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Election 101: Where the GOP candidates stand on immigration, abortion and other social issues

Social policies are a defining issue in this, or any, Republican race. With the GOP electorate increasingly focused on social issues in recent decades, their leaders' views have shifted in kind. At stake: the support of the powerful evangelical conservatives, so-called values voters for whom social issues like abortion are deciding factors. While they have their differences, all the main candidates espouse conservative social values. Take a look at where each of them stands. 

- Husna HaqCorrespondent

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a business forum, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, in Greenville, S.C. (Rainier Ehrhardt/AP)

1. Newt Gingrich

Immigration

Champions securing the US-Mexican border, making English the official language, mandating E-Verify, empowering local “citizen boards” to determine which immigrants stay. Says US should modernize legal visa system. 

Education

Has worked with Al Sharpton and Arne Duncan to promote education reform. Supports charter schools, prayer in school, vouchers, merit-based teacher pay, even financial incentives for good student performance. 

Abortion

Signed GOP antiabortion pledge, wants to end federal funding for abortion and groups like Planned Parenthood and “nominate conservative judges who are committed to upholding Constitution as written.” 

Health care

Proposes repealing Obama’s law for a multipronged approach: allow sale of health insurance across state lines, reduce Medicare and Medicaid benefits, provide tax deductions for insurance premiums, pass medical malpractice reform, promote Health Savings Accounts. 


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