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Republican Candidates Comparison

Essay by   •  August 2, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,569 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,402 Views

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Candidate comparison

We have chosen three Republican candidates that we believe pose the most threat to the campaign of Gary Johnson. Two of them, Mitt Romeny and Michele Bachmann, are the two frontrunners for the entire 2012 Republican campaign. The third is an analysis of Ron Paul, who Gary Johnson is often compared to, given their similar libertarian views that seem to be vying for the same pool of voters. The threats will be assessed on the issues of the economy/spending, healthcare, and foreign relations, believed to be the three biggest issues concerning voters, with their stances taken from each campaign website. The concept of fundraising will also be considered.

When assessing the 'threat' that each candidate poses, it is important to remember that Gary Johnson is near the bottom of the long list of candidates in terms of percentage points, and, given a radical difference in ideology when compared to most candidates, the list of threats becomes longer and more contrasting. One could say that when running as a libertarian candidate, everyone is considered a threat.

Johnson vs. the Mainstream

Spending Reforms

Mitt Romney, like Gary Johnson, is a former businessman and favors fiscal responsibility as one of the cornerstones for his campaign, splitting the issue into two main areas: curbing spending and reforming entitlement programs.

Romney blames the Obama administration for allowing the spending deficit to reach double digits and thus forcing the country to borrow large sums of money to pay off the debt, sinking the economy further. To combat these issues, Romney proposes spending caps and the repeal of "Obamacare," which he says will cost taxpayers a trillion dollars over the course of a decade, and a balanced budget ( In terms of the reform for entitlement programs, meaning those of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, Romney cites that such spending has taken over half of all government spending, but has not laid out a definite set of steps to such reform.

Michele Bachmann's campaign touches on both topics, those of spending cuts and reforming of entitlement programs. She claims that the programs will one day claim 95 percent of the national budget, driving it to $45 trillion ( But Bachmann is taking a very staunch stance against raising the debt ceiling, playing toward the recent volatility in the media and staying reactive to current events.

While these views are shared by Gary Johnson, both plans are a threat to his campaign because they talk of imposing spending caps and are not detailed in their approaches. Gary Johnson takes a very specific stance and details things that not only need to be cut, but "slashed." The language he uses, calling the management of Social Security "lunacy," and his ideas of limiting government might not sit well with some voters, or the Republican Party itself (


As stated above, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann have been very open about their desires to repeal Obama's healthcare plan.

Mitt Romney states that he will do so immediately upon entering the presidency ( His other reforms include giving states more power over healthcare matters and empowering individuals and business to purchase health insurance for themselves through tax advantages for doing so (

Bachmann cites studies that show 30-50 percent of employee-sponsored healthcare programs will be lost in the wake of Obamacare, increasing the burden on the already trillions it will impose on the economy. She also says that she will give more power to doctors and less to bureaucrats and push for innovations in finding cures, rather than new ways to simply treat patients (

The threat this poses to Gary Johnson is ambiguous. While he has been outspoken about repealing Obamacare, his campaign website has no mention of a stance on healthcare. Other candidates have detailed plans, and with it being such a key issue, it will be something highly scrutinized.

Foreign Policy

Romney and Bachmann both take a multifaceted approach to foreign policy. The backbone to both stances is a strong military, with an emphasis on using it prudently, but not being afraid to. Romney proposes consolidating all US diplomatic efforts under one government agency to adequately address concerns. He also promotes strengthening NATO and allowing easier entry for other nations into the alliance (

Bachmann does not have a specific section on her campaign site about foreign policy in particular. She does, however, have a section on her military stance and the strategy concerning it and the war on terror that does address international issues. While she does hint at strengthening ties with Great Britain, "our most trusted ally," much of her "stance" consists of criticizing Obama's handling of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. This lack of a direct communication



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