Tuesday Cheat Sheet
of press time, Edwards has bowed out of the race. Giuliani
has dropped out as well, and is expected to endorse McCain.
staff’s look at the primary candidates and the issues
IRAQ WAR WITHDRAWAL: She voted to authorize Bush’s war
on what she has since called the “empty assurances” of the
administration to seek a diplomatic route instead, and says
that she will start “phased redeployment” within first days
WIRETAPPING: She opposes warrantless wiretapping and has
said so since at least 2005; she also opposes telecom immunity.
and “Free” Trade: With a very even, nonideological view
of trade, she appears to weigh each FTA on quantifiable merits.
Clinton has never seemed to fully embrace her husband’s devotion
to NAFTA, even voting against CAFTA.
Voted to build that 700-mile-long fence, however, Clinton
supports reducing the waiting period for legal immigrants
to receive government assistance and voted in favor of a guest-worker
In recent debates, Clinton has completely opposed torture.
However, she has made it clear that she would condone torture
if there were “an imminent threat to millions of Americans.”
Clinton voted against the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
Clinton’s voting record boasts a 100-percent approval
rating by Planned Parenthood. She calls abortion a “basic
Care: Universal health care has been Clinton’s prime objective
since the mid-90s when she spearheaded a failed initiative
as First Lady. Her current proposal, the American Health Choices
Plan, is for comprehensive and mandated universal coverage.
Policy: Clinton’s proposed energy policy centers around
reduced dependency on foreign oil with a goal of cutting foreign-oil
consumption in half by 2025 by repealing oil-industry tax
breaks and instituting tax breaks for alternative-energy research
IRAQ WAR WITHDRAWAL: Voted to authorize Bush’s war, but
he has since become an ardent critic. He says that he would
instigate an immediate withdrawal of 40,000 to 50,000 troops,
with a complete withdrawal in 9 to 10 months.
WIRETAPPING: He promises to end warrantless wiretapping
and to “fix” the excesses of the USA Patriot Act, which he
voted for in 2001.
and “Free” Trade: Mr. Two Americas has loudly criticized
the effect of free-trade initiatives on U.S. workers and,
on this issue, has earned himself the ranking of Most Liberal
from Forbes magazine.
He opposes a fences across the U.S./Mexico border and
supports expanding access to citizenship. He also co-sponsored
legislation that would have allowed states to offer in-state
tuition for illegal immigrants.
Edwards insists that “no torture will be tolerated” when
he is president and promises to do away with the CIA’s secret
He supports legal access to abortions. His voting record
received a 100-percent approval rating from the National Abortion
Rights Action League.
Care: Edwards proposes a four-part reform: Make insurance
affordable through tax credits and government programs; require
employers to provide or fund health coverage; create regional
purchasing pools to increase choice and competition; and require
all Americans to get insurance.
Policy: Edwards proposes to jump-start “a new energy economy”
by establishing a $13 billion-a-year New Energy Economy Fund
(financed by major greenhouse polluters), to cut big-oil tax
breaks, establish clean-energy incentives, and meet new energy
demands through efficiency, not increased energy production.
IRAQ WAR WITHDRAWAL: He says he views the war in Iraq
as vital to Middle East stability, saying that the U.S. must
have a “secure Iraq.” He has said that he would offer no “artificial
timetable for withdrawal.”
WIRETAPPING: He says that he favors using all means available
to defeat “terrorists” and will not go back to the days of
and “Free” Trade: Says that he supports NAFTA, but while
mayor of New York City, leveled pro-worker criticisms against
free trade. He has also made vague threats against Chinese
As mayor of New York City he was a vocal opponent of laws
that limited immigrant access to welfare services and police
protection, even filing lawsuit in Federal court. He does,
however, support the fence.
Giuliani has said that he is against torture but favors
“aggressive interrogation” of detainees. He says that he is
not sure whether waterboarding is torture or not.
Giuliani supported abortion rights as mayor of New York
City. He has since acknowledged his support of a wo man’s
right to choose but indicated that he might appoint Supreme
Court justices who support overturning Roe v. Wade.
Care: Has repeatedly criticized the Democrats’ universal
health care concept as “socialist.” Considers free-market,
competition-based solutions and tax cuts “the American way
to reform health care.”
Policy: Giuliani supports investment in every possible
form of energy, including domestic oil, natural gas, coal,
ethanol, fuel cells, geothermal power, wind, hydroelectric,
and nuclear power. His proposal to establish EnergyStat would
compile energy statistics for easy public tracking.
IRAQ WAR WITHDRAWAL: “Setting a timetable for withdrawal
is a mistake,” the former Arkansas governor says. “This country
has never declared war until ‘a week from Wednesday,’ we have
always declared war until victory.”
WIRETAPPING: “This war is not a conventional war,” he
says, “and these terrorists are not a conventional enemy.
I will fight the war on terror with the intensity and single-mindedness
that it deserves.”
and “Free” Trade: From the Republican ranks, he has been
the most vocal in his concerns over the effect of FTAs on
American jobs, deftly identifying that the words “free” and
“fair” aren’t synonymous.
For a long time seen as soft on this issue by Republicans,
Huckabee does support building the fence. However, he supports
and path to citizenship and, while governor of Arizona, fought
in support of scholarships for the children of illegal immigrants.
Huckabee told Fox News, “I don’t believe that we
ought to torture. I think it’s a policy that is beneath us.
It is obviously unproductive.”
Huckabee has compared legalized abortion to the Holocaust.
Care: “Our employer-based system has outlived its usefulness,
but the answer is a consumer-based system, not socialized
medicine,” he says. He wants to lower private costs through
competition and tort reform, and focus on preventative care.
Policy: Huckabee considers our current energy policy the
prime threat to our national security, the economy and environment.
Has said that his first act as President would be to deliver
a plan for energy independence centered around free-market-motivated
conservation and alternative energies.
IRAQ WAR WITHDRAWAL: He voted to authorize Bush’s war,
has criticized the management of the war, but has no plans
for withdrawal: “A greater military commitment now is necessary
if we are to achieve long-term success in Iraq.”
WIRETAPPING: He said that Bush’s warrantless wiretapping
was illegal when it was first revealed, but instead of ending
the program, he wants to make it legal.
and “Free” Trade: Proudly bears a seal of approval from
every pro-NAFTA think tank; the CATO Institute wants to marry
him. He has voted in favor of nearly every Free Trade Agreement.
Also viewed by many Republicans as soft on this issue,
McCain has staunchly supported initiatives such as a guest-worker
program and in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. He did,
however, vote for the fence.
A former prisoner of war, McCain himself was tortured
and has been an adamant opponent to the U.S. government’s
use of torture. However, McCain voted for the MCA.
McCain calls himself a “pro-life” candidate. He supports
an abortion ban except in the case of rape, incest, or where
the mother’s life is in danger.
Care: McCain supports making private health care cheaper
and more accessible through increased competition, federal
enforcement of fair business practice, and individual tax
incentives. He also supports preventative health initiatives.
Policy: McCain has called our oil consumption a “double
threat” against our national security and our environment,
and encourages free-market-driven focus on clean energy. He
has proposed a bipartisan plan to address climate change,
but has not outlined a truly specific energy policy.
IRAQ WAR WITHDRAWAL: He was not in office at the time
of the vote to authorize the war, and says that he would have
voted against it. He has pledged to pull all combat brigades
out of Iraq “within 16 months.”
WIRETAPPING: He says that this practice will not be allowed
under his administration, and also opposes telecom immunity.
and “Free” Trade: Obama voted against CAFTA, and, like
his fellow frontrunner, has demonstrated a balanced view toward
trade. However, his rhetoric has been a bit harsher, saying
that he would seek “amendments” to NAFTA.
Voted in favor of building a wall between the U.S. and
Mexico and increasing penalties for employers who hire illegal
immigrants, but joined Edwards in co-sponsoring tuition legislation
and supports a guest-worker program.
Obama voted against the MCA, saying that the bill authorized
torture: “This is not how a serious administration would approach
the problem of terrorism, and the sad part about all of this
is that this betrayal of American values is unnecessary.”
Obama says that a women’s ability to choose is a fundamental
right. Obama introduced the “Prevention Through Affordable
Access Act” in the Senate to make birth control more available
to teens and the poor.
Care: Obama has proposed a nationwide health-care program
modeled around the benefits available to Congress members.
The plan guarantees universal eligibility, but mandates only
health care for children.
Policy: Obama’s proposal to reduce carbon emissions echoes
California’s currently successful policy, focusing on reducing
transportation emissions and oil dependence and creating market-based
incentives for research and investment in clean energy.
IRAQ WAR WITHDRAWAL: He not only wants to bring troops
home from Iraq, but he also wants to bring them home from
Germany, Japan, Korea . .
WIRETAPPING: He opposes warrantless wiretapping, and was
one of the few Republicans to vote against the USA Patriot
and “Free” Trade: Again proving he shares little in common
with rank-and-file Republicans, this free-market Don Quixote
opposes all NAFTA-style FTAs, and supports withdrawal from
the World Trade Organization.
Close the borders, build the walls, deny access to services
for immigrants here illegally, offer no amnesty, and, he says,
end “birthright citizenship.” His rhetoric has matched his
voting record for decades.
Paul is staunchly against torture. He has used the phrase,
“Torture is terror.”
Google “Who is Ron Paul?” Paul would try to void Roe v.
Wade and hand governance of social issues, such as abortion,
over to the individual states.
Care: As a physician, Paul has an insider’s view on the
health-care issue. He believes that the root of our health
crisis is government intervention, and the solution is to
completely eliminate government regulation of the system.
Policy: He wants to restore a free market in energy production,
repealing federal taxes, tax incentives, and regulations that
impede the development of new energy. “Any source that truly
is cheaper and cleaner,” he says, “will not need government
WAR WITHDRAWAL: “The road ahead will be difficult but
success is still possible in Iraq,” he says.
WIRETAPPING: He says that he will continue it. Romney
has, both in recent comments and as governor of Massachusetts,
supported Bush’s warrantless wiretapping.
and “Free” Trade: Based solely on his rhetoric, the former
governor is a strong proponent of NAFTA-style trade agreements.
He supports building the fence, and does not support any
paths to citizenship for illegal immigrants. As governor,
he opposed legislation to allow illegal immigrants to secure
Romney says he wants to “double Guantanamo Bay,” and has
been evasive on his stance on torture and waterboarding, saying
that the U.S. should not outline its interrogation practices.
He supports giving the president authority to decide how to
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney supported abortion
rights. He has since stated that he would ban abortions and
later noted he would allow individual states to keep abortion
Care: Romney insists that access to health care must be
brought about by personal responsibility and market reform,
not government programs. He told USA Today, “We can’t
have, as a nation, 40 million people saying, ‘I don’t have
insurance, and if I get sick I want someone else to pay.’
Policy: Romney proposes ending our dependence on foreign
oil by securing control of said oil, increasing offshore drilling,
exploring alternative energies, and investing in “the full
exploitation of coal.” He has said that he doesn’t believe
in global warming.