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2008 Presidential Candidates


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Joe Biden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current job: U.S. senator from Delaware

 

Birth date: November 20, 1942; Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

Family: Married Jill Tracy Jacobs (1977-present); Neila Hunter (1966-1972, died). Children: Joseph "Beau"; Robert; Amy (1971-1972); Ashley (1981). Five grandchildren.

 

Religion: Roman Catholic

 

Education: University of Delaware, B.A., 1965; Syracuse University, J.D., 1968

 

Web site: www.joebiden.com

 

On the issues:

 

Abortion

Supports abortion rights.

 

Immigration

Supported Bush-backed immigration reform legislation, which would have increased funding and improved border security technology, improved enforcement of existing laws, and provided a legal path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants. Voted to authorize construction of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexican border.

 

Iraq

Voted for use of military force in Iraq. Voted for war spending bill that would have withdrawn most U.S. troops by March 2008. Opposed Bush plan to increase the number of American troops in Iraq. Proposes plan for Iraq that includes establishing three regions within the country, engaging Iraq's neighbors, and drawing-down troops by the end of 2007.

 

Same-sex marriage

Opposes a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

 

Social Security

Opposes Bush plan allowing workers to divert some Social Security payroll taxes into private retirement accounts. Supports using private accounts as a supplement to the program.

 

Taxes

Opposed 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. Opposed extending tax cuts through 2010. Proposed legislation to roll back some tax cuts for those making over $1 million a year.

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Hillary Clinton

 

 

 

 

Current job: U.S. senator from New York

 

Birth date: October 26, 1947, Chicago, Illinois

 

Family: Married Bill Clinton (1975-present); Children: Chelsea (1980)

 

Religion: Methodist

 

Education: Wellesley College, B.A., 1969; Yale University Law School, J.D., 1973

 

Campaign Web site: www.hillaryclinton.com

 

 

On the issues:

 

Abortion

Supports abortion rights.

 

Immigration

Supported Bush-backed immigration reform legislation, which would have increased funding and improved border security technology, improved enforcement of existing laws, and provided a legal path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants. Voted to authorize construction of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexican border.

 

Iraq

Voted for use of military force in Iraq, but now says she would have voted differently "if we knew then what we know now." Supports de-authorizing the war. Voted for war spending bill that would have withdrawn most U.S. troops by March 2008. Opposed Bush plan to increase the number of American troops in Iraq. Supports a phased redeployment and a cap on the number of American troops in Iraq.

 

Same-sex marriage

Opposes same-sex marriage but supports civil unions. Says states should ultimately decide the issue. Opposes a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

 

Social Security

Opposes Bush plan allowing workers to divert some Social Security payroll taxes into private retirement accounts.

 

Taxes

Opposed 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. Opposed extending tax cuts through 2010.

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Chris Dodd

 

 

 

 

 

Current job: U.S. senator from Connecticut

 

Birth date: May 27, 1944; Willimantic, Connecticut

 

Family: Married Jackie Clegg; two children, Grace and Christina

 

Religion: Roman Catholic

 

Education: Providence College, B.A., 1966; University of Louisville, J.D., 1972

 

Campaign Web site: www.chrisdodd.com

 

 

On the issues:

 

Abortion

Supports abortion rights.

 

Immigration

Supported Bush-backed immigration reform legislation, which would have increased funding and improved border security technology, improved enforcement of existing laws, and provided a legal path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants. Voted to authorize construction of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexican border.

 

Iraq

Voted for use of military force in Iraq, but says his vote was based on inaccurate information provided to Congress. Voted for war spending bill that would have withdrawn most U.S. troops by March 2008. Says Americans would be safer if U.S. never invaded. Proposed plan for Iraq that includes phased redeployment of troops over a 12-18 month period and improved recruitment and training of Iraqi security forces.

 

Same-sex marriage

Opposes a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

 

Social Security

Opposes Bush plan allowing workers to divert some Social Security payroll taxes into private retirement accounts.

 

Taxes

Opposed 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. Opposed extending tax cuts through 2010, saying they primarily benefited the wealthiest Americans and increased the deficit. Supports tax incentives for businesses that invest in employee health care, pensions and innovations.

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John Edwards

 

 

 

Candidate status: Announced

Filed a statement of candidacy with the FEC on January 3, 2007

 

Current job: Lawyer, former director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

Birth date: June 10, 1953; Seneca, South Carolina

 

Family: Married Elizabeth Anania (1977-present); Children: Jack (2000); Emma Claire (1998); Catharine ("Cate") (1982); Wade (1979-1996)

 

Religion: Methodist

 

Education: North Carolina State University, B.S., 1974; University of North Carolina, J.D., 1977

 

Campaign Web site: johnedwards.com

 

 

On the Issues:

 

Abortion

Supports abortion rights.

 

Immigration

Supports legal status and citizenship for some illegal immigrants. Calls for working with Mexico to better control the border and stop illegal trafficking.

 

Iraq

Voted for use of military force in Iraq, but now says that was a "mistake." Supported war spending bill that would have withdrawn most U.S. troops by March 2008. Opposed Bush plan to send additional American troops to Iraq.

 

Same-sex marriage

Opposes same-sex marriage. Opposes a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

 

Social Security

Opposes Bush plan allowing workers to divert some Social Security payroll taxes into private retirement accounts.

 

Taxes

Opposed 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. Supports eliminating tax cuts for oil companies and the wealthiest Americans.

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Mike Gravel

 

 

 

 

Current job: CEO of the Democracy Foundation, lecturer

 

Birth date: May 13, 1930, Springfield, Massachusetts

 

Family: Married to Whitney Stewart Gravel. Children: Martin and Lynn. Four grandchildren.

 

Religion: Unitarian

 

Education: Columbia University, B.S., 1956

 

Campaign Web site: www.gravel2008.us

 

 

On the Issues:

 

Abortion

Supports abortion rights.

 

Immigration

Supports creating a legal path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants. Supports guest worker programs. Says the construction of a border fence along the U.S.-Mexican border is a cosmetic solution. Says that NAFTA agreement has worsened the problem, and that better trade policies can help reduce illegal immigration.

 

Iraq

Opposed use of military force in Iraq, saying invasion was against U.S. interests. Opposed Bush plan to send additional American troops to Iraq. Supports immediate troop withdrawal. Says "aggressive" and "skilled" diplomacy needed to end sectarian violence. Says non-binding congressional resolutions are ineffective and that Congress should instead demand an end to the war.

 

Same-sex marriage

Supports same-sex marriage.

 

Social Security

Supports investing money from the Social Security Trust Fund to improve solvency, and allowing workers to leave surplus benefits to their heirs.

 

Taxes

Calls for replacing the IRS and income taxes with a national sales tax and issuing funds to families living below the poverty line.

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Dennis Kucinich

 

 

 

Current job: U.S. Representative from Ohio

 

Birth date: October 08, 1946, Cleveland, Ohio

 

Family: Married Elizabeth Harper (2005-present); Sandra Lee McCarthy-Horn (1977-1986); Children: Jackie

 

Religion: Roman Catholic

 

Education: Case Western Reserve University, B.A. and M.A., 1973

 

Campaign Web site: http://kucinich.us

 

On the Issues:

 

Abortion

Supports abortion rights, though previously opposed them.

 

Immigration

Supports legal status for some illegal immigrants with long-standing ties to the U.S. Opposed legislation authorizing a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexican border.

 

Iraq

Voted against use of military force in Iraq. Voted against war spending bill with Democratic troop withdrawal plan because timeline was nonbinding and because it continued to fund the war. Supports ending war funding. Opposed Bush plan to send additional troops to Iraq. Opposes additional war funding and has called for troop withdrawal. Proposes opening talks with Iran and Syria to assist in Iraq.

 

Same-sex marriage

Supports same-sex marriage. Opposes constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

 

Social Security

Opposes Bush plan allowing workers to divert some Social Security payroll taxes into private retirement accounts. Says that the program is not in "crisis."

 

Taxes

Opposed 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. Opposed extending tax cuts through 2010. Supports restoring tax rates in place during Clinton administration.

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Barack Obama

 

 

 

Current job: U.S. senator from Illinois

 

Birth date: August 4, 1961; Honolulu, Hawaii

 

Family: Married Michelle Robinson (1992-present); Children: Natasha (2001) and Malia Ann (1999)

 

Religion: Christian; attends Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago

 

Education: Columbia University, B.A., 1983; Harvard University, J.D., 1991

 

Campaign Web site: www.barackobama.com

 

On the Issues:

 

Abortion

Supports abortion rights.

 

Immigration

Supported Bush-backed immigration reform legislation, which would have increased funding and improved border security technology, improved enforcement of existing laws, and provided a legal path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants. Voted to authorize construction of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexican border.

 

Iraq

Opposed use of military force in Iraq. Voted for war spending bill that would have withdrawn most U.S. troops by March 2008. Supports phased redeployment of U.S. troops. Opposed Bush's plan to send additional troops to Iraq. Had once called for troop withdrawal to begin by the end of 2006.

 

Same-sex marriage

Opposes same-sex marriage, but also opposes a constitutional ban. Supports civil unions.

 

Social Security

Opposes Bush plan allowing workers to divert some Social Security payroll taxes into private retirement accounts.

 

Taxes

Opposed extending 2003 Bush tax cut law through 2010. Supports eliminating marriage penalty and extending child tax credit. Supports scaling back capital gains and dividends tax cuts and re-examining tax benefits for the top one percent of earners.

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Bill Richardson

 

 

 

Current job: New Mexico governor

 

Birth date: November 15, 1947; Pasadena, California

 

Family: Married Barbara Flavin Richardson; no children

 

Religion: Roman Catholic

 

Education: Tufts University, B.A., 1970; Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, M.A., 1971

 

Campaign Web site: www.richardsonforpresident.com

 

 

On the Issues:

 

Abortion

Supports abortion rights.

 

Immigration

Supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes improved technology, more border patrol agents and a plan to provide legal status for some illegal immigrants. Opposes building the 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexican border authorized by Congress. Opposes giving state troopers the authority to detain illegal immigrants.

 

Iraq

Calls on Congress to de-authorize the Iraq war. Supports withdrawing all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2007 and redeploying them to Afghanistan and other international terrorism hotspots. Opposed Bush veto of war spending bill that would have withdrawn most troops by March 2008. Opposed Bush plan to send additional American troops to Iraq. Voted against authorizing the first Gulf War in 1991.

 

Same-sex marriage

Opposes same-sex marriage but supports legal rights and benefits for same-sex partners. Voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in Congress.

 

Social Security

Opposes Bush plan allowing workers to divert some Social Security payroll taxes into private retirement accounts.

 

Taxes

As governor, supported and signed into law cuts in capital gains taxes and income taxes in his first term. Proposed a tax cut package that includes breaks for active-duty and retired military personnel, low-income families and small businesses. Opposed Bush tax cuts, saying that they were not offset by surpluses or additional revenue.

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