Newt Gingrich, 68, is the former House Speaker. Gingrich lines up strongly with the political right’s positions on social and monetary issues. He co-authored the GOP’s “Contract with America” in 1994 that led Republicans to a House majority for the first time in forty years. Gingrich’s confrontation with former President Bill Clinton over the budget caused a government shutdown in 1995, and ethics battles led to his resignation as speaker in 1998.
Gingrich has also been a college professor and author. He is married with two daughters.
ECONOMY. Wants to restrict the Federal government’s power to set interest rates artificially low. Organized a seven-year balanced-budget plan in the 1990s as House speaker.
ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT. End restrictions on Western oil shale development. Wants to convert EPA into “environmental solutions agency.” Previously backed stronger environmental restrictions.
HEALTH CARE. Wants to repeal Obama’s 2010 healthcare reform and offer “generous” tax credit to help buy insurance.
TAXES. Wants to eliminate estate tax and keep Bush-era tax cuts. Would cut corporate tax to 12.5 percent.
WAR. Supported Iraq war and was against early withdrawal.
Ron Paul, 76, is in his 14th term as U.S. Representative for Texas. This is Paul’s third attempt at candidacy; he was the Libertarian Party’s candidate in 1988 and campaigned as a Republican in 2008. Paul is known for his proposals to dramatically reduce government spending.
Paul, an obstetrician and gynecologist, is married with five children.
ECONOMY. Favors a return to the gold standard and eliminating most federal regulations.
ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT. Believes human contribution to global warming is a “hoax.” Favors a removal of restrictions on drilling, coal and nuclear power.
HEALTH CARE. Wants to repeal Obama’s 2010 healthcare reform. Opposes federal subsidies for insurance coverage.
TAXES. Wants to eliminate federal income tax and IRS.
WAR. Wants to bring troops home from foreign posts.
Mitt Romney, 64, is the former governor of Massachusetts. Romney was a 2008 presidential candidate. His views on social issues, such as abortion, same-sex marriage and stem-cell research, differ from most conservative standpoints.
Romney is married with five children.
ECONOMY. Supports lower taxes, less Federal regulation and wants to replace jobless benefits with unemployment savings accounts.
ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT. Supports drilling for energy and believes cap and trade would “rocket energy prices.”
HEALTH CARE. Wants to repeal Obama’s 2010 healthcare reform. Supports private insurance over Medicare.
TAXES. Wants to eliminate estate tax and keep Bush-era tax cuts. Would cut corporate tax to 25 percent.
WAR. Wants to ensure number of troops to a “force level necessary to secure our gains and complete our mission successfully.”
Rick Santorum, 53, is a former Pennsylvania senator. Many favor Santorum’s firm stance for fiscal and conservative views. He will have to beat out more popular Republican candidates in order to gain a nomination.
Santorum is married with seven children.
ECONOMY. Opposes stimulus programs of Bush and Obama administrations. Wants to eliminate taxes for manufacturers and diminish regulation.
ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT. Supporter of drilling for energy and does not believe humans contribute to global warming.
HEALTH CARE. Wants to stop funding for Obama’s healthcare reform.
TAXES. Wants to keep Bush era tax cuts and propose zero corporate tax. Opposes any national sales tax.
WAR. Believes a certain amount of troops should remain in Iraq and troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan slower than Obama is administering.