Part four of Decoder’s CNBC Debate pregame scorecard. All information from excellent Associated Press wrap of the candidate’s stances here. For information on all the other candidates, see Decoder’s complete list of candidate profiles here.
Debt: Only candidate to endorse the deal that averted a default on U.S. debt payments, “a positive step toward cutting our nation’s crippling debt.”
Economy: End corporate subsidies, cut regulations, lower taxes, spur jobs through energy development, seek repeal of Obama’s health care law.
Taxes: Favors lower income tax rates coupled with the elimination of deductions and loopholes. Cut corporate tax to 25 percent from a maximum 35 percent, and phase out all subsidies.
Energy: Used tax credits to promote clean energy in Utah but says he has learned that “subsidies don’t work and that we can no longer afford them.” Favors phasing out all energy subsidies and cutting regulatory obstacles to drilling and production. Says nation’s fuel distribution network should be subject to Federal Trade Commission and Senate Judiciary Committee review because it gives oil an unfair advantage over natural gas. “We need to break oil’s monopoly as a transportation fuel, and create a truly level playing field for competing fuels.”
Abortion: Signed abortion restrictions into law as governor, favors constitutional abortion ban.
Education: “No Child Left Behind hasn’t worked for this country. It ought to be done away with.” Favors more school choice,
Gay Marriage: Supports same-sex civil unions, with many of the rights of marriage, and says states should decide their own policies.
Environment: End the EPA’s “regulatory reign of terror.” Acknowledges the scientific evidence that humans contribute to global warming. As governor, supported regional cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and urged Congress to cap them. “I will break down barriers to the continued, safe use of fracking,” an environmentally risky technique for extracting natural gas.
Health Care: “Let the states experiment.” Says government should “absolutely not” require anyone to have health insurance, although he once said a mandate would be necessary for any comprehensive change to succeed. Open to restricting Medicare benefits for the wealthy. Seek repeal of Obama health care law.
Immigration: Unrealistic to deport all illegal immigrants. Says a fence is probably a necessary step to securing the border even though “the thought of a fence to some extent repulses me, because it is not consistent with the image that we projected to the rest of the world.” In Utah, threatened to veto a bill to repeal cheaper in-state college tuition rates for children of illegal immigrants.
Social Security: Open to raising the retirement age to qualify for full benefits and to restricting benefits for the wealthy.
Terrorism: Said Homeland Security Department has been heavy-handed, conveying a “fortress security mentality that is not American.”
Wars: Proposes scaling back U.S. involvement in international conflicts and, in contrast with most rivals, says Pentagon budget should be cut. Opposes U.S. military assistance of new Libyan government. Opposed U.S. military intervention in Libya absent congressional approval. In June, said the pace of withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan was too slow, and questioned whether the battle against the Taliban and other anti-government insurgents served U.S. interests any longer. Says to end nation building abroad “when this nation needs to be built.”
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)