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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

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

The Republicans don't really have any policies, except to protect the ultra rich from paying any taxes and to keep the poor and working classes from getting any benefits. Oh, some of them like to stick their noses in other peoples' private business and use their personal religious views to make laws. Democrats? I wish they would do more for working people, including student loan forgiveness for elderly adjunct college instructors!

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JoAnne Knowles
Portland, OR

It doesn't matter because none of the Republican candidates can relate at all to what the middle class is going through. They still want to bust unions and make kids do the janitor's duties. It is a step back of 50 years or more. Obama HAS to win, as we need to get the Supreme Court changed so they take the citizenship status of corporations away. That has totally tainted an already troubled campaign situation. The PAC money doesn't have to be accounted for at all. Until we get campaign finance reform and make it so candidates get a set amount of money from the government, we will have all the corruption we see now.

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Sandi Karnowski
Education MN
Crystal, MN

The two top vote receivers behaved like street hucksters. Their stated policy positions, if you can believe they are real, are out of touch with ordinary people. They should: Plan to improve the economy for all US citizens. They need to provide better jobs for young workers, mid-range workers and all who can work. Provide a living wage for all. Respect retirement situations and retirement plans. Provide medical for all by some affordable method, like the Accountable Care Act. Get our youth back in the top education range and give them hope for the future. Provide energy while protecting our environment: it can be done.

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Doris Robbins
4900R
Fairbanks, AK

My husband and I work 4 jobs together (I am a teacher). We are in the 15% income tax bracket. How in the world did Romney pay the same federal taxes as we did? He made 45,000,000.00. It would take a teacher about 900 years to make that amount. And he makes it in 1 year? That is despicable. Oh, and by the way, the paint in my classroom is peeling and my white boards cost about $1.00 because they so cheap! What can he do for us as Teachers?

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blanch reyna
Aft
san antonio , TX

There is not one Republican Candidate that speaks for my values or what is important to me. None of them have addressed how they would put Americans back to work, improve schools, address concerns about Wall Street or even talk about the disparity of income in this country. They have revealed themselves to be the most out of touch with what is going on in America or the world for that matter. American Exceptionalism is fine for Americans, but what about the rest of the world. This neocon attitude is what has gotten us in trouble in the first place.

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John Langley
Baltimore Teachers Union
Red Lion, PA

The economic issues important to the vast majority of middle class American families will not be addressed by the Republican candidates. We are not the constituency that matters to Republicans. When more Americans start to pay close attention to what politicians do once in office, rather than what they say when they are stumping for a job, we will regain the power and begin to rebuild a strong and vibrant American middle class. When people finally decide to turn off the TV, stop listening to the punditry class and start working together we will begin to solve some problems. We cannot elect our way to future prosperity .

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Betsy Marshall
Arlington Teachers Association
New Paltz, NY

Every one of these candidates is an ENEMY of labor, organized or not. Their ulterior motives are the same: to further marginalize the classes in this country until we live in a virtually feudal system. Regardless of who becomes the Republican nominee, the labor movement must support President Obama with all its heart, mind, soul and strength. I fear that if he is not reelected, workers rights will suffer irreparable damage!

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Frank Vail
Lake Shore CTA
Angola, NY

Under the first amendment right to freedom of speech, and assembly, every United States citizen who works for a living has a constitutional right to form a union, and to elect their representatives to negotiate on their behalf for better wages, benefits, and a safe, secure workplace free from discriminatory practices. Right to work laws are intended to undermine those rights, and weaken the collective power of working men and women, create an unequal playing field between workers and business owners, and allow business owners to violate laws that protect workers' rights. Candidates for public office should not support right to work laws.

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Karen Mainor
Phila. Federation of Teachers
Philadelphia, PA

For all of my adult life, the Republicans have endeavored to poison public opinion about unions and bust unions through any means they can. This is just a continuation of their tactics to weaken worker rights and opportunity for the working class while enriching and empowering the wealthiest of our citizens and largest of our corporations. I keep hoping that we can reverse their efforts through education and awareness efforts. Issues: Economic injustice, lack of fairness in opportunities for the working poor, educational costs and lack of equal opportunity, and the need for support for public schools versus private.

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KJ Lowry
Carroll ISD
Paradise, TX

The Republican candidates do not speak for me. They have no idea of the importance of a union, and its collective strengthening of issues that affect employees, or they do not care for people who work for a living. They are the rich, striving to separate the rich from the rest of us, seeming to want to create a new kind of serfdom, and deplorably suggesting that we are seeking entitlements when these programs have been promised us our entire lifetimes (I am speaking primarily of Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security). These are earned and fully paid for entitlements!

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Robert Brown
Tacoma Education Association
Fircrest, WA

The bulk of Republican candidates' positions on unions, education, health, earned benefit programs such as social security and medicare and the inequity of wealth in this country are an anathema to the sustainablility of working class Americans.

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William Spreter
NYSUT RC-7
Baldwinsville, NY

I want to hear the candidates' views on education and employment. As a teacher I want to know how these candidates will do better than did previous officials to prepare our young people for meaningful careers. Given that many of the parents of the children whom I teach have been caught in the web of poverty WITHOUT any safety nets, I want to see what the Republican candidates (or Dems for that matter) will do to improve the economy so that my students will flourish and teachers will be able to do their jobs without feeling unappreciated or even "bashed" by society.

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Maryann McCabe
uft
Bronx, NY

I really don't care what the Republicans discuss. I will not vote for any of them. They will make it harder than it is now on the working people of this nation. They want to take away many of the gains and rights people have worked for so that they can dictate their policies to us. They feel that if you do not have what it takes to work hard and get rich then you deserve to sufer. It is amazing how many poor people support this policy. It is the politicans that make the bad decisions that may bankrupt this country. But the Republicans want to blame the people that work hard to make a living and make them pay for it.

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Theodore Pointer
Local 1521A
Hawthorne, CA

These republican candidates are only talking about issues that polarize the people and help feed their greed. And for some reason, the people don't get it ! These republican candidates have no interest in improving the lot of the middle class.It's imperative that your organization get that message to the people through TV ads, Newspaper, Email etc. They are the job eliminators, not the job creators they say they are. Their entire objective from the beginning and still is today is to make Obama fail and to hell with the country's economy. I don't know about you, but I am concered for our middle class future.

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Paula Cherella
Sun City Center, FL

How do the R/C's plan on stimulating the economy out of recession? What are their concrete plans for bringing work once done overseas back into the states? What are their ideas or their "real" game plan for making education the true number one national priority it should be?

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Kevin Ray
Local #4756
Centralia, IL

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

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

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