David Goldman, Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A look at where the 2012 Republican presidential candidates stand on a selection of issues.
They are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Gingrich: Platform calls for conservative judges and no subsidies for abortion but not a constitutional abortion ban.
Paul: Says federal government should have no authority either to legalize or ban abortion.
Perry: Now supports constitutional abortion ban after saying states should decide their own laws on such issues.
Romney: Says Roe v. Wade should be reversed by a future Supreme Court and states should decide their own abortion laws.
Santorum: Favors constitutional abortion ban and opposes abortion even in cases of rape.
Gingrich: As House speaker in 1990s, engineered passage of a seven-year balanced-budget plan. It was vetoed but helped form a bipartisan balanced budget later.
Paul: Would eviscerate federal government, slashing nearly half its spending, shut five Cabinet-level agencies, end spending on existing conflicts and on foreign aid.
Perry: Proposes capping federal spending at 18 percent of GDP; few specifics on spending cuts except to raise Social Security and Medicare age in future. Cut Congress pay.
Romney: Defended financial sector bailout, criticized GM and Chrysler bailout. Cap federal spending at 20 percent of GDP.
Santorum: Freeze social and military spending for five years to cut $5 trillion from federal budgets.
Gingrich: Repeal the financial industry regulations that followed the Wall Street meltdown. Restrict the Fed's power to set interest rates artificially low.
Paul: Return to the gold standard, eliminate the Federal Reserve, eliminate most federal regulations.
Perry: Repeal rafts of regulations, Obama's health care law and the financial-industry regulations passed after Wall Street meltdown.
Romney: Lower taxes, less regulation, balanced budget, more trade deals to spur growth. Replace jobless benefits with unemployment savings accounts. Repeal new financial-industry regulations.
Santorum: Eliminate corporate taxes for manufacturers, drill for more oil and gas, and slash regulations.
Gingrich: Shrink Education Department. But supported Obama administration's $4 billion Race to the Top grant competition for states.
Paul: Abolish the Education Department and end the federal role in education.
Perry: Turned down federal education aid to Texas worth up to $700 million because he saw it as imposing national standards on Texas schools. Opposed No Child Left Behind law.
Romney: Supported No Child Left Behind law. Once favored shutting Education Department, later saw its value in "holding down the interests of the teachers' unions."
Santorum: Voted for No Child Left Behind law, now regrets vote. Wants "significantly" smaller Education Department but not its elimination.
Gingrich: Let oil and natural gas industries drill offshore reserves now blocked from development, end restrictions on Western oil shale development.
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