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Wednesday September 17th 2014

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Presidential Election Side-By-Side

Barack Obama (I) D
Age & Birthplace: 51; Honolulu, Hawaii
Alma Mater: Occidental College, Columbia University (B.A.), Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Occupation: 44th President of the United States, community organizer, lawyer, Constitutional law professor, author
Religion: Christian

Willard (Mitt) Romney R
Age & Birthplace: 65; Detroit, Mich.
Alma Mater: Stanford University, Brigham Young University (B.A.), Harvard Business School (M.B.A.), Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Occupation: Former Governor of Massachusetts, businessman, author
Religion: Mormon

Where They Stand
The IN compiled this fact sheet based on data gathered from barackobama.com, mittromney.com and knowmycandidate.org—a non-partisan website that compiles “bios, policy information, and multimedia files about each candidate.”

Abortion
Obama: Supports Roe v. Wade
Romney: Currently opposes Roe v. Wade; but in 1994 he supported abortion rights, but personally opposed; believes states should decide abortion laws, not the Supreme Court; supports the Hyde Amendment which broadly bans the use of federal funds for abortions, vowed to end federal funding to Planned Parenthood

Courts/Judicial Nominees
Obama: Appointed two justices during his first term—both women
Romney: Will “nominate judges in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito”; believes the right next step is for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade

Education
Obama: Launched “Race to the Top” which encourages states to raise their standards for college and career readiness; capped repayments on federal student loans at 10 percent of income; established the American Opportunity Tax Credit; doubled funding for Pell Grants and voted in favor of shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education
Romney: Supported No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

Energy
Obama: Opposes Keystone XL pipeline, opposes domestic drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; supports a mandatory cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions; wants to create a 5-year, $50 billion project for energy and climate change to finance research
Romney: Opposes cap-and-trade legislation, supports Keystone XL pipeline, has proposed a $20 billion package for energy research & new car technology; believes that increasing our own production and partnering with our allies Canada and Mexico to achieve energy independence on this continent by 2020

Equal Rights
Obama: The first sitting president to publicly announce his support for same-sex marriage; repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” allowing gay service members to serve openly in all branches of our military; endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act; signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act; extended hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights to LGBT couples
Romney: Will appoint an Attorney General who will defend the Defense of Marriage Act, vowed to champion a Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman

Healthcare
Obama: Signed the Affordable Care Act into law—which calls for patient protections like coverage for pre-existing conditions, not letting insurers cancel policies when patients get sick, and by 2014 will require individuals to buy health insurance or pay a fine
Romney: Vows to repeal Affordable Care Act on day one if elected; helped create similar legislation while Governor of Massachusetts that many experts say was a model for Obama’s plan

Immigration
Obama: Supports the DREAM Act—which says that “young people, who were brought here through no fault of their own, should be able to earn citizenship through military service or the pursuit of a higher education”; has failed to produce a comprehensive plan for immigration reform even though it was a promise from his first campaign
Romney: Opposes amnesty because he believes that it acts as a “magnet” encouraging illegal immigration; as governor he vetoed in-state tuition benefits and opposed driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants

Jobs
Obama: 31 consecutive months of job growth translating to 5.2 million new private sector jobs during his first term, plans to eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and create incentives for businesses who bring those jobs back home
Romney: Will reduce the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent; facilitate negotiation of new trade agreements; initiate leasing in all federal areas currently approved for exploration; consolidate federal retraining programs and return funding and responsibility for these programs to the states

Social Security & Medicare
Obama: He won’t accept reform that slashes benefits for future generations or turns Social Security over to Wall Street but has no plan listed for how to do this; his Affordable Care Act eliminated $716 billion in wasteful spending relating to Medicare including subsidies to insurance companies; on track to close the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap commonly referred to as the “doughnut hole”
Romney: Believes that “the retirement age should be slowly increased to account for increases in longevity”; also “believes that benefits should continue to grow but that the growth rate should be lower for those with higher incomes”

Taxes
Obama: Will let the Bush tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000 expire; supports lowered rates for the manufacturing industry
Romney: Will make the Bush tax cuts permanent, vowed to lower corporate tax rate across the board to 25 percent; will maintain current tax rates on interest, dividends, and capital gains; eliminate the Death Tax; repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

Back to Vote 2012: IN’s Election Guide