Tomorrow's primary: TV blitzes. Debates. Shouting matches. The season of presidential primaries is not yet half over but is already notable for its surplus of advertisements and bad temper. But there also is talk about issues. The major contenders for the Republican nomination have debated foreign policy, social issues and each other. And the talk may be especially noticeable today, one day before voters in Maryland and seven other states (Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont) go to the polls.
In his own words: "There are a lot more people willing to hear my ideas about how to turn job-training programs into work scholarships for people changing jobs, helping parents take back their schools with a GI bill for kids, turning Washington welfare into neighborhood charity, a new branch of the armed services to control our borders, and cutting the pay of Congress and sending them home to create a part-time citizen Congress.
"We need a visionary architect. We need someone who can stand up there with Bill Clinton and paint a brighter picture of the future based on our principles than he can. It's time for new leadership. It's time to move on. I would like to be that new leader and lead us into the next century, asking less from Washington and more from ourselves."
On Abortion: Opposes federal involvement in the abortion issue, such as a constitutional amendment that would outlaw abortion. Says states should be allowed to restrict abortions.
On Economy: Favors expanding free-trade agreements to jump-start the economy and create jobs. Favor a balanced budget and proposes lower capital-gains and estate taxes and lower income taxes for working families.
On Foreign policy: Supports a strong military for combat missions but opposes the use of the U.S. military as "world police officers." Would limit U.S. participation in United Nations missions. Initially opposed, but now supports, having U.S. troops in Bosnia.
Patrick J. Buchanan:
In his own words: "Let me tell you why our campaign is catching fire across America. We have a conservatism of the heart that speaks to the forgotten Americans who have no voice in Washington, that speaks up for the right to life of the innocent unborn, that speaks up for the working men and women of America whose jobs are being sent oversees in trade deals -- done for the benefit of big transnational corporations that don't care about America any more.
"It's a conservatism of the heart that speaks up for middle Americans who are burdened by taxation, and who have to see the wives go out and work when they don't want to work.
"I want to represent in Washington those people who don't have representatives. And that's what this new conservatism is all about, my friends, and it is catching fire, and we are going to take it right to this nomination and into the presidency of the United States."
On Abortion: Supports a constitutional ban on abortions, with no exceptions. Promises to strip funding for Planned Parenthood and all "pro-abortion programs, including those awful United Nations programs we support."
On the Economy: Pledges to erect trade barriers to foreign imports and to end free-trade agreements, which he says steal jobs from the United States and hold down Americans' real wages.
Favors a flat tax that would retain deductions for home mortgage interest and charitable donations; would "shift the tax burden onto consumption of foreign goods." Asks corporations to share profits by increasing wages.
On Foreign policy: Would cancel all U.S. foreign aid except for TC disaster relief. Opposes placing U.S. troops under U.N. control. An opponent of expanding NATO eastward, says U.S. allies should pay their "fair share for defense."
Sen. Bob Dole:
In his own words: "We're just one election away from having a Republican president and a Republican Congress that share the same vision and one year away probably from a balanced budget. We'd be on our way to tax reform, credits -- tax credits for families with children -- on our way to welfare reform, putting our parents back in charge of school and untying the hands of the Justice Department, and letting our courts make certain we get good, conservative judges on our courts. We'll have moral leadership in the White House."
"If you're looking for a mainstream conservative with answers and ideas as we go into the next century, if you're concerned about your children and your grandchildren, about your job and your business, and about your community and about your state and about your nation, who do you want standing in the White House making those decisions for you?
"Somebody with experience. Somebody who's been prepared. Somebody with judgment, character, moral leadership, all the things we talk about but we haven't had lately."
On Abortion: Has spoken ambiguously on this subject but apparently opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when a mother's life is threatened by a pregnancy.
On the Economy: Supports a balanced budget and maintains that ending federal budget deficits is critical to overall economic growth. Favors a flat tax that preserves deductions for home mortgage interest and charitable donations. Supports NAFTA and other free-trade agreements, "as long as U.S. rights under these agreements are strictly observed." Favors tax cuts.
Foreign policy: A longtime advocate of a vigorous U.S. role abroad and warns that the Republican Party cannot afford to become "isolationist." Opposes placing U.S. troops under the command of the United Nations. Initially opposed, but now supports, sending U.S. troops to Bosnia.
In his own words: "What needs to be done for America? Government has grown so large -- so large that the control of the government and the control of the people is now in question. The whole premise of my campaign is returning control to the people. The reason that returning money, power and control to the people to the people is so controversial in Washington is very basic, because it flies in the face of the Washington establishment.
"Some say that a flat tax -- that is, a tax cut for families -- is the main part of my agenda. But it's only part of my agenda. Parents should control education, not the unions. People on Medicare should control their health plans, not the bureaucrats. Young Americans should have their own Social Security system that belongs to them, not the Washington politicians. Politicians might talk about such issues, but I've shown what to do about them."
On Abortion: Says he would not press for constitutional ban on abortion but would instead seek to inspire social changes that might result in fewer abortions.
On the Economy: Proposes replacing the current tax code with a 17 percent flat tax, which would end all deductions, even for home mortgage interest or charitable donations. Investment income would not be taxed. Initially opposed but now supports a balanced budget amendment. Supports and promises to expand free-trade agreements.
On Foreign policy: Says foreign policy should be run by the United States, not the United Nations. Supports a U.S. presence in Europe and Asia as a stabilizing force. Favored lifting the arms embargo on Bosnian Muslims rather than sending U.S. troops, but now that U.S. troops are in Bosnia says the nation must support them.