Mitt Romney

Birthday: March 12, 1947

Family: Wife – Ann Romney, married in 1969. Five sons – Taggart, Matthew, Joshua, Benjamin and Craig.

Alma Mater: Bringham Young University (B.A.), Harvard University (M.B.A., J.D.)

Occupation: Business consultant and, later, CEO of Bain and Company; founding member of Bain Capital; Governor of Massachusetts (2003-2007).

Abortion

Romney opposes access to abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is threatened. Believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned by the Supreme Court and states should decide their own abortion laws. Supports defunding Planned Parenthood.

Gay Marriage

Believes that marriage is defined between one man and one woman. Opposes legal recognition of same-sex marriage and supports the idea of a constitutional amendment banning its legal status. Also opposes civil unions, but leaves the option open to states to decide what level of benefits state-recognized civil unions would receive. Would not support a reinstatement of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Immigration

Supports a more expansive border fence between the United States and Mexico. Opposes education to illegals at both K-12 and post-secondary levels. Would allow legal recognition of illegals who serve in the military. Wants to establish a nationwide verification program which would punish employers who knowingly employ illegal immigrants.

Economy

Wants to institute lower taxes, both corporate and income, close tax loopholes, deregulate certain industries, and increase trade agreements in order to grow economy. Opposes many aspects of the financial regulation bill, Dodd-Frank, in the hopes that it will spur investment. Supports replacing jobless benefits with an unemployment savings account.

Energy and Environment

Hopes the United States will become energy independent by the year 2020 through domestic exploration of coal, oil, and natural gas, including immediate approval of Keystone Pipeline and drilling on coastal shores of United States. Says effects/causes of global warming are not necessarily the result of human activity.

Healthcare

Promises immediate repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Believes states should decide their own policy in dealing with uninsured. Says his own plan would cover those with pre-existing conditions, though there is confusion as to the extent of which this would actually cover.

Education

Fundamentally believes that federal government should take a more minimized role in education and empower local schools to oversee their own public education systems. Supports stricter teacher evaluations and charter schools and opposes influence of teachers’ unions. Wants private lenders to take larger role in student aid instead of federal government.

Foreign Policy

Sees a nuclear-armed Iran as one of the biggest threats to the United States and Israel, one of its closest allies, and pledges to do more to ensure that Iran never acquires said weapons. Wants to establish greater connections with Syrian rebel groups and possibly arm them in their quest to topple Bashar al-Assad’s government. Believes American influence has fallen under President Barack Obama and wants to take a more hard-line approach in dealing with Russia and China, whom he labels a “currency manipulator.” In a recent debate with Obama, Romney supported a 2014 timetable for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

Paul Ryan

Birthday: January 29, 1970

Family: Wife – Janna Ryan, married in 2000. Three children – Liza, Charles, and Samuel.

Alma Mater: Miami University of Ohio (B.A.).

Occupation: United States Congressman from Wisconsin (since 1999).

Paul Ryan is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin’s First District, having served since 1999. Originally from Wisconsin, Ryan attended school at the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio where he majored in economics and political science.

Known as one of the more fiscally-minded members of the Republican Party, Ryan chairs the House Budget Committee where he has put forth his budget plan known as the “Ryan Budget,” which calls for drastically reducing the federal deficit through spending cuts and overhaul of entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. On social and foreign policy issues, Ryan shares many of the same stances that running mate Mitt Romney currently upholds.

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