Essay Writing Samples

Republican Presidential Candidates’ Current Issues: Carson, Cruz, Rubio & Bush

This sample research paper explores the Republican contenders for the 2016 Presidential Election as well as how they stand on certain issues. The Republican candidates explored in this essay are:

  • Ben Carson
  • Ted Cruz
  • Marco Rubio
  • Jeb Bush

Introduction to the 2016 Republican contenders

The first caucus for the selection of an opposition presidential candidate is always held within the state of Iowa. Moreover, the way events turn out in Iowa is often understood as a barometer of how events are likely to turn out in other states within the nation. The 2016 presidential hopefuls will use this stage to introduce their position on many issues impacting the American voters.

Ben Carson’s background

Ben Carson was born September 18, 1951, in Detroit Michigan, raised by his mother and father, Sonya and Robert. His father was a bigamist and had two families; the two divorced and Sonya had little education to support her family of three. Sonya worked tirelessly and encouraged her children’s educations. Carson graduated with honors from Southwestern, and was a senior commander in the ROTC program; he earned a full scholarship to Yale and received a B.A. in psychology.

Carson attended medical school at the University of Michigan as a neurosurgeon. He became Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital at the young age of 33, and performed groundbreaking work separating conjoined twins; he did this successfully with infants, and unsuccessfully with adults. Carson recovered from prostate cancer and wrote three books on his philosophies concerning learning, success, hard work, and religious faith. Carson is running as a conservative republic presidential candidate.

Carson’s stance on the military, women, and gays

Ben Carson has some decidedly old-fashioned views regarding the military, although his resume does not indicate in what capacity he served. Carson has stated that he would consider banning gays in the military, and considers “social engineering” or putting gay or female service members in all positions in the military a bad idea (Badash). When asked whether he would ban gays from the military or “roll back” the new regulations allowing women to assume all combat roles available to men, Carson said he would need to look at the “evidence” in order to make those decisions (as cited in Badash).

Carson’s website is peppered with negative comments about President Obama’s dealings with terrorism, The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and American security; much of his campaign is based on growing the military, increasing digital security, and establishing new laws concerning the arming of military service members at U.S bases (Carson). Why, then, does Carson oppose women and gays in the military? This section examines his history, opinions on women in the military, opinions of men in the military, and whom his belief fit with.

Carson was a high-ranking military member, and despite an earlier CNN report, he told veterans at a Waterloo, Iowa town hall:

“he would never deny qualified women from combat positions” (Brewster and Margolin).

In the same meeting, he stated “You know, give me a break. Deal with the transgender thing somewhere else” and that he supports the “old ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ military philosophy” which was repealed in 2011 (Brewster and Margolin, paras 1 and 3).

Carson’s support of women in the frontline has varied greatly, but he did say “he would be ‘very frightened’ if there were a lowering of standards” for women in combat (Brewster and Margolin, para 5). Carson continued to state that women probably would not want to be “on the front line” and that they can’t hoist a person who weighs 175 pounds (Brewster and Margolin). Carson has also stated repeatedly that he does not think gays should be openly gay in the military, a stance that is familiar in conservative Republican candidates.

According to Esquire Magazine, Ben Carson has claimed over and over again that “he was offered entrance” to West Point military academy in 1969 (Bateman). His campaign people denied the claim, as did West Point – but it was printed in several books he has written. Although this error, the loss of many of his campaigners, and little foreign policy credentials have dragged him down behind Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, conservative evangelicals still support him (AP).

Ted Cruz’ background

Cruz lives in Houston, Texas, and is a conservative politician who received an undergraduate mathematics degree from Rice University, a bachelor’s degree in law from Princeton, and a law degree from Harvard Law School (Ted Cruz Biography). Cruz’ father was tortured and imprisoned during the Cold War in Cuba prior to meeting his mother at Rice University where she was pursuing a degree in mathematics. She became a pioneering computer programmer in the 1950s as a result (Ted Cruz).

Cruz serves on the Committees on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Judiciary, as well as the Joint Economic Committee and the Rules and Administration Committee. He has been a lawyer in Texas for years and was the first Hispanic Solicitor General of Texas. Cruz has been a part of several “landmark national victories” including protection of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms; the Ten Commandments; the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance; and the Texas Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment Law (Ted Cruz).

Cruz’ presidential campaign and the misleading mailer

Although Ted Cruz’ National Prayer Team appears to be hard at work on his website, they may not have prayed enough, or might have spent their time making sure they had more accurate information on voting violations in Iowa (Scott). Paul D. Pate, Jr. is Iowa Secretary of State, and an American businessman who identifies as Republican. In a statement on January 30, Pate stated:

“Today I was shown a piece of literature from the Cruz for President campaign that misrepresents the role of my office, and worse misrepresents Iowa election law” (Scott, para 2).

The mailer violated the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights and was sent out to people in “low expected voter turnout” areas and included strong language indicating that if these people did not vote, they would face a voter violation; it also stated:

“you individual voting history, as well as your neighbors’, are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well” (as cited in Scott).

Marco Rubio’s background

Rubio is also the son of Cuban immigrants, and a law school student who began as a congressional intern – he eventually became the youngest Florida state House speaker (Guray). Rubio was born in Miami, Florida, and also lived in Las Vegas, Nevada for a time. He successfully promoted laws against gangs and sexual predators, and also promoted measures intended to encourage energy-efficient appliance and vehicles and affordable health care for small businesses (Guray).

Rubio believes that the budget needs to be balanced; advocates freezing spending for everything except defense at 2008 levels; believes that climate change is real but is not caused by mankind; wants to repeal Obamacare; opposes net neutrality; has changed his stance on illegal immigrants and the path to legal citizenship several times; opposes abortion after two weeks and gay marriage; and supports corporate taxes being cut by 25% (Guray). Although he has not yet faced the amount of scrutiny Cruz, Trump, and Jeb Bush have, Rubio has a skeleton in his closet.

Rubio’s Misuse of Personal Finances

Marco Rubio, according to Graham, has used a Republican Party credit card for personal expenses, was fined for campaign-finance violations, has been accused of living lavishly on donations, and maintains a “close friendship” with a former congressman under investigation for improprieties, which Graham did not discuss in detail. As Graham stated, personal finances can:

“reveal either sloppiness or duplicity – traits that many voters feel matter or a president.” Graham also noted that “maybe people just don’t care.”

Perhaps the issues surrounding the other candidates make Rubio’s past financial mistakes pale in comparison – either way, his campaign seems to be the least rocked by scandal, although the press continues to try to find it. Rubio has lately been endorsing Mitt Romney and is being considered by many Republicans as a fantastic candidate for the vice presidency (Weinstein).

Jeb Bush’s political background and presidential family

Jeb bush is a current Republican candidate in the race for the next United States presidency, and was born in Midland, Texas, on February 11, 1953. Former president George W. Bush is Jeb’s brother, and George Bush, Senior, is Jeb’s father, also a former U.S. president (Jeb Bush Biography). Jeb Bush was the Florida governor from 1998 until 2007, and:

“declined to participate in any of the decisions related to the [2000] election” of his brother in order to avoid impropriety (Jeb Bush Biography).

During his governorship, Jeb Bush worked to improve Florida’s educational system, the environment, and economy (Jeb Bush Biography). Jeb Bush supported Common Core Standards and immigration reforms; in January of 2015, he started a political action committee and published an e-book chapter concerning his political views (Jeb Bush Biography). He announced his presidential bid in June of 2015 (Jeb Bush Biography).

Jeb Bush’s InnoVida business scandal

In 2007, Jeb Bush was offered a $15,000 per month position as a consultant at InnoVida which would also allow him to have board membership and stock options with the company (Frates).This offer followed the his previous position as governor of Florida, and Bush was then linked to the CEO Claudio Osorio who was eventually sent to prison for $40 million woth of investment fraud – and many of the other leadership positions were held by questionable people as well (Frates). The Chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, Ken Boehm, stated:

“it’s hard to imagine any due diligence investigation that would have missed lawsuit after lawsuit against Osorio alleging fraud, misrepresentation and ethics violations…these lawsuits weren’t hidden…they were in his home county” (as cited in Frates).

Bush, for his part, paid back over $235,000 of the $470,000 he was paid over the three years that he consulted at InnoVida and says that Osorio deceived him (Frates). Other top InnoVida officials have been charged and convicted of cocaine trafficking in 1980 and 1990 respectively, and Engin Yesil was imprisoned for six years for trafficking; Osorio was sued in 1999 in a class action suit which alleged securities fraud – the company collapsed shortly afterward (Frates).

Works Cited

Associated Press. “White House Brief: Things to Know About Ben Carson.” The Public Opinion. Watertown Pubic Opinion, 2016. Web. 29 January 2016.

Badash, David. “Ben Carson Says He Would Consider Banning Gays in Military, Decide on ‘Evidence’.” The New Civil Rights Movement. The New Civil Rights Movement, LLC. Web. 29 January 2016.

Ben Carson Biography. “Author, Surgeon, Philanthropist (1951-).” Biography. A&E Television Networks, LLC, 2016. Web. 29 January 2016.

Brewster, Shaquille and Emma Margolin. “Ben Carson on Military: ‘Deal with the Transgender Thing Somewhere Else’.” NBC News. NBC News, 2016. Web. 29 January 2016.

Carson, Ben. “Ben on the issues.” Ben Carson. Carson America, Inc. Web. 29 January 2016.

CNN. “Carson willing to rollback roles of women, gays in military.” CNN. Video. Cable News Network, 2016. Web. January 29 2016.

Frates, Chris. “Jeb Bush Missed Red Flags in Florida Business Scandal.” CNN. Cable News Network, 2016. Web 29 January 2016.

Graham, David A. “How Much Do Marco Rubio’s Personal Finances Matter?” The Atlantic. The Atlantic, 2015. Web. 29 January 2016.

Guray, Geoffrey. “What Does Marco Rubio Believe? Where the Candidate Stands on 10 Issues.” PBS. PBS, 2016. Web. 29 January 2016.

Jeb Bush Biography. “Governor (1953-).” Bio. Bio, 2016. Web. 29 January 2016.

Scott, Eugene. “Iowa’s Secretary of State Rips Cruz over Campaign Mailer.” CNN Politics. Cable News Network, 2016. Web. 29 January 2016.

Ted Cruz Biography. “Lawyer, U.S. Senator (1970-).” Biography. A&E Television Networks, LLC, 2016. Web. 29 January 2016.

Ted Cruz. “About Senator Cruz.” Cruz.senate.gov. Red Cruz, 2013. Web. 29 January 2016.

Weinstein, Adam. “10 Things You Need to Know About Marco Rubio.” Mother Jones. Mother Jones, 2015. Web. 29 January 2016.

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