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Candidate positions: Barack Obama

The following positions reflect those used for Barack Obama in the Select A Candidate survey. They come from the candidate's public statements, Web sites, and responses to Minnesota Public Radio questionnaires. In some cases, candidiates have failed to respond to inquiries, and their position is noted as "No known opinion."


Issue Question Candidate Position
Sub-prime mortgage Do you support the government directly buying distressed mortgages from home borrowers and lenders? ANSWER OPTION
No.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Obama and Biden will crack down on fraudulent brokers and lenders. They will also make sure homebuyers have honest and complete information about their mortgage options, and they will give a tax credit to all middle-class homeowners. (More Info)
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Iraq What is your opinion on the war in Iraq? ANSWER OPTION
There should be a timetable for the removal of U.S. troops.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
According to Barack's Web site, "At the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations in November 2005, Senator Obama called for: (1) a reduction in the number of U.S. troops; (2) a time frame for a phased withdrawal; (3) the Iraqi government to make progress on forming a political solution; (4) improved reconstruction efforts to restore basic services in Iraq; and (5) engaging the international community, particularly key neighboring states and Arab nations, to become more involved in Iraq. In January 2006 he traveled to Iraq and met with senior U.S. military commanders, Iraqi officials and U.S. troops in Baghdad and Fallujah. Back to top
Afghanistan What changes would you propose to the war policy in Afghanistan? ANSWER OPTION
Redeploy troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, and increase nonmilitary aid.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Obama would increase non-military aid by $1 billion. He said in August, "As President, I would deploy at least two additional brigades to Afghanistan to re-enforce our counter-terrorism operations and support NATO's efforts against the Taliban. As we step up our commitment, our European friends must do the same, and without the burdensome restrictions that have hampered NATO's efforts. We must also put more of an Afghan face on security by improving the training and equipping of the Afghan Army and Police, and including Afghan soldiers in U.S. and NATO operations." (More Info)
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Issue Question Candidate Position
Immigration What is your position on immigration in the United States? ANSWER OPTION
I favor a guest worker program, while tightening border security.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
On June 7, 2007, Obama was among the senators voting in favor of a cloture motion that would have cut off debate on a measure to provide a guest worker program, and advance the measure. (More Info)
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The mortgage crisis What do you think should be done -- if anything -- in the wake of the near collapse of companies specializing in subprime mortgages, and the foreclosures of homes? ANSWER OPTION
Impose penalties on "irresponsible lenders" to be used to create a special fund to provide temporary mortgage relief for homeowners.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Obama has filed legislation in the Senate to define and penalize mortgage fraud. (More Info)
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Taxes Do you believe the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts should be made permanent? ANSWER OPTION
No

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Opposed extending 2003 Bush tax cut law through 2010. Supports eliminating marriage penalty and extending child tax credit. Supports scaling back capital gains and dividends tax cuts and re-examining tax benefits for the top one percent of earners. (Source: CNN) Back to top
Issue Question Candidate Position
Education Please select the comment that most closely matches your view on education (K-12). ANSWER OPTION
Increase Head Start funding, reward successful teachers, pay teachers more, modify certification and teacher preparation process to avoid unnecessary and expensive coursework to become a teacher. Fund and reform No Child Left Behind. Increase federal aid for college.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Obama highlights his education plan on his Web site, including expanding early childhood education, paying teachers more, fund and reform No Child Left Behind, and provide more federal aid for college tuition. (More Info)
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Social Security Do you favor the concept of privatization of Social Security to any degree? ANSWER OPTION
No

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
While saying "everything is on the table" when asked about keeping Social Security solvent, Barack told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on 5/12/07 that "privatization is not something I'm interested in. Back to top
Health care Do you generally favor or oppose the concept of universal health care in America? That is, require people to have health insurance and provide a mechanism for meeting the requirement. ANSWER OPTION
Favor

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
The time has come for universal, affordable health care in America," Obama said in a speech in Iowa City, at the University of Iowa's medical school in May 2007. (More Info)
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Issue Question Candidate Position
S-CHIP The SCHIP program is designed to subsidize health coverage for families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private insurance. Recent debate in Congress centered around a proposal to increase spending to expand the program. Do you favor or oppose the proposed expansion? ANSWER OPTION
Favor

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Mr. Obama voted for the legislation in the Senate. (More Info)
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Abortion Do you support or oppose legalized abortion in the United States? ANSWER OPTION
Support

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
In the Democratic candidates debate on April 26, 2007, Obama said, " I think that most Americans recognize that this is a profoundly difficult issue for the women and families who make these decisions. They don't make them casually. And I trust women to make these decisions, in conjunction with their doctors and their families and their clergy, and I think that's where most Americans are." (More Info)
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Energy Do you support federal assistance for the production of ethanol and/or biofuel as an alternative to oil? ANSWER OPTION
Yes

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
On April 3, 2006, Illinois Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama delivered a speech in Chicago titled "Energy Independence and the Safety of Our Planet." In it he said, "Already, some cars on the road have the flexible-fuel tanks necessary for them to run on E85, a cheaper, cleaner blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. But millions upon millions of cars still don't have these tanks. It's time for them to install those tanks in every single car they make, and it's time for the government to cover this small cost, which currently runs at just $100 per car." (More Info)
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Issue Question Candidate Position
Death penalty Do you favor or oppose the use of the death penalty for certain crimes? ANSWER OPTION
Favor

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
According to the Pew Forum on Religion and American Life, "Obama says the death penalty "does little to deter crime" but he supports it for cases in which 'the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage.' While a state senator, Obama pushed for reform of the Illinois capital punishment system and authored a bill to mandate the videotaping of interrogations and confessions." (More Info)
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Gun control What are your views on firearm regulation? ANSWER OPTION
I believe in the right to keep and bear arms. But, I think we need to renew the expired assault weapons ban and we must be aggressive about enforcing current gun laws. I believe in closing the gun show loophole and making firearms childproof.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
In response to questions from the Washington Post Obama said, "I do think that reasonable gun control measures reduces violent crime and saves lives. I respect the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms. But we can't deny that gun violence has taken the lives of too many Americans. I believe that through common-sense measures, we can keep guns from those who may pose a threat, while also protecting the rights of legitimate hunters and sportsmen...I would close the gun-show loophole and require mandatory background checks on purchasers at gun shows...Closing it would not impair the rights of hunters and other lawful gun owners. I also believe that we should make the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent. Those weapons belong on a foreign battlefield, not on our streets. Finally, I support making guns in this country child proof." (More Info)
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Climate change Do you favor or oppose federal regulation of greenhouse gases? ANSWER OPTION
Favor

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
In October 2007, Sen. Obama announced a plan that impose a national cap on carbon emissions. Said the New York Times, "He proposed instituting a mandatory 'cap and trade' program across the economy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the level recommended by top scientists, a figure that he did not specify Monday. Under his plan, businesses would be required to buy allowances to pollute, which would create financial incentives to limit energy use or reduce emissions." (More Info)
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Issue Question Candidate Position
G.I. Bill Expansion Do you support a $50 billion expansion of the G.I. Bill to pay college tuition at a public university and other expenses for soldiers who have served 3 years since Sept. 11, 2001? ANSWER OPTION
Support

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Obama voted for the bill and said "Senator Webb and the leaders of both parties have introduced a 21st century GI bill that would give this generation of returning heroes the same chance at an affordable college education that we gave the greatest generation." (More Info)
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