Where candidates stand

Presidential hopefuls express views on issues from abortion to war

Posted: Monday, January 12, 2004

WASHINGTON Highlights of the presidential candidates' positions on a selection of issues:

Support abortion rights?

Republican President Bush: Only in cases of rape or incest or when a womans life is endangered.


Carol Moseley Braun: Yes.

Wesley Clark: Yes.

Howard Dean: Yes.

Sen. John Edwards: Yes.

Rep. Dick Gephardt: Yes.

Sen. John Kerry: Yes.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Yes.

Sen. Joe Lieberman: Yes.

Al Sharpton: Yes.


Bush: Supports.

Braun: Opposes.

Clark: Supports.

Dean: Supports for ""crimes such as terrorism or the killing of police officers or young children.

Edwards: Supports.

Gephardt: Supports.

Kerry: Opposes.

Kucinich: Opposes.

Lieberman: Supports.

Sharpton: Opposes.


Bush: Passed $1.7 trillion in tax cuts and stimulus. Favors $3,000 accounts to help unemployed with job-search expenses. Make temporary tax cuts permanent. More free trade deals. Ease business regulations.

Braun: Shift health care costs to federal income tax, relieve local property taxes by having federal government pay larger share of education costs.

Clark: Repeal portions of Bush tax cuts for richest Americans. No federal income tax to be paid by family of four making up to $50,000. Tax cuts for families with children making up to $100,000. $40 billion two-year tax rebate fund to help needy states and localities.

Dean: Repeal all of Bushs tax cuts, replace with unspecified ""tax fairness for middle-income earners. $100 billion two-year fund for domestic security projects, schools and transportation and communications systems.

Edwards: Repeal tax cuts for richest Americans. Tax cuts for U.S. manufacturing, new funds for business development. Cut federal work force by 10 percent over 10 years.

Gephardt: Repeal the Bush tax cuts, reintroduce middle-income cuts later. Health insurance plan to ease burden on companies and employees.

Kerry: Repeal tax cuts for richest Americans. Spend on highways, school construction, pollution cleanup, energy projects and more to create 3 million jobs in 500 days.

Kucinich: Repeal tax cuts for richest Americans. $500 billion for schools, transportation and environmental systems.

Lieberman: Repeal tax cuts for richest Americans. Cut taxes for middle-income earners even more than Bush has done. Cut deficit every year. New tax incentives for U.S. manufacturing, job creation and new-business investment.

Sharpton: Repeal all the Bush tax cuts. Five-year, $250 billion plan to fix transportation systems and reinforce domestic security.


Bush: Tightened standards for teachers, schools and student achievement. Favors vouchers to help some poor attend private schools.

Braun: Increase education spending. Opposes vouchers.

Clark: More money to states for education. Opposes vouchers.

Dean: No one to pay more than 10 percent of their income toward loans after postsecondary graduation. Reduce emphasis on standardized tests in public schools.

Edwards: One year of free tuition at public universities and community colleges for students who agree to 10 hours of community service a week. Opposes vouchers.

Gephardt: Spend more on after-school programs. Make the first $10,000 of higher education costs deductible. Opposes vouchers.

Kerry: $3.2 billion plan for high school students that would pay for four-year public college tuition. Reduce emphasis on test scores in public schools. Opposes vouchers.

Kucinich: Free public college education, to be paid for by repealing tax cuts to wealthiest people. Spend more on education.

Lieberman: Supports experimental vouchers. Spend more on after-school programs. Raise Pell grants to $7,760 in 2008. Money to public colleges for minority that increase enrollment and graduation rates of poor and minority students.

Sharpton: Constitutional amendment to guarantee a high quality education for all. Opposes vouchers.


Bush record: Withdrew from Kyoto global warming treaty. Reversed pledge to regulate industrial emissions of carbon dioxide. Accelerated clean up of old industrial sites. Proposes first national cap on mercury emissions and reductions in nitrogen-oxide and sulfur dioxide.

Braun: Spend more to lessen dependence on fossil fuels.

Clark: ""Tough new limits on power plant emissions. Reinstate a special tax on companies that generate the most toxic waste. Inclined to oppose drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Dean: Require 20 percent of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020. Strengthen Clean Air Act. Increase fuel economy standard to 40 mpg for cars, SUVs, minivans. Re-enter Kyoto negotiations but not ready to ratify immediately.

Edwards: Tougher pollution rules for farms. Unspecified increase in fuel efficiency standards for cars. No drilling in Arctic refuge.

Gephardt: Energy independence in 10 years by spending on renewable and cleaner energy. No drilling in Arctic refuge. Opposed raising mileage standards on SUVs and small trucks.

Kerry: No Arctic refuge drilling. Higher mileage standards. $20 billion from petroleum royalties to be used for cleaner energy. Independent of Middle East oil in 10 years.

Kucinich: Support Kyoto treaty. Toughen pollution penalties. Expand government ownership of utilities. Double energy from renewable sources by 2010.

Lieberman: Raise mileage standards. Tax breaks for clean-fuel cars. Spend more on clean coal. More Gulf of Mexico drilling, none in Arctic refuge. No need for foreign oil in decade.


Bush: Signed a nearly 80 percent expansion of farm subsidies in 2002 despite previous misgivings that the extra money would cause overproduction and depress prices.

Braun: Has spoken in support of farm subsidies, backed ethanol incentives in Senate.

Clark: Would examine corporate farm subsidies. Unspecified additional tax credits and other aid to help ""U.S. producers receive increased access to capital.

Dean: Prohibit meatpackers from owning livestock before slaughter to reduce corporate integration. Restrict federal payments to ""megafarms. Require that genetically modified food products be so labeled.

Edwards: Voted against ban on meatpacker ownership of livestock, now says he supports it, with states able to opt out in certain cases. Moratorium on new hog farm waste lagoons. $1 billion plan to boost rural business and high-speed Internet access. Supported 2002 expansion of farm subsidies.

Gephardt: Prohibit meatpackers from owning the livestock they process. Lower limits on subsidy payments so large farms get less and more money is available for small farms. Backed renewal of ethanol tax credit. Supported 2002 expansion of farm subsidies.

Kerry: Supports ban on meatpacker ownership of livestock. Supported 2002 bill that boosted farm subsidies.

Kucinich: Opposed 2002 expansion of farm subsidies. Would break up agricultural monopolies.

Lieberman: Supports ban on meatpacker ownership of livestock. Supported 2002 expansion of farm subsidies.

Sharpton: Says farm subsidies have benefited agribusiness at the expense of small farmers.


Democrats would ban job discrimination against homosexuals, extend hate-crime protections to gays and seek greater opportunity for them to serve openly in the armed forces. Democrats differ on gay marriage but all oppose constitutional amendment to ban it.

Bush: Opposes gay marriage. Has continued ""dont ask, dont tell policy for gays in military.

Braun: Supports right to gay marriage.

Clark: Supports right to civil unions.

Dean: Opposes gay marriage, signed first state law recognizing civil unions.

Edwards: Opposes gay marriage, supports domestic-partner benefits for same-sex couples.

Gephardt: Opposes gay marriage, supports right to civil unions.

Kerry: Opposes gay marriage, supports right to civil unions.

Kucinich: Supports right to gay marriage.

Lieberman: Opposes gay marriage, would let states decide about civil unions.

Sharpton: Supports right to gay marriage.


All Democratic candidates oppose granting gun makers immunity from civil lawsuits arising from wrongful use of weapons. All Democrats and Bush support renewing ban on assault-type weapons and requiring background checks at gun shows.

Bush favors granting immunity to gun makers from civil lawsuits. He criticized former President Clinton for weak enforcement of existing gun laws, but prosecution of people who lie on background checks has continued to lag.


Bush: Number of Americans without health insurance has risen in his presidency. Won passage of prescription drug benefit for older Americans that subsidizes costs for low-income patients and encourages private insurance companies to offer coverage for seniors who opt out of traditional Medicare. New tax-free medical savings accounts in place.

Braun: National health insurance providing single-payer universal health care.

Clark: Tax credits to subsidize insurance for middle-income children; insurance incentives for poor and uncovered workers, the unemployed, military reservists and veterans.

Dean: Expand state insurance program for poor children to include kids from middle-income families and poor adult workers. Tax breaks for middle-income workers, the unemployed and small companies.

Edwards: Tax breaks for childrens coverage, infants to be enrolled at birth in government program or private insurance. Subsidies to help two-thirds of uninsured adults buy coverage.

Gephardt: Guaranteed health insurance by subsidizing expansion of employer-based system. Tax credits and subsidies for children, poor workers and unemployed.

Kerry: Subsidies for children, unemployed, small companies and more. Government to help pay for extraordinary medical costs for insurers and employers that keep premiums for workers down.

Kucinich: National health insurance providing single-payer universal health care.

Lieberman: Expand state health insurance and create federal program to cover all children, no family paying more than 7.5 percent of income for kids coverage. Subsidies for uninsured workers, unemployed and parents at home.

Sharpton: Amend the Constitution to guarantee health care.


Bush: Grant temporary legal status to millions of illegal workers as well as people outside the U.S. who line up jobs in America, expanding existing guest worker program. Opposes giving illegal immigrants ""automatic path to citizenship.

Braun: ""Normalize our relations with documented as well as undocumented people who are here.

Clark: ""Create a temporary worker program that funnels workers to employers who need them and protects workers from exploitation.

Dean: Undocumented workers who ""work hard, pay taxes and otherwise obey the rules should be offered the right to become ""full participants in our society.

Edwards: Those who ""work hard and are responsible they have earned the right to be American citizens.

Gephardt: Confer ""legal status on those who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years, worked in U.S. for at least two and pass a criminal background check.

Kerry: People who have been in the U.S. at least five years, paid taxes and ""stayed out of trouble ought to be able to translate into an American citizen immediately.

Kucinich: Grant permanent legal status to illegal immigrants who have been in U.S. for at least five years. Grant conditional legal status and work authorization to those who have been in U.S. less than five years and otherwise not broken laws.

Lieberman: ""Undocumented immigrants who have lived here for five years, paid taxes and contributed to their communities have earned the right to become full-fledged Americans. Security check required. Expand work visas.

Sharpton: Says it should be easier for undocumented workers to get legal status.


Bush: Swift military victory followed by violent aftermath. Won passage of $87 billion for continued military operations, aid in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Braun: Opposed war.

Clark: Has spoken both in favor of and against decision to go to war.

Dean: Opposed war.

Edwards: Supported decision to go to war, opposed $87 billion package.

Gephardt: Supported decision to go to war and $87 billion package.

Kerry: Supported going to war but now says he did so based on faulty U.S. intelligence. Opposed $87 billion package. Replace U.S. provisional authority with U.N. leadership, boost number of Americans in uniform worldwide by 40,000.

Kucinich: Opposed United States going to war, wants United Nations to take over in Iraq.

Lieberman: Supported going to war and $87 billion package.

Sharpton: Opposed war.


Bush: Supports freer trade.

Braun: Voted for North American and world trade deals.

Clark: Supports freer trade with labor and environmental protections.

Dean: Wants to reopen North American Free Trade Agreement to reduce integration of U.S.-Mexican economies, add tough labor and environmental protections.

Edwards: Supported better trading conditions for China. Says trade deals should include labor and environmental protections.

Gephardt: Leading opponent of NAFTA, more favorable trade status for China. Insists on labor and environmental protections in any deal.

Lieberman: Supports freer trade and wants more multilateral deals.

Kerry: Supported North American and world trade agreements and elevated trade status with China. Wants labor and environmental standards in deals.

Kucinich: Would withdraw United States from multilateral trade agreements and insist on labor and environmental standards in any new agreements.

Sharpton: Opposes NAFTA, says trade deals cannot ignore labor and environmental conditions.

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