POLITICS

Where do the candidates stand on the issues?

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Gingrich: Repeal the 2010 financial industry and consumer protection regulations that followed the Wall Street meltdown, and repeal the 2002 regulations enacted in response to the Enron and other corporate and accounting scandals. Restrict the Fed's power to set interest rates artificially low. Make work training a condition of unemployment insurance and have states run it.

Huntsman: End corporate subsidies, cut regulations, lower taxes, spur jobs through energy development, seek repeal of President Barack Obama's health care law. Break up megabanks as a hedge against future bailouts of the industry.

Paul: Return to the gold standard, eliminate the Federal Reserve, let gold and silver be used as legal tender, eliminate most federal regulations.

Perry: Spur economy by repealing rafts of regulations, Obama's health care law and the law (Dodd-Frank) toughening financial-industry regulations after the meltdown in that sector. Create jobs in energy sector by removing obstacles to drilling and production. Cut corporate taxes.

Romney: Lower taxes, less regulation, balanced budget, more trade deals to spur growth. Replace jobless benefits with unemployment savings accounts. Proposes repeal of the law (Dodd-Frank) toughening financial-industry regulations after the meltdown in that sector. Proposes changing, but not repealing, the (Sarbanes-Oxley) law tightening accounting regulations in response to corporate scandals, to ease the accountability burden on smaller businesses. "We don't want to tell the world that Republicans are against all regulation. No, regulation is necessary to make a free market work. But it has to be updated and modern."

Santorum: Spur jobs by eliminating corporate taxes for manufacturers, drill for more oil and gas, and slash regulations. "Repeal every regulation the Obama administration has put in place that's over $100 million. Repeal them all. You may have to replace a few, but let's repeal them all because they are all antagonistic to businesses, particularly in the manufacturing sector."

EDUCATION:

Bachmann: Wants to abolish Education Department, which she calls unconstitutional. Says federal government doesn't have a role in education; jurisdiction is with state and local governments. Tried to pull Minnesota out of No Child Left Behind law.

Gingrich: "Dramatically shrink the federal Department of Education, get rid of virtually all of its regulations." But supported Obama administration's $4 billion Race to the Top grant competition for states, which encourages compliance with national education standards, because it also promotes charter schools.

Huntsman: "No Child Left Behind hasn't worked for this country. It ought to be done away with." Favors more school choice.
Paul: Abolish the Education Department and end the federal role in education.

Perry: Turned down federal education aid to Texas worth up to $700 million because he saw it as imposing national standards on Texas schools. Says No Child Left Behind law gave Washington too much power to interfere with local government.

Romney: Supported the federal accountability standards of No Child Left Behind law. In 2007, said he was wrong earlier in his career when he wanted the Education Department shut because he came to see the value of the federal government in "holding down the interests of the teachers' unions" and putting kids and parents first.

Santorum: Voted for No Child Left Behind law. Wants "significantly" smaller Education Department but not its elimination. Criticized early childhood education programs as an attempt by government to "indoctrinate your children."

ENERGY:

Bachmann: Reduce regulatory impediments to drilling. Voted to open the outer continental shelf to oil drilling. Voted against tax breaks for renewable energy and conservation.

Gingrich: Let oil and natural gas industries drill offshore reserves now blocked from development, end restrictions on Western oil shale development. In Alaska alone, "We could liberate an area the size of Texas for minerals and other development."

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