Where Obama and Romney stand on the issues

A look at the positions taken by the US presidential candidates on a range of issues at the forefront of 2012 election.

In Profile: 100 Years In US Presidential Races

After having secured the nominations of their respective parties, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are continuing their heated campaigns across the 50 states in the hopes of being elected the next US president on November 6, 2012.

Below, you can see a short summary of each candidates’ positions on issues that have dominated the campaign, from the economy to abortion and national security.

Hover over any cell in the grid for more detailed information about each issue:

Barack Obama
Democratic Party
Mitt Romney
Republican Party
Abortion/Birth Control Pro-choice; provide free birth control for women enrolled in workplace healthcare plans. Pro-life; Stop federal aid to Planned Parenthood, the largest US provider of reproductive health services.
Debt/Deficit Reduce federal spending on military; eliminate wasteful spending; raise taxes on the wealthy. Reduce federal spending across the board.
Economy Bring overseas jobs back to the US; use short-term spending to promote job growth; push exports via free trade agreements. Decrease regulation; cut corporate tax rate; more trade deals; repeal recent laws regulating finance industry.
Taxes Increase taxes on wealthiest; raise rates on capital gains and dividends for rich; reform corporate tax code. Decrease all tax rates; slash corporate tax.
Education Promote alternative methods to traditional public education (charter schools); tie teacher evaluations to test scores; impose nationwide school standards. Uphold “No Child Left Behind” law; give states greater control over education reform; Promote charter schools and school choice.
Environment/Energy Invest in renewable energy sources; curb carbon emissions; reduce oil imports. Expand fossil fuel production to make US energy independent; start drilling in federally-protected areas; discontinue wind and solar energy development; against carbon emissions regulations.
Foreign policy Withdraw troops from Afghanistan; cut military funding; use sanctions and diplomacy. Increase strength of armed forces and military budget.
Gun control Does not list gun control as a priority. Against new gun-control legislation.
Healthcare Uphold healthcare reform law. Repeal healthcare reform law.
Immigration Create a legal path to citizenship for certain illegal immigrants; against deportation of illegal immigrant youths. Against creating a legal path to citizenship for most illegal immigrants; build US-Mexico border fence; sanction companies who hire illegal workers.
National security Expanded use of drones; banned use of aggressive interrogation techniques. Allow aggressive interrogation techniques; no constitutional rights for suspects.
Role of government In favour of federal regulation. In favour of state regulation; smaller federal government.
Same-sex marriage Legalise same-sex marriage; make same-sex marriages recognised at the federal level. Against same-sex marriage; ban the practice with a constitutional amendment.
Social Security/Medicare Reduce wasteful Medicare spending; against privatising social security. Replace Medicare with fixed payments; against privatising social security.

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