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THE ISSUES / JOHN EDWARDS
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About John Edwards:
Freshman North Carolina Sen. John Edwards entered the race January 2, 2003. A millionaire who made his fortune as a trial lawyer, Edwards is one of two Southerners in the race. Edwards was considered a possible running mate for Vice President Al Gore in his unsuccessful bid for the White House in 2000.
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Editor's note: This chart features brief summaries of candidates' viewpoints on some issues, based on their statements and records. Most candidates have offered more comprehensive explanations of their positions on these and other issues. More information may be found on their campaign Web sites.
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TOPIC
POSITION
Affirmative Action
Supports affirmative action policies
Gay marriage
Leave same-sex marriage to states; supports partnership benefits
Gays in the military
Favors allowing gay men, women to serve openly in military
Gay adoption
Supports adoption by gay men, women
Hate crime legislation
Supports adding sexual orientation to hate crime legislation
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TOPIC
POSITION
National Missile Defense
Says NMD should not be first priority in WMD proliferation
Increase size of Army
Maintain military with advanced training, technology and adequate resources
Program budgets
Exempt Defense Department spending from proposed cuts
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TOPIC
POSITION
Drilling in ANWR
Opposes oil exploration in Arctic refuge
Alternative fuels
Support more use of ethanol as alternative to oil
Energy policy
Cut R&D funding for major oil companies
Gas mileage requirements
Supports increasing requirements for cars
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TOPIC
POSITION
Drug costs
Supports re-importation of prescription drugs from Canada
Medicare solvency
Simplify enrollment and control costs
Prescription drugs benefit
Supports adding drug benefit to Medicare
Nationalized health care
Proposes health insurance coverage for all children
Sue HMOs
Supports right to sue HMO decisions after appeal
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TOPIC
POSITION
Enemy combatants
Against military tribunals and labeling U.S. citizens "enemy combatants"
Patriot Act
Supports Patriot Act; says admin. abused power in using law
Immigration
Additional personnel needed for immigration agencies
Intelligence agencies
Wants creation of new domestic intelligence agency
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TOPIC
POSITION
War in Iraq
Supported the war
Iraqi reconstruction
Wants other countries, institutions to join reconstruction
Pre-emption policy
Military force should be last resort, not first
Afghanistan
Int'l peacekeeping force must be expanded in size, scope
Middle East
U.S. must help Middle East nations move toward democracy
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TOPIC
POSITION
Abortion
Supports a woman's right to an abortion
Death penalty
Supports death penalty
Drug policy
Expand treatment for at-risk youth; improve drug sentencing
Gun control
Favors gun show background checks, assault weapons ban
Education reform
Voted for NCLB; proposes federal aid to hire more teachers
Supreme Court
No public position; member of Senate Judiciary Committee
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TOPIC
POSITION
Social Security
Opposes privatizing Social Security
State fiscal crisis
More aid for states to cover rising Medicaid, security costs
Tax cuts
Supports focused tax cuts for middle class
Budget deficits
Reinstate budget caps, budget enforcement rules
Job creation
Encourage business investment; maintain fiscal discipline
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NOTE
• AG: Attorney General; ANWR: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; CAFÉ: Standards that provide tax and other incentives for consumers to purchase and alternative fuel vehicles; COPS: Community Oriented Policing Program; DOMA: Defense of Marriage Act; GLBT: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered; NCLB: No Child Left Behind; NMD: National Missile Defense.
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