned from mistake.
    Barack Obama: $150B investment over 10 years to reduce oil usage by 35%.
    Barack Obama: Figure out how to sequester carbon and burn clean coal.
    Rudy Giuliani: Opposes mandated 35mpg by 2020; develop alternatives instead.
    Bill Clinton: Adopt GHG cap-and-trade system including India & China.
    Bill Richardson: Claimed too early that secrets were safe at nuclear labs.
    Bill Richardson: Supports nuclear energy, but not waste storage at Yucca Mt.
    Bill Richardson: Cap-and-trade CO2 emissions, including 50-mpg cars by 2020.
    John McCain: Ethanol made no sense in ‘05 but with $60/bbl it makes sense.
    John Edwards: Store nuclear waste near nuclear plants, not in Yucca Mt.
    Barack Obama: Willing to suspend ethanol subsidy to keep food prices down.
Foreign Policy
    Mike Huckabee: Urged ending Cuban embargo as governor; now supports embargo.
    Barack Obama: Ok to postpone Pakistani elections, but not indefinitely.
    Ron Paul: Cut off all foreign aid to Israel & to Arabs.
    Ron Paul: Get out of South Korea and let two Koreas unify.
    Ron Paul: Bush humble foreign policy was hijacked into nation-building.
    Barack Obama: Willing to meet with Fidel Castro, Kim Jung Il & Hugo Chavez.
    Fred Thompson: Play hardball with Musharraf, but don’t cut off US aid.
    Chris Dodd: Iran: focus on sanctions & diplomacy, not military.
    Newt Gingrich: We need a dramatically expanded use of statecraft.
Free Trade
    Rudy Giuliani: More trade with Qatar & emirates is good against terrorism.
Government Reform
    Ralph Nader: No PAC money, no commercial donations; only individuals.
    Ralph Nader: Government become unresponsive to citizen groups in 1979.
    Hillary Clinton: Transparent government includes federal agency blogs.
    Ron Paul: Dismantle agencies that have no Constitutional role.
    Ron Paul: Put 65 projects into 2006 bills, worth $4B to his district.
    Ron Paul: No on all earmarks, even those he proposes for his district.
    Ron Paul: Supports compulsory term limits, not voluntary for himself.
    Barack Obama: Money is the original sin in politics and I am not sinless.
    Hillary Clinton: Public financing would fix campaign donor problems.
    John McCain: Supported then opposed transparency in grassroots reporting.
Gun Control
    Mitt Romney: I support the work of the NRA, but disagree sometimes.
    Mitt Romney: Ok to ban lethal weapons that threaten police.
    Fred Thompson: Allow colleges to make their own rules about guns on campus.
    Bill Richardson: Assault weapons ban did not work; despite his vote for ban.
    Bill Richardson: Endorsed by NRA for governor; would accept endorsement again.
Health Care
    Ralph Nader: For single-payer; all major candidates oppose it.
    Mike Huckabee: Ok to ban smoking from workplaces, but not to ban smoking.
    Hillary Clinton: Since 1993, new consensus developed on need for healthcare.
    John Edwards: Expand Medicaid & create health markets to cover uninsured.
    John Edwards: Increase taxes to pay for universal insurance.
    John Edwards: Medicare: invest in preventive care & better chronic care.
Homeland Security
    Ralph Nader: A wasteful defense is a weak defense.
    John McCain: Improve human intelligence to get Osama bin Laden.
    Ron Paul: We don’t need any troops abroad--they don’t help our defense.
    Ron Paul: Stop policing the world and we can get rid of income tax.
    Ron Paul: Bring all troops home from abroad & save $100B’s every year.
    Ron Paul: 9/11 resulted from blasphemy of our bases in Saudi Arabia.
    Ron Paul: Suicide terrorism stops when we stop intervening abroad.
    Ron Paul: In wartime, people willing to sacrifice liberty for security.
    Rudy Giuliani: Was aware of al-Qaeda before 9/11, but not its enormity.
    Rudy Giuliani: Quit Iraq Study Group to avoid politicizing it.
    Rudy Giuliani: Did business with Qatar, a US ally which protects al-Qaeda.
    Rudy Giuliani: Didn’t vet Bernard Kerik sufficiently for DHS recommendation.
    Fred Thompson: Waterboarding ok if national security were at stake.
    Fred Thompson: Supports pre-emption policy to prevent nuclear proliferation.
    Bill Clinton: Torture must only be hypothetical exception, not US policy.
    Newt Gingrich: Military tribunals to lock people up the way Lincoln did.
    John Edwards: Concerned about Iran, but alternatives over military strike.
    Mike Huckabee: Guard & Reserve did their duty; it’s beginning to wear.
    John McCain: Certify border is secure; only then allow guest workers.
    John McCain: 2003 “amnesty” didn’t mean rewarding illegal behavior.
    John McCain: Round up and deport two million aliens who committed crimes.
    Ron Paul: If economy were good, there’d be no immigration problem.
    Ron Paul: Amend Constitution to remove aliens’ birthright citizenship.
    Mitt Romney: Illegal immigrants should go home eventually.
    Mitt Romney: No mandatory prison term for employers who hire illegals.
    Bill Richardson: Opposes compromise immigration bill: it tears apart families.
    Bill Richardson: Border fence hasn’t worked; border patrols & tech have.
    Bill Richardson: Driver’s licenses & scholarships for illegals; not amnesty.
    John McCain: Bipartisanship shows preparedness for presidency.
    Ralph Nader: Taft-Hartley keeps workers defenseless against globalization.
Principles & Values
    Barack Obama: I joined church to commit to Christ, not to Rev. Wright.
    Ralph Nader: Organize to give the president some backbone.
    Ralph Nader: Running because 61% think both major parties are failing.
    Ralph Nader: Gore responsible for 2000 election; Bush responsible since.
    Ralph Nader: The two parties steal elections & can’t even count the votes.
    Ralph Nader: Democrats should landslide Republicans in 2008.
    Ralph Nader: The only true aging is the erosion of one’s ideals.
    Mike Huckabee: Competition breeds excellence, including in the GOP race.
    Mike Huckabee: Kenneth Copeland is a friend, innocent until proven guilty.
    Mike Huckabee: Hunted and ate fried squirrel in college days.
    John McCain: People want the truth, even if they disagree.
    Ron Paul: Reagan ran on limited government, but increased its size.
    Ron Paul: Called Bush 41 a “bum”; didn’t vote for Bush 43.
    Ron Paul: 99% no intention to run as independent if he loses GOP race.
    Mitt Romney: Freedom requires religion in society, not in individuals.
    Mitt Romney: Ok to appoint atheists or agnostics--no litmus test of faith.
    Mitt Romney: Endorsed by Bob Jones, despite calling Mormonism a “cult”.
    Rudy Giuliani: Criticized for tax-funded police security for his girlfriend.
    Fred Thompson: 100% free & clear of cancer; will release all health records.
    John Edwards: I’m the same as in 2004; America & world have changed.
    Bill Clinton: Role as “First Laddy”: advise Hillary & promote her agenda.
    Bill Clinton: Don’t eliminate Hillary over “dynasty”; vote on her merits.
    Chuck Hagel: No plans to change party; no current plans to run for prez.
    Chuck Hagel: Presidential race started absurdly early; need issues focus.
    Bill Richardson: Running on resume & record, to be president of middle class.
    Bill Richardson: Offered MLB contract, but mistakenly called that drafted.
    Newt Gingrich: Thinking about thinking about running; decision by October.
    John McCain: Not youngest candidate, but certainly the most prepared.
    Joe Biden: Apologized for saying Barack Obama was clean and articulate.
    Joe Biden: Embellishment forced withdrawal from 1988 presidential race.
    Mike Huckabee: America needs optimistic leadership to revive national soul.
    Mike Huckabee: We are a nation of faith, and we are stewards of God’s world.
    Mike Huckabee: Plays bass guitar in rock band “Capitol Offense”.
    Mike Huckabee: George W. Bush has done a magnificent job.
    Mike Huckabee: Vertical lift-up politics rather than horizontal left-right.
    Mike Huckabee: Ordained Baptist minister; I make no apology for my faith.
    Mike Huckabee: People of faith feel responsible for God’s world.
    Chris Dodd: We’ve squandered years of building world alliances.
Social Security
    Ron Paul: Never voted to spend one penny of Social Security money.
    Barack Obama: Cutting benefits & raising retirement age are wrong answers.
    John McCain: Willing to compromise on raising cap above $90K.
    John Edwards: Maybe raise the cap from $90,000, or eliminate the cap.
    John Edwards: We have social contract to not raise retirement age.
Tax Reform
    Ralph Nader: End perverse incentives that reward Wall Street speculators.
    Mike Huckabee: Signed tax pledge to not raise marginal tax rates.
    John McCain: Voting against Bush cuts then for them: not a mistake.
    Mike Huckabee: Raised some taxes based on court orders and voter approval.
    Ron Paul: Doesn’t want flat tax or consumption tax.
    Ron Paul: Get rid of IRS; get rid of income tax; get rid of spending.
    John McCain: Opposed Bush tax cuts, but must extend them now.
    Mike Huckabee: First governor in Arkansas history to ever lower taxes.
    Mike Huckabee: Wouldn’t propose new taxes, but won’t pledge against taxes.
    Mike Huckabee: Raised Arkansas taxes 5 times, but lowered taxes 94 times.
    Mike Huckabee: Improved AR roads, via voter-approved tax increase.
War & Peace
    Barack Obama: Iran is biggest strategic beneficiary of invasion of Iraq.
    Barack Obama: Military surge in Afghanistan to eliminate the Taliban.
    John McCain: Timetable for withdrawal is a white flag of surrender.
    John McCain: Staying for 100 years OK, if US casualties are low.
    Barack Obama: 2002: Iraq will require US occupation of undetermined length.
    Hillary Clinton: No extension on surge; deadline is why Iraq is progressing.
    Hillary Clinton: Bush’s classified withdrawal plan is cursory; out in 60 days.
    Hillary Clinton: Voted against Levin Amendment: it gave UN veto over US.
    John McCain: Ok with American presence in Iraq for 100 years.
    Ron Paul: If Iran invaded Israel, it’s up to Congress to declare war.
    Ron Paul: Israeli government & the neocons want US to bomb Iran.
    Ron Paul: Every country ended slavery without civil war; US could have.
    Rudy Giuliani: Iran: Keep military option on table, even if no nukes now.
    Rudy Giuliani: Keep pressure on Iran, because pressure works.
    Rudy Giuliani: Disagrees with neocon adviser on immediate need to bomb Iran.
    Rudy Giuliani: No time limit in Iraq; stay until we achieve stability.
    Barack Obama: Voted to fund war until 2006; now wants no blank check.
    Barack Obama: Meet directly for diplomacy with the leadership in Iran.
    Fred Thompson: Stay the course and take opportunity to succeed.
    Fred Thompson: Osama bin Laden is more symbolism than anything else.
    Fred Thompson: Pledges to do everything possible to prevent Iranian nukes.
    John Edwards: Keep troops at embassy & border, but out of civil war.
    Hillary Clinton: Defunding war is the only way to force Bush to change course.
    John Kerry: Bush-McCain stategy in Iraq is policy to stay, not to win.
    John Kerry: No al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2002; we invaded under false pretense.
    John Kerry: Democrats proposing success in Iraq by political solution.
    John Kerry: Reduce US military presence in Iraq; and bring in neighbors.
    John McCain: Stategy in Iraq: defeat al-Qaeda; limit Iran’s influence.
    John McCain: Iraq is now the central front in the war against al-Qaeda.
    John McCain: Americans want to win; bin Laden thinks he’s winning now.
    John McCain: Democrats proposing failure in Iraq by withdrawing.
    John McCain: Reducing military presence has never in history won a war.
    Joe Biden: Changed mind on Iraq pullout, not about political solution.
    Joe Biden: Worth losing election to protect our troops.
    Chuck Hagel: Our current Iraq policy is not worthy of soldiers’ sacrifice.
    Chuck Hagel: Engage with Iran & Syria; follow Baker-Hamilton.
    Chuck Hagel: Internationalize Iraq or we’ll be seen as occupiers.
    Chuck Hagel: Open to withdrawal timelines, but look at other issues too.
    Chuck Hagel: Bush administration wanted to go to war with Saddam.
    Chuck Hagel: No Iraq military solution; focus on political accommodation.
    Chuck Hagel: Outcome in Iraq will be determined by the Iraqis.
    Chuck Hagel: Iraq was a war of choice, like Vietnam.
    Chuck Hagel: Congress should oppose Bush’s actions, but not impeachable.
    Bill Richardson: Deauthorize the war; original resolution no longer operative.
    Bill Richardson: Iraq now in civil war, & US troops are nothing but a target.
    Bill Richardson: Time for Iraqis to take over their own security.
    Bill Richardson: Supporting war initially was a mistake.
    Chris Dodd: Help Iraqi government, but exit Iraq by April 1 2008.
    Chris Dodd: 80% of Iraqi people & 50% of parliament want US out of Iraq.
    Chris Dodd: We need willingness to consider different mission in Iraq.
    Chris Dodd: Military solution in Iraq has been disproven and discredited.
    Newt Gingrich: Deadline for Iraqi withdrawal is legislating defeat.
    Newt Gingrich: Even if Iraq IS a civil war, people have won civil wars.
    Newt Gingrich: Pressure Iran to cut off Iraq, including blockading Iran.
    Newt Gingrich: Iraq & Syria are enemies--ok to talk if we understand that.
    Newt Gingrich: French didn’t abandon colonies in 1776; even when losing.
    Newt Gingrich: Iraqi Army risk their lives & take more casualties than US.
    Newt Gingrich: Date for withdrawal means terrorists exalt & follow us home.
    John McCain: Consequences of failure: regional chaos & we must come back.
    John McCain: In hindsight, Iraq invasion was still justified.
    John McCain: Timetable would be catastrophe, even if Iraq wants it.
    John McCain: Advocated leaving Somalia, but no comparison to Iraq.
    Joe Biden: Start moving combat troops out of harm’s way now.
    Joe Biden: Not micromanaging war to authorize & define mission.
    Joe Biden: Target date ok; deadline not ok; changing failed mission ok.
    Joe Biden: Think about the decade after Iraq, not just the day after.
    Joe Biden: There will be a residual force left in Iraq.
    Joe Biden: In 2002 Saddam posed a threat of purchasing a nuclear bomb.
    Joe Biden: Regrets his war vote because Bush misused war authority.
    Joe Biden: Vote for war allowed war only after all else failed.
    Joe Biden: US worse off than before Saddam because US lost credibility.
    Joe Biden: Partitioning Iraq is inevitable, as shown by history.
    John Edwards: Got war vote wrong based on bad intel & Bush incompetence.
    John Edwards: I accept responsibility for the huge price of war on America.
    John Edwards: Not naive to think that Iraq can become a democracy.
    John Edwards: No funding for the surge, but continue funding the troops.
    Mike Huckabee: Iraq war has made us overlook domestic agenda.
    Mike Huckabee: Opposing Bush’s troop surge is a dangerous position.
    Hillary Clinton: Cut off funds for Iraqi use, but not for troops.
    John McCain: Prefers more troops for surge, but 20,000 is sufficient.
    John McCain: Bush now has the right strategy, and it’s our last chance.
    John McCain: Prefers not to take troops out of Afghanistan.
    John McCain: Generals advising “no more troops” was a failed policy.
    John McCain: McCain Principle: Committing troops means completing mission.
    John McCain: Congress has no authority to cut off funds for Iraqi use.
    John McCain: If we leave Iraq, terrorists will follow us home.
    Chris Dodd: Switch to diplomacy; don’t inject 17,000 more soldiers.
    Chris Dodd: Withdraw troops; more troops do not bring more security.
Welfare & Poverty
    Bill Clinton: Clinton Global Initiative: partnering donors with problems.
    Bill Richardson: New Mexico ranked 48th worst in poverty, but moving forward.

The above quotations are from Meet the Press: Meet the Candidates 2008 series, individual interviews with Tim Russert, throughout 2008.

All material copyright 1999-2022
by Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org
Reprinting by permission only.

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