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General: What are your thoughts on the Republican presidential candidates’ policy positions? Which issues would you like the Republican candidates to address as this nominating process continues?

Comments: 135

As a Roman Catholic, I am most interested in the positions any of the candidates hold on abortion. I am opposed to abortion in any form and for whatever reason, and I feel that this issue is the most important because it involves morals and taking a human life. What issue could be more important than that?

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Susan McLaughlin
Bayonne, NJ

I want them to answer in detail why they are so afraid to ask the top 2% to pay the same rate as the average American family. Why does a balanced budget have to come at the expense of the other 98% of the country in reduced services for children and the elderly, reduced opportunities for the working class, and a standstill on increasing salaries/wages while expenses continue to rise.

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Anna Marie Garrett
Hillsborough Classroom Teacher Association
Tampa, FL

I feel whoever is the President - dem or rep -- entitlements, debt, jobs and dependency on oil should be addressed -- I don't believe in the fairness act (socialism) If you can't afford your house get out - I paid my mortgage I did not live above my means

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sanford strum
WSBFA
northport, NY

The positions of the Republican candidates are regressive and heavily favor the rich elite over the middle class and poor. Obama is clearly the better choice as far as I am concerned but, by endorsing him so early, I think the AFT has lost some clout and a chance to influence him on issues on which he has been plain wrong (like Race To The Top standardized testing and teacher evaluations), or lacking (like holding banks and Wall St. accountable for wrecking the economy and people's lives). With the AFT comfortably in his pocket now Obama and his advisors will take us and our votes even more for granted.

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Michael Kirshner
Michael Kirshner
Copiague, NY

The Republican candidates are out to protect big business, their pockets, corupt religious leaders. Our country was founded on religious freedom, not religious rule. Therefore their recent attack in the name of religion only proves one point they failed history class. We clearly see that religious rule in other countries is a huge failure, but they continuous support religious interference in politics. I am begining to think they are homegrown taliban who hide behind a title conservative. The middle class should be afraid of all these candidates.

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M Lave
toledo, OH

AFT supports Obama carte blanche based on "race to the top"? He stands for nothing and has appeased the very corporate machine responsible for eroding the public perception of a profession that should be respected and not constantly "reformed". "Race to the top" reduces the institution of education to the realm of business with it's attempt to quantify educational success to a test score and 'declarations" of effective teaching. Great teachers like myself know what success is and feels like but of course now we have to yet again feel worse about ourselves if the God almighty DATA defines our success. With education, numbers CAN lie.

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R. Smith
West IslipTA
Holtsville, NY

Two years ago I and my colleagues were fired from Central Falls High School, Central Falls, Rhode Island. On March 2, 2010 Obama and Arne Duncan came out and agreed that we should have been fired. This was done illegally and without any justification. How can AFT support a someone that supports this behavior? Last I looked No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and the other punative reforms were still in place.

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Robert Scappini
AFT/Central Falls RI
Central Falls, RI

Let's turn back the clock to 1900's industrialism, where the rich run with unlimited power. Forget safety, human rights, and just wages. These candidates have no regard for the efforts of the working men & women in the United States. Education, only for the ruling class is the Republican belief. Workers only enough education to do their jobs. I fear these peoples perspectives. Wake up Americans! Democracy is truly endangered.

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Jose' Luna
Jose' Luna
Holland, OH

The Republican candidates should be focusing tax reform, business reform and job creation. Currently they are only interested in protecting the wealthy, breaking unions and pushing a conservative social agenda. I hope the vast majority of Americans will wake up and realize that they must get involved in politics by voting in every election.

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Alex Humes
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
Philadelphia, PA

Republicans are locked into their version of tax and spend. What should be done is an increase or return to regulation. Deregulation caused this historic economic disaster. We should break up the to big to fail companies. We should regulate and enforce unfair trade practices. We should discourage the practice of union busting. Corporate America is the government.

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joe battista
pef
poughquag, NY

I don't see any hope for our future in either one of the candidates. Please, please, please, for the sake of us all, stop taking money from Education!!!!! I don't really care who is in office, just, please, make that happen! They are our future. From where I stand right now, as an Educator, you all have some serious work to do. Come into the classrooms. I challenge all of you. Pick a school and stay there for a week. See what we do, what we need, what we give, what we strive to keep together. With "very" little these days! How do we allow our own throat being cut? Shooting ourselves in the foot, you might say? I say! Wake up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Laura Lovelady
Mendocino County Federation of Teachers
Ukiah, CA

I'm quite HAPPY with the outcome of the Florida primary! I wish I weren't receiving the "stacked" e-mails from AFT regarding Obama. He's worthless, a disgrace to this country, and I pray that he will be SOUNDLY DEFEATED this fall! Democrats and Obama have accomplished NOTHING positive the past three years EXCEPT to destroy this country! Enough said!!

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Vicki Squires
WVSSPA
Mineral Wells, WV

America does not need or want a presidential candidate that believes that the most vulnerable,do not need assistance.Conservatives hate unions,therefore they loathe public schools and any thing that unions build.

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david chaffee
support staff
collinsville , IL

I have more interest in Obama than I do the Republicans. Why (in the State of the Union) does he encourage teachers to NOT teach to the test when his RTTT, SIG, and NCLB waiver processes all double down on the use of test scores to evaluate teachers and play a role in personnel decisions? A teacher who does not teach to the test has a significant chance of losing employment. He is either clueless or fabricating answers. It would be nice if AFT could point these contradictions out. AFT may be at the table in DC, but it is the rights of the members that are on the menu.

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Gary Ravani
Petaluma, CA

They all want to tell us how they will change the economy. BUT! they must get all the powers that dwell on the HILL to agree. SO! "How will they increase jobs and stablize our economy in the REAL world we live in today?" No changes just deal with what we have in hand? We the people know what has to be done. We have cut our spending and will not buy on credit. We are learning to do without. NOW "can the politician do without?" talk all you want "What can you really do?" Our president delievers a great speech but he can't unite the HILL. CHANGE has been made by the people. Our next president must work for the PEOPLE. not the $

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Paula O'Bannion
Dallas, TX

While I sympathize with many of your concerns about the Republicans, lets be fair. In large part, the state of our failing economy is currently driven by Demopcratic will to spend everyone's money on anything they want without regard for frugality, wisdom, or even right and wrong. Further, it is not the responsibility of government to secure employment for people. Government in business will always fail. Let's quit asking our president to find jobs for us and let him/her concentrate on upholding the Constitution, which is the only thing that ever made this country great.

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David Manning
UVU
Orem, UT

Unions express care only about member jobs, wages, and benefits. They will take the resources of others for union gains. Any source of wealth is a target for redistribution to the union. Conservatives care about preserving resources in a way that allows the investments to create the jobs in the first place. Liberals call the accumulation of resources greed. Conservatives call it preservation of the economic potential to build the national and local economies. Of course, greed exists on all sides, liberal and conservative, union and non-union. I'm disappointed that the AFT blog is so myopic.

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Greg Loberg
Sublimity, OR

The candidates must address immigration reform. We have young people who were brought to the United States as children without any documentation. This was not their choice. These children have grown up in our schools. They need appopriate documents to go on with their lives and achieve their dreams. This is why the candidates must address the DREAM Act. Start immigration reform by helping the undocumented young people who want to live and work in the United States as Americans.

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Rita L Fischer
Elba Central School
Elba, NY

I am very distressed that both parties aren't supporting the poor. But the Republicans especially. I am upset by the influence of money in every sector of the economy, and also the stance the Republicans have taken on immigration.

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wendy dannett
new york, NY

The Republican Agenda at this time.....is simply to protect the 1 % of Americans that have the majority of the wealth in our country...this includes the Large Corporations......the nature of the beast ..since time in memorium is protect the Empowered/Wealthy in any society.......it has moved from the 1950's and 1960's when the Wealthy paid their fair share..........Beginning with the Johnson Administration..Nixon.....Reagan.. Bush 1...Bush 11.......Corporations.....Wealthy were given Welfare...tax breaks.... At the end of the Clinton Administration our country had a surplus of monies...no problems... Bush destroyed that from 2000-2008

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Lee Hayes
Bisbee, AZ

For me, addressing the miserable job market would be high on my list of priorities for either the Republicans or the Democrats. Unfortunately, judging from the opinion(s) of other union brethren, the Republicans are singularly obstinate in their steadfast refusal to create jobs. Really? What (or whom) caused the Keystone Pipeline to fizzle? How about that proposed Boeing plant in South Carolina? Before you start with the chant of the perils of the right-to-work states and so on, please consider the injustices suffered by the potential numbers of people who will REMAIN unemployed when Boeing moves to China.

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Karl Reger
AFT @ Assabet Valley Technical H.S.
Marlborough, MA

I feel that the comments of each of the Republican candidates demonstrate how far they are removed from the average American working individual. Each of the candidates are very wealthy people, Mitt earning over 400,000 each week, with no conern whatsoever for the average Joe. If this is the best that the Republican party has to offer it is a sad statement on the state of affairs in America.

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Barbra Johnson
AFT 2121
San Francisco, CA

Which is further away from the reality of an ordinary working person on planet earth? Jupiter or the Republican candidates? Tough call. As an Adjunct Professor at a community college in a state where we have suffered 5.2 Billion in public education cuts, the Republican policies are truly from outer space. They do not address the need for decent paying jobs, they don't talk about making college affordable for the average family, and they ignore the need for affordable health care. Way out of touch!

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Richard Croxdale
Austin Community College Federation of Teachers and staff
AUSTIN, TX

I do not believe that the Republican candidates have any policy positions that would assist, cater, represent my interest. Mr. Romney to too wealthy to understand any issues that I have. Mr. Gingrich is an embarrassment to the political system. What happened to the days when if you had been divorced you were not eligible for the presidency? Mr. Paul and his son are out of touch. Rep. Santorium is the most sensible one but he has some extremely out of touch Republican views. I don't believe the Republicans have any interest in the middle class working individual.

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Martha Graham
AFT & SRP, local 691
Kansas City, MO

When is the federal government going to get out of the education business? ESEA, and Race to the Top are killing my poor students with unrealistic expectations for yearly growth. The worst thing NYS state did was put in for Race to the Top funding. The 4 models for school improvement are inflexible and basic unworkable in a district with multiple schools on a PLA list, especially when they raced the bar when our schools started to meet the bar. Neither party has come up with a workable education plan. This testing the kids to death is hurting true learning. The only one benefiting right now is the test creation business. It is not the kids.

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Lynn Garcia
BTF
Buffalo, NY

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