The definitive guide to every Republican (currently) running for President
Jeb Bush: June 15, 2015. The former Governor of Florida from 1999-2007, Jeb Bush is the son of a former President (George H.W. Bush) and the younger brother of another one (George W. Bush.) While in office, he was largely popular and is widely seen as a moderate conservative. Since he launched his campaign, he stumbled a few times–namely when it comes to defending the record of his brother; Jeb caused controversy when he said he thought the Iraq War was a good idea, unlike most of his fellow opponents.
Ben Carson: May 4, 2015. Carson has never held political office before–but he’s one of the most well-respected pediatric neurosurgeons in the world, whose life was made into a TV movie, Gifted Hands, in 2009, even before he entered politics. He entered the political fray with a well-received speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, and has since become a noted conservative commentator.
Chris Christie: June 30, 2015. Christie has been the Governor of New Jersey since 2010–and his 2009 election in deep-blue New Jersey was one of the first major victories of the resurgent Republican Party after Obama won the White House in 2008. Christie gained notoriety for taking on a large deficit and entrenched interests, like teachers’ unions–and gained a reputation for plain talk. He won re-election in 2012 by a landslide, but his approval rating has since fallen to historic lows in New Jersey.
Ted Cruz: March 23, 2015. A vocal conservative, Ted Cruz is one of three Latinos in the U.S. Senate. Cruz has a long history in politics: at one point, he was the youngest and longest-serving solicitor general in Texas history. He’s a graduate of Harvard Law and has garnered a reputation as someone unafraid to stand up for conservative principles.
Carly Fiorina: May 4, 2015. Fiorina’s never held political office before but, as the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, she’s no stranger to leadership roles. While at the helm of HP, Fiorina doubled the size of the company–but, following a power struggle with the board of directors, left after five years. She’s the only female candidate running for the Republican nomination.
Lindsey Graham: June 1, 2015. Graham represents South Carolina in the U.S. Senate–and he has a reputation as being strong on defense, often teaming up with his colleague, Sen. John McCain, to fight for the U.S. to take a stronger role in foreign affairs and for increased defense spending. On social issues, Graham tends to be more of a moderate. Graham, who has never married, would be the first unmarried President elected since James Buchanan in 1856.
Mike Huckabee: May 5, 2015. Huckabee, the former Governor of Arkansas and a former Baptist preacher, caused a stir in 2008 when he unexpectedly won the Iowa Caucus–running as a Christian and conservative voice in the Republican Party. Though he eventually lost the Republican nomination to Sen. John McCain, he gained a national profile–which led to him getting his own weekend news show on Fox News.
Bobby Jindal: June 24, 2015. Jindal is the Governor of Louisiana, but he’s been a rising star for decades–from running the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals at age 25, to becoming the president of the University of Louisiana system at age 28, to becoming a U.S. Congressman by age 34. Jindal’s star dimmed substantially in 2009 when he delivered the poorly-received official rebuttal to Obama’s State of the Union address. Since then, low approval ratings in Louisiana have further hurt his national ambitions.
George Pataki: May 28, 2015. George Pataki hasn’t held office in nearly a decade–but he served as Governor of New York for three terms, from 1995-2006. Pataki was one of just three Republican Governors elected in New York since 1923–but, while his first term enacted a number of conservative reforms, he maintained support by steadily moving towards the moderate center during his second two terms of office.
Rand Paul: April 7, 2015. Rand Paul is the Senator from Kentucky, and he’s the son of libertarian hero and former Congressman Rand Paul, who ran for Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and 2012. Paul is a trained ophthalmologist, who only entered politics in 2010. He’s one of the more libertarian-leaning candidates seeking the nomination, though less so than his father, and has attracted attention from both sides of the aisle for his filibusters, most notably on the issue of drone attacks on American citizens.
Rick Perry: June 4, 2015. Rick Perry is the former Governor of Texas–one of the longest serving governors in America, at the time. Despite his popularity, his 2012 run for the Republican nomination was marked with a number of missteps–notably, when he forgot his part of his answer at one of the Republican debates, and infamously uttered, “Oops!”
Marco Rubio: April 13, 2015. Rubio is the Senator from Florida. A Cuban-American, he shot to fame after he took on the popular then-Governor Charlie Crist, a moderate Republican, to run for the open U.S. Senate seat in Florida. He eventually defeated Crist in the primary–and, after Crist decided to run as an independent, Rubio defeated him again in the general election.
Rick Santorum: May 27, 2015. Santorum, a former one-term Senator from Pennsylvania, shocked the nation when he narrowly won the Iowa Caucus in 2012 over eventual nominee, Mitt Romney. His success, however, was short-lived. Since 2012, he has continued to build his national profile, and push conservative causes, especially his pro-life and religious beliefs.
Donald Trump: June 16, 2015. Trump is a businessman, allegedly worth $9 billion–and he’s always had an eye for flash, especially with his casino-hotels in Atlantic City, his one-time ownership of New York’s venerable Plaza Hotel, and more. He recently starred for a number of years on the NBC reality TV show, The Apprentice, where he coined the catchphrase, “You’re fired.” Trump has no previous political experience.