September 25, 2021

2016 GOP Presidential Candidates Comparisons

A comparison of the 3 top presidential candidates, Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio according to Conservative Review is shown below:

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on the issues presidential comparisons


Donald John Trump, Sr. is chairman of the Trump Organization. He is also the star of his own reality series, The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice.

A real estate developer for over 45 years, Trump has been dabbling in politics since 1987. Over the years, Trump’s party affiliation has changed almost as often as he’s considered running for office. Trump has said that he identifies with Democrats more than with Republicans and that he feels that Democrats manage the economy better than Republicans do. His political donations match his rhetoric, with hundreds of thousands of donations to Democrat committees and candidates.

If there is one issue on which Trump aligns with Republican primary voters it is immigration. Trump accurately identifies that an unsecure border is one the largest problems facing our nation. Some critics take issue with his delivery while others take issue with his policy prescriptions (secured border) as well as his delivery method. Judging from early 2016 poll numbers, many Americans have found Trump’s direct style of communication, as well as policy prescriptions, refreshing. Trump has also identified the incredible burden illegal immigration places on social services and welfare programs.

On other issues, however, Trump’s position strays from Republican orthodoxy or remains ambiguous due to his penchant for conflicting statements. Trump was for abortion rights before he was pro-life. He supports the NSA’s metadata collection program, but would deny the agency free access to the records. He rails against Obamacare, but favors universal healthcare. Trump supports traditional marriage and states’ rights to define marriage, but has argued that the Supreme Court has the authority to determine the issue for states. He believes we need to cut taxes, but advocates for a tax on the wealthy. Trump is also pro-bailout and supports government seizure of private property under eminent domain laws. Finally, Trump has avoided wading into many important issues, like religious freedom, fuel subsidies, and the Export-Import Bank.

During the campaign Trump has changed his stance significantly on the Second Amendment from his past positions.  The one-time supporter of assault weapons bans, and background checks, now says that he would end or significantly curtail both.  He has also strongly come out for national reciprocity on concealed carry permits.

Trump has shown the most conviction on foreign policy. While he has not released detailed plans on many of the world’s pressing problems, Trump has gone farther than most in reprimanding China as a bad actor, specifically calling out the Chinese government for perceived currency manipulation and meddling in world affairs. Trump is also very critical of OPEC, warning the U.S. against the stranglehold OPEC has on the world’s oil supply.

Finally, Trump has been largely silent on how he would fix the federal budget, saying only that deep cuts will help get us back on track. Trump has said little, however, about what those cuts would look like.

Trump’s bombastic personality affords him an over-sized microphone on the campaign trail. It is no surprise that voters gravitate towards him when he focuses on his conservative positions. But Trump brings a long paper trail of liberal contradictions to his campaign, and he will face an uphill battle to convince primary voters that he is the real deal.


A rising star on the national stage, Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz is three years into his first term in the Senate, the first elected position he has ever held. Unlike most freshmen senators, Cruz immediately became a central player in Senate policy and procedural fights — introducing legislation, speaking on the Senate floor, and headlining events around Washington, Texas, and the country. In the process, he has angered many in his own party who oppose his conservative policies and tactics.

Cruz has made it clear that he didn’t come to Washington to make friends, and he’s kept good on his promise to fight even when it isn’t popular.

In less than three years in the Senate Cruz has emerged as a leading conservative voice on a number of policy issues, from fiscal to social to foreign policy matters. Cruz has led the charge for the conservative movement on topics ranging from stopping Obamacare by defunding its implementation, to expanding energy production, to fighting gun control, to opposing debt limit increases, to opposing amnesty.

While known for his work on domestic issues, he has also been a key voice for a traditional, conservative foreign policy – one which is robust against our enemies but not overly interventionist. Some of his accomplishments include scuttling the IMF bailout, standing strong for Israel, and blocking an Iranian terrorist from obtaining a visa.

Before serving as a U.S. senator Cruz served as solicitor general of Texas where he defended several national landmark cases, successfully securing victories for conservatives in many cases, including U.S. sovereignty against the U.N. and the World Court in Medellin v. Texas; the Second Amendment; the constitutionality of the Texas Ten Commandments monument; the constitutionality of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance; and more.

In the Senate, Cruz has a near perfect voting record, rivaled only by Senator Mike Lee. Cruz has said that, “talk is cheap,” and Senator Cruz has the record to back up his conservative bonafides. The only blemish on his Liberty Score comes from voting against offsetting the cost of the Miller-Sanders veterans bill, a new entitlement set to cost taxpayers $500 billion over a decade.

Whether or not he can win a general election – or even the Republican nomination for president – remains to be seen. What is clear is that since 2013, the conservative movement has had no better friend in Washington than Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz. If conservatives are looking for a full-spectrum champion they can coalesce behind in 2016, Cruz’s wide conservative appeal puts him in a position to be that candidate.


Marco Antonio Rubio is the junior U.S. senator from Florida, and has been in office since January 2011. Rubio’s political career began in 1998 as a city commissioner for West Miami. In 2000, he was elected to the Florida State House where he served for eight years, two as Speaker. In 2010, Rubio won a long-shot primary bid against then-liberal incumbent Republican Governor Charlie Crist.

From the onset, Rubio was considered a Tea Party darling, a conservative lion, and a gifted orator.

There were high hopes riding on Rubio to be a strong conservative voice in the Senate, and for the most part, Rubio has lived up to those hopes. He has been a reliable vote on almost every key issue, from defunding Obamacare, to opposing debt ceiling increases, to opposing gun control, to voting against bloated budget bills and corporate welfare—except for sugar subsidies.

Rubio has been one of the more forceful voices for social conservatism and religious liberty.  While others have shied away from defending traditional marriage, Rubio has courageously gone on offense and is arguably one of the strongest pro-life and traditional marriage advocates across the field of candidates. He has argued against intolerance for opponents of same-sex marriage and against judicial overturn of gay marriage bans.

The gaping hole in Rubio’s conservative record is his active support for amnesty and comprehensive immigration reform with his fierce defense of the Gang of Eight amnesty bill. Rubio worked with liberal Democrats to fend off conservative attempts to kill the legislation and has even stated that he would maintain a portion of President Obama’s executive amnesty order, DACA, if elected.

Aside from immigration, Rubio has a weak spot for some aspects of the populist fiscal agenda. He opposes the requisite downsizing of government in order to balance the budget, supports keeping the costly Obamacare mandates on pre-existing conditions, and supported government intervention in hiring employees and incentivizing wage increases with government funding.

As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Rubio has been a vocal supporter of a strong national defense. Most of his positions overlap with mainstream conservatism, with the exception of his support for intervention on behalf of “Arab Spring” uprisings. Examples include his support for arming Syrian rebels and support for intervening in Syria and Libya.

As a state legislator, Rubio supported some anti-free market policies like energy subsidies and government energy mandates, but Rubio has trended in a more conservative direction since his election to the U.S. Senate. As a senator,  Rubio has consistently supported pro-growth tax and entitlement reforms, spending cuts, and a strong free trade agenda.

Rubio announced his run for president on April 13 in Miami’s Freedom Tower. In his speech, Rubio embraced conservative principles, offering voters a fresh voice and speaking boldly of American exceptionalism.