By: Kateland Kirk
As 2020 approaches rapidly, so does the next presidential campaign. As of now there are 18 democratic and 4 republican candidates running for president in the next election. Having 22 candidates to choose from it can be hard to keep them – and their agendas – straight. Here is a cheat sheet for the top four contenders for each party as reported by the New York Times1 and CNN2.
Sanford – 59-year-old former Governor and Congressman of South Carolina initially was a President Trump supporter but has since become one of his biggest critics because of Trump’s “bad behavior”. He has admitted to having an extramarital affair which tarnished his reputation and almost led to his impeachment as Governor3. Sanford was also charged with 37 ethics violations during his time in office for improper use of state funds which he spent on personal first-class travel3. His main agendas are decrease national debt by cutting spending, replace affordable care act with private insurance, continue the building of the wall on the boarder of Mexico, and avoid unfair international accords while still addressing climate change4.
Trump – The 73-year-old real estate developer, one term President, and reality tv star’s main accomplishment while in office has been a tax cut that primarily benefited corporations and wealthy investors. He has also been working on undoing health care legislation, environmental regulations, and immigration policies that were passed under the Obama administration. Trump wants to continue his immigration restrictions, cancel or renegotiate international trade deals, withdraw troops from overseas, cure cancer, and eradicate AIDS5.
Walsh – 57-year-old conservative radio talk show host and former Congressman of Illinois also initially supported Trump but only because “he wasn’t Hillary Clinton”. He is noted for regretting his comments about Obama when he called him a” Muslim” and “traitor”. Walsh’s agenda as president includes decreasing the national debt, restraining executive power, securing the boarders, and mostly defeating President Trump.
Weld – The 74-year-old former Governor of Massachusetts and federal prosecutor ran as Vice President on the Libertarian Party ticket in the last presidential campaign. He identifies as “a voice for alienated moderates and mainstream conservatives”, as well as a fiscal conservative. His agenda is to legalize marijuana, invoke free trade, and initiate moderate immigration reform.
Biden – This will be the 76-year-old former Vice President and Senator of Delaware’s 3rd time running for president. He is notable for his down-to-Earth persona and being able to connect to the working class. Under his Presidency he would seek to: restore America’s standing on the global stage and strength economic protections for low income workers.
Harris – This 55-year-old candidate was formerly the Attorney General of California, District Attorney for San Francisco, and is currently a California senator. Harris is of Jamaican and Indian decent and believes this makes her better “suited to fight for people who have been traditionally ignored.”6 She joined the senate in 2016 and gained notoriety for her hard line of questioning to Trump’s cabinet members and Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh. Her agenda would include a tax cut to the middle-class and a push for more liberal civil rights in the Senate.
Sanders – 78-year-old former Congressman and current Senator of Vermont is a self-identified democratic socialist. He is noted for his ideas of free health care and free public college for all, climate change intervention, along with being firm and unchanging in his viewpoints on heavily debated topics. He was the Democratic Party’s runner up in the last presidential election. Also, he is noted for his dislike of millionaires and billionaires, but some find this strange since in 2016 and 2017 he fell into the top 1% based on income7. His agenda would include pushing free health care for all, free public college for all, and eliminating all student-loan debt.
Warren – 70-year-old former Harvard professor and current Senator of Massachusetts is open about her view on the need for “big, structural changes” within the government. She has a detailed plan with a wide range that aims to restructure and reshape the economy. Warren seems to be a feminist at the core who believes its time for a woman to be in charge and fix Washington. Her agenda would include pushing for income equality and defending a middle-class that she feels is under attack by big corporations and corrupt politics.