ELECTION 2012: GOP presidential candidate profiles

by Christopher Livingston
Staff Reporter

With the 2012 elections nearing, President Barack Obama has announced his intention to seek re-election. Here are the front-runners for the Republican Party going against him, as listed on realclearpolitics.com:

Herman Cain

Herman Cain, born December 13, 1945, is a former mathematician in the United States Navy and CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza chain. He also hosts his own self-titled radio show out of Atlanta, Georgia. He won the recent Florida Straw Poll and has been touring the country during his campaign, trying to gain support and recognition among voters.

Mitt Romney

Willard Mitt Romney, born March 12, 1947, is the former Governor of Massachusetts. With hopes that his experience as a successful businessman and former governor would boost his chances of being the President, Romney was able to raise as much as $18.5 million. According to the New York Times, his Mormon faith has been the cause of much skepticism, and it has been a topic that is synonymous with him as a whole.

Rick Perry

James Richard “Rick” Perry, born March 4, 1960, is the current Governor of Texas. Serving since 2000, when George W. Bush resigned to serve as President, he is the second-longest serving governor in Texas history. With $17 million in his campaign, he is still strongly running, despite sinking poll numbers. Recent shaky debate performances have also threatened to harm his numbers, as he has expressed his distaste for debates.

Newt Gingrich

Newton Leroy Gingrich, born June 17, 1943,┬áis the former Speaker of the House, serving under President Bill Clinton. He is returning from a 12-year hiatus from politics, in which he served as a political correspondent and published historical novels. He recently created a “21st Century Contract With America,” which is an extended version of the Contract With America he created in 1994 that helped propel the Republicans to a Congressional takeover.

Ron Paul

Ronald Ernest Paul, born August 20, 1935, is a congressman from Texas’ 14th congressional district. With a 20 year experience in Congress, Paul has expressed himself as a critic of American foreign and monetary policy, according to the New York Times. After a run for the presidency that did not see any delegates in 2008, he has raised $8 million towards his campaign.

Michele Bachmann

Michele Marie Bachmann, born April 6, 1956, is a congresswoman from Minnesota. In 2008, she became known for claiming then-candidate Barack Obama is “anti-American.” Since then, she has further been known for being against Democratic ideologies, and founded the Tea Party caucus in Congress. Recently, she presented a Tea Party response to Obama’s “State of the Union” speech, although Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan gave the official Republican response.

Jon Huntsman

Jon Meade Huntsman, Jr., born March 26, 1960, served as the Governor of Utah from 2005 to 2009. He served as American ambassador to China and has served on two other diplomatic missions under the Bush administration, making him experienced in foreign policy. Launching his campaign from Liberty State Park in New Jersey, he has expressed himself as an alternative to the competition and, like Romney, is a devout Mormon.

Rick Santorum

Richard John Santorum, born May 10, 1958, served as the United States Senator from Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2006. Santorum also served as a commentator for Fox News and columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He is one of the lower-tier candidates for presidency, as he received 1,657 votes and placed fourth in the Iowa Straw Poll, according to The New York Times.

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