The Republican Party primary is shaping up to be quite the contest. One could argue that it would be better settled in the form of a very uncivilized 13-person cage match (Gov. Chris Christie is most likely the favorite in terms of betting odds), especially considering that today’s American political landscape is all but civil to begin with.
While such a scenario is, unfortunately, completely unlikely, the GOP primary is at the very least figuratively heading towards a political death match. A fight to the death of political ideologies. Rand Paul’s libertarian leanings versus Chris Christie’s pledge to stop legal marijuana from terrorizing city streets. Or will it be Ted Cruz’ bible thumping evangelism versus Jeb Bush’s entire family lineage? The world holds its breath.
While the GOP primaries are still months away, there are 13 candidates and potential candidates already vying for the Republican ticket. Here are their stances, strifes and unabashed proclamations.
The man who started it all, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), has voiced quite a few of his beliefs since his announcement. Most recently that there is “no room for Christians in the Democratic Party” and that “There is a liberal fascism that is dedicated to going after believing Christians who follow the biblical teaching on marriage” (yes, fascism). But aside from hearing about him in the news on a daily basis, the Senator has shirked his current duties of, you know, being a Senator. “The Texas Republican seriously lags most of his colleagues in attending hearings and casting votes,” according to Politico. “He’s skipped the vast majority of Armed Services Committee hearings, is below-average in attendance on his other major committees and ranks 97th during the first three months of this year in showing up for roll call votes on the Senate floor.” But, how could he show up for his Senate responsibilities? He’s a got a campaign to run.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) broke out onto the GOP scene with a strong message, “Defeat the Washington machine and unleash the American dream.” He’s by no means a frontrunner but he’s made some waves with his criticism of pretty much everything happening in Washington and abroad. All while wearing jeans and a button down, much to the dismay of powerful GOP donors. But, Paul’s choice to don jeans makes him that much more sympathetic to voters. He’s just a regular American who drinks beer like you and me. As for the issues, he is one of the few GOP hopefuls that will admit that humans are directly affecting climate change, he is opposed to same-sex marriage but thinks the issue is better left to the states and, in general, Paul is a champion of state’s rights.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is actually widely considered to be one of the hopefuls with the greatest chance of securing the ticket. Like Cruz, however, Rubio’s Senate attendance is fairly dismal. But he’s got broad support from the Republican constituency. Yes, he does have to duke it out with Jeb Bush in Florida’s political hometown throwdown. The two camps have remained civil thus far, but as the primaries loom and Bush approaches his official announcement, things can escalate. As for the issues, Rubio believes the United States needs to be tougher on on the “spread of totalitarianism,” he’s progressive on immigration and giving immigrants a fair chance at citizenship and he’s against same-sex marriage (it should be noted that he’s against discriminating against gays and lesbians).
Jeb Bush, the former Governor of Florida, hasn’t officially announced his campaign but it’s pretty much guaranteed that he will. He’s the brother of former President George W. Bush and son of former President George Bush, so he has that going for him and against him. While he does have an entire political family lineage to overcome, he also has a lot of money. And money wins elections. Bush has slammed the Obama Administration on its foreign policy, calling it a disaster, he’s for a path to legal residence for immigrants and he’s adopted a standard Republican platform on most social issues. It will be interesting to see where his policy stances stand when he officially enters the race.
As for the outliers, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is edging his way to a 2016 campaign announcement alongside Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, whose net approval rating has plummeted according to Business Insider, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, who is believed to announce his campaign on May 5 and Rick Santorum, the former Republican senator from Pennsylvania. Hanging out in the cheap seats and looking for a chance at the spotlight are Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Carly Fiorina, the former business executive looking to make a splash in the public sector and Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who may or may not actually run. But, he’s thinking about it.
While the frontrunners in this GOP race are pretty clear by now, as the primaries approach things will really start getting interesting once these candidates start going after each other. It’s interesting to see 13 candidates vying for the Republican ticket. The GOP must really be unsatisfied with eight years of President Obama.