The Baggage, the Gaffes and the Billionaires

See how the 2016 presidential candidates stack up.

By Lauren Kelley, Tim Dickinson


The Democrats (1)
Hillary Clinton
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Hillary Clinton

Secret Service Codename?
Blackberry
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Hillary Clinton Overlay
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Hillary Clinton
Age
68
Religion
Methodist
Resume
Lawyer. Former first lady of Arkansas (1983-1992), first lady of the United States (1993-2001), U.S. senator (2001-2009) and secretary of state (2009-2013). Failed 2008 presidential candidate. Former board member of the Clinton Foundation (2013-2015). Potentially historic female presidential nominee.
"We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt."
—Clinton, in 2014
Signature gaffe
In a 2014 interview, Clinton said of her family's time immediately after her husband left office, "We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt." This rankled many commentators, who pointed to the Clintons' ability to make many millions of dollars in the ensuing years. (Clinton later walked back the comment, calling it "inartful.")
Scariest belief
That, at one time, invading Iraq was the right thing to do. (She now says she regrets voting for the war.)
Home-state clout
New York has 29 electoral votes and went blue in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: Priorities USA Action.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Alice Walton, George Soros, Marc Benioff and Haim Saban have all reportedly supported Clinton's presidential ambitions.
Baggage
The Clinton name, and its association with numerous scandals: Lewinsky, Whitewater, Vince Foster, Emailgate, the Clinton Foundation's finances, Benghazi, etc. The Clinton name, and its association with Bill Clinton — seen as a member of a political dynasty. Many progressive Dems consider her too hawkish, too wealthy to be in touch with ordinary Americans and too establishment. Voted for the Iraq War. Up against significant sexism in the media and from the political world.
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Bernie Sanders
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Bernie Sanders

Secret Service Codename?
Indie
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Bernie Sanders Overlay
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Bernie Sanders
Age
74
Religion
Jewish (non-practicing)
Resume
Recording artist (a 1987 folk album, re-released in 2014). Former mayor of Burlington (1981-1989) and U.S. representative (1991-2007). Current U.S. senator. Has done stint as Senate veterans' affairs committee chair and held a nearly nine-hour filibuster (#filibernie) against tax cuts for the rich. Is the longest serving Independent ever to hold a seat in Congress.
"A major problem of our campaign finance system is that anybody can start a super PAC on behalf of anybody and can say anything. And this is what makes our current campaign finance situation totally absurd."
—Sanders, in May 2015
Signature gaffe
Around the time Sanders launched his 2016 campaign, Mother Jones unearthed a bizarre 1972 essay by the presidential hopeful, in which Sanders discusses rape, masturbation and gender roles. Sanders' team has dismissed it as a four-decades-old "dumb attempt at dark satire," but some people have been put off by the piece.
Scariest belief
Sanders — who represents a state with few gun laws and low rates of gun violence — has voted in favor of NRA-backed gun laws and against several gun control measures.
Home-state clout
Vermont has three electoral votes and went blue in 2012.
Where the money flows
Sanders has said he does not support super PAC funding for his campaign, though his supporters have set up at least one PAC: Bet on Bernie 2016. He said in May that the average donation to his campaign had been around $40. His leadership PAC is called Progressive Voters of America.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Sanders says he is committed to raising funds from grassroots supporters, rather than ultra-wealthy donors.
Baggage
Is up against the well-funded, well-oiled Clinton campaign, and a media narrative that tends to paint Clinton as the inevitable nominee. Lacks the Democratic Party support that Clinton enjoys. And will enough Americans vote for a self-described democratic socialist to take over the White House? Has had trouble shoring up support from people of color.
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Lincoln Chafee
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Lincoln Chafee

Secret Service Codename?
Millimeter
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Lincoln Chafee Overlay
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Lincoln Chafee
Age
62
Religion
Episcopalian
Resume
Former racehorse farrier, mayor of Warwick, Rhode Island (1993-1999), U.S. senator (1999-2007) and governor of Rhode Island (2011-2015). Was the only Republican senator to vote against the Iraq War.
"Let's be bold — let's join the rest of the world and go metric."
—Chafee, during his June 2015 campaign announcement speech
Signature gaffe
In a 2010 radio interview, Chafee angered many New England baseball fans by criticizing former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, repeating an untrue rumor about how he once painted his sock red to make it look like he was bleeding. (At the time, Schilling's video game company was considering a move from Rhode Island to Massachusetts as part of a controversial multimillion-dollar economic development plan.)
Scariest belief
He wrote in George H.W. Bush on his 2004 presidential election ballot. (He was not a fan of George W.)
Home-state clout
Rhode Island has four electoral votes and went blue in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: As of early summer 2015, his supporters had not established one.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Unclear, though Chafee and his wife are quite wealthy — they had a reported net worth of some $60 million in 2007 — and Chafee's wife, Stephanie Danforth Chafee, donated to his 2010 gubernatorial campaign.
Baggage
Has virtually no name recognition outside tiny Rhode Island. Has been mocked for focusing on U.S. adoption of the metric system. Doesn't appear to be even trying to raise significant funds. Does not have deep roots in the party — he only joined in 2013, after serving as a Republican U.S. senator and then switching his affiliation to Independent in 2007.
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Martin O'Malley
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Martin O'Malley

Secret Service Codename?
Balto
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Martin O'Malley Overlay
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Martin O'Malley
Age
53
Religion
Roman Catholic
Resume
Failed Maryland state senate candidate (1990). Former Baltimore city council member (1991-1999) and mayor (1999-2007). Former governor of Maryland.
"President Obama is moving America forward, not back."
—O'Malley at the 2012 DNC, walking back his earlier assertion that America had not gotten better under Obama
Signature gaffe
In a 2012 television interview, O'Malley answered in the negative when asked if America was better off than it had been when Barack Obama took office, providing fodder to Republican critics of the president. (O'Malley quickly walked back his answer.)
Scariest belief
There's not much about O'Malley's beliefs, as stated, that could reasonably be called "scary." But that might signal a problem for the candidate: What DOES he believe?
Home-state clout
Maryland has ten electoral votes and went blue in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: Generation Forward.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Some of O'Malley's past political donors include hedge-fund billionaire Tom Steyer and real-estate heir Stephen Bing.
Baggage
His association with Baltimore, which recently exploded into protests and riots in the wake of Freddie Gray's death, raising questions about how good a job O'Malley has actually done in the region. Not enough of a national political presence, and not much Democratic Party support. Considered a longshot next to Hillary Clinton.
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Jim Webb
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Jim Webb

Secret Service Codename?
Annapolis
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Jim Webb Overlay
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Jim Webb
Age
70
Religion
Nondenominational Christian
Resume
Decorated Vietnam veteran (Marine Corps). Author. Former assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs (1984-1987), secretary of the Navy (1987-1888) and U.S. senator representing Virginia (2007-2013). Was considered a possible 2008 vice presidential pick for Barack Obama.
"This is a time for us to come together, and to recognize once more that our complex multicultural society is founded on the principle of mutual respect."
—Webb, on the Confederate flag controversy, in June 2015
Signature gaffe
Referring to the n-word, Webb told a Virginia newspaper during his 2006 campaign, "I don't think that there's anyone who grew up around the South that hasn't had the word pass through their lips at one time in their life." (His spokesperson later said Webb had never used the word as a slur.)
Scariest belief
That the Confederate flag is worthy of defense. Unlike all of the other 2016 Democratic candidates, and many of the Republicans, Webb hedged on what to do about the flag in the wake of the Charleston massacre, urging "mutual respect" from both sides of the issue. He has also in the past referred to the "Nazification of the Confederacy."
Home-state clout
Virginia, often a battleground state, has 13 electoral votes and went blue in 2012.
Where the money flows
Webb said in June that he does not want a super PAC to support his candidacy, and at the time his supporters had not established one. He does, however, have a leadership PAC called Born Fighting.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
"There is no interest among the people who give money in Jim Webb," former Pennsylvania governor and Hillary Clinton supporter Ed Rendell has said, according to MSNBC.
Baggage
Wrote a 1979 essay called "Women Can't Fight" about how women should not have been allowed to join service academies. Is something of a Johnny-come-lately to some leftist issues (he switched from Republican to Democrat in 2006 and only in 2014 began supporting marriage equality). Reportedly only ran for one term as senator because he dislikes campaigning. Is considered a bit of a loose cannon: Before joining office, he said things like "Jane Fonda can kiss my ass. I wouldn't walk across the street to watch her slit her wrist" and that affirmative action is "a permeating state-sponsored racism that is as odious as the Jim Crow laws it sought to countermand."
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Lawrence Lessig
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Lawrence Lessig

Secret Service Codename?
Relinquisher
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Lawrence Lessig Overlay
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Lawrence Lessig
Age
54
Religion
Grew up Christian and entered college a theist; hasn't talked publicly about his religious views as an adult.
Resume
Professor at Harvard Law School and director of Harvard's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. On advisory board of Creative Commons, which he founded, and the Sunlight Foundation. Former Stanford and University of Chicago law professor. Founded the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. Clerked for 7th Circuit Judge Richard Posner and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
"If the problem with American democracy is that our government is dependent upon its funders, but the funders are not the People, then the solution is to make the funders the People.”
—Lessig, in The Atlantic, in 2012
Signature gaffe
Hasn’t been in the political game long enough to make any public statements that could be considered gaffes.
Scariest belief
That as president he'd see the quick passage of his Citizens Equality Act (after which he'd step down). His aims – to boost election rights for citizens – are noble, but the logistics are questionable.
Home-state clout
Massachusetts has 11 electoral votes, and went blue in 2012.
Where the money flows
Lessig crowdfunded $1 million to launch his campaign.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
None.
Baggage
His plan as a "referendum" candidate — to resign the presidency after passing a single law —is considered wacky at best, and dangerous at worst. Is an extreme longshot.
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The Republicans (1)
Jeb Bush
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Jeb Bush

Secret Service Codename?
Triple Threat
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Jeb Bush Overlay
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Jeb Bush
Age
63
Religion
Roman Catholic (converted)
Resume
Two-term governor of Florida, which at the time led the nation in job creation and scored a AAA credit rating. Son of the 41st president of the United States and brother of the 43rd.
"For the people to say the science is decided on this is really arrogant, to be honest with you."
—Bush on climate change, in May 2015
Signature gaffe
Asked on Fox News whether, knowing what he knows today, he would have chosen to invade Iraq, he replied: "I would have." Later, backtracking, he said, "I would have not have engaged, I would not have gone into Iraq."
Scariest belief
On climate change: "For the people to say the science is decided on this is really arrogant, to be honest with you."
Home-state clout
Florida has 29 electoral votes and went blue in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: Right to Rise PAC. Has also set up his own "dark money" nonprofit to solicit anonymous/corporate cash: Right to Rise Policy Solutions.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Henry Kravis, a private equity billionaire, hosted a $100,000-a-head fundraiser for Bush. The candidate is also angling for support of casino tycoons Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn, as well as vulture capitalist Paul Singer.
Baggage
The Bush name, and its association with Iraq. Surrounded by W. alums like Paul Wolfowitz, Condi Rice and Michael Hayden. Favors a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants, and statehood for Puerto Rico. Claimed Hispanic ethnicity on a voter registration form. Defends Common Core education standards, which are despised by the Tea Party. Has admitted, "I smoked marijuana when I was at Andover." Played political football with braindead Terri Schiavo. Earned dodgy fortune as a young man by lending name to South Florida real estate developer. Played shadowy role in Bush/Gore recount.
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Scott Walker
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Scott Walker

Secret Service Codename?
Miller Time
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Scott Walker Overlay
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Scott Walker
Age
48
Religion
Evangelical Christian
Resume
Two-term governor of Wisconsin. Winner of three statewide elections (including 2012 recall vote). Cut state unemployment rate from 9.2 to 4.8 percent. Eagle Scout.
"We need to take the fight to ISIS and any other radical Islamic terrorist in and around the world."
—Walker, in February 2015
Signature gaffe
Once caught on tape pandering to a David Koch impersonator.
Scariest belief
"We need to take the fight to ISIS and any other radical Islamic terrorist in and around the world."
Home-state clout
Wisconsin has ten electoral votes and went blue in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: Unintimidated PAC.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
John Menard Jr., a billionaire hardware-store magnate, reportedly gave $1.5 million to Wisconsin Club for Growth to support Walker in his recall election, and subsequently received nearly $2 million in state tax breaks. Menard is a member of the donor network controlled by the Koch brothers — who also backed Walker's recall fight: "We're helping him, as we should," David Koch said in 2012. "We've spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We're going to spend more."
Baggage
A career politician: first ran for state assembly at 22, won three years later and has been in elected office ever since. Despite rosy employment figures, median Wisconsin household income has fallen 1.39 percent during the economic recovery (2011-2013). Helped preside over Wisconsin's worst-in-the-nation decline of the middle class, according to the Pew Charitable Trust. Was a college dropout (dropped out of Marquette his senior year). Has described himself as "100% pro-life" — opposes abortion, even in cases of rape or incest. Is a union buster: eliminated collective bargaining for state workers and compared union members to ISIS. Has supported Arizona-style police stops of Hispanics to check immigration papers. The $2 billion in tax cuts he oversaw that were supposed to spur growth in Wisconsin have instead created a $2 billion state budget deficit. Has proposed axing $300 million from the University of Wisconsin as part of his austerity program. Is a foreign policy lightweight. Had a teenage mullet.
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Marco Rubio
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Marco Rubio

Secret Service Codename?
Poland Spring
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Marco Rubio Overlay
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Marco Rubio
Age
44
Religion
Roman Catholic (ex-Mormon)
Resume
One-term Senator. Former Speaker of Florida House. Potentially historic Hispanic (Cuban) nominee.
"Whether the Earth was created in seven days, or seven actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that."
—Rubio, in 2012
Signature gaffe
The most awkward sip of water ever caught on tape.
Scariest belief
"Whether the Earth was created in seven days, or seven actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries."
Home-state clout
Florida has 29 electoral votes and went blue in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: Conservative Solutions PAC.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Florida billionaire Norman Braman — owner of luxury car dealerships and, formerly, the Philadelphia Eagles — has been a career-long patron and "father figure" to Rubio. Braman's charity has employed Rubio's wife, a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison hosted a fundraiser for Rubio. He's angling for support from Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers.
Baggage
Led passage of the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill (which was despised by many in GOP base and died in the House). Opposes normalization of Cuban relations, unlike most Republicans. Dogged by rumors of personal scandal. Is callow. Has cloaked himself in neoconservatism. Former top Cheney hand Cesar Conda was chief of staff, now runs his Reclaim America PAC. Insists Iraq war was not a mistake. Tax plan — slashing corporate taxes and income taxes across the board — would cost $4 trillion over a decade, according to the Tax Foundation. People wonder if he's just Cuban Mitt Romney.
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Donald Trump
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Donald Trump

Secret Service Codename?
Goldfinger
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Donald Trump Overlay
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Donald Trump
Age
70
Religion
Presbyterian
Resume
Billionaire real estate mogul. Former host of the Apprentice reality show franchise. Miss Universe Organization owner. Been threatening to run for president since 1999, but hasn't done so until now.
"I have a great relationship with the blacks."
—Trump, in 2011
Signature gaffe
"I have a great relationship with the blacks."
Scariest belief
That President Obama was born in Kenya and is therefore in the White House illegally. Trump continues to have doubts about this even after allegedly conducting an investigation into the matter, and after Obama released his birth certificate showing his real birthplace: Hawaii.
Home-state clout
New York has 29 electoral votes and went blue in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: Citizens for Restoring USA. Though Trump has said he plans to self-fund his campaign.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Himself.
Baggage
Zero experience holding office. Was a Nineties tabloid staple for his multiple, messy divorces. Is considered by many to be a joke candidate and an attention-seeker. Fuzzy policy positions. Most known for his money and his hair. Kicked off campaign by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers, causing him to be dropped by numerous companies.
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Rand Paul
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Rand Paul

Secret Service Codename?
Galt
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Rand Paul Overlay
In Out of the Race
Rand Paul
Age
53
Religion
Presbyterian
Resume
Freshman Kentucky Senator. Son of gadfly former libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul. Held a 13-hour filibuster against drones. Filed a class-action suit against President Obama and the NSA's leadership over illegal metadata collection.
"It means you believe in slavery."
—Paul, on those who believe in a right to health care, in 2011
Signature gaffe
Manshusshing a female CNBC anchor.
Scariest belief
On whether Americans have a right to health care: "That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery."
Home-state clout
Kentucky has eight electoral votes and went red in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: America's Liberty PAC, run by former Ron Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Reportedly angling for support from Silicon Valley moneymen Peter Thiel and Sean Parker. David Koch has praised him, saying, "Rand's got good ideas."
Baggage
Relatively dovish on foreign policy. Cast the lone "nay" vote in saber-rattling Senate resolution seeking to cow Iran from obtaining nukes. Criticized U.S. strikes on ISIS: "Do we want to, in effect, become Iran's air force?" Has unconventional issue set among the Republican field (audit the Fed, ban NSA spying on Americans, criminal justice and drug law reform). Has repeatedly sponsored fetal "personhood" bills and amendments seeking to outlaw abortion. Supports a Koch-backed flat tax. Once suggested the Civil Rights Act should not apply to the private sector. (He later said he would have voted for it.) Co-authored a book on the Tea Party with a neo-Confederate radio personality, the "Southern Avenger," who fantasized about shooting a movie scene in which "Spike Lee and Kweisi Mfume are both tied to trees while Mel Gibson whips the hell out of them." Father has published virulently racist newsletters.
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Ted Cruz
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Ted Cruz

Secret Service Codename?
Calgary
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Ted Cruz Overlay
In Out of the Race
Ted Cruz
Age
45
Religion
Southern Baptist
Resume
Freshman Senator from Texas. Conspired to force shutdown, near-default of federal government. Former clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Potentially historic Hispanic nominee (though confesses to speaking "lousy" Spanish).
"There is a liberal fascism that is dedicated to going after believing Christians who follow the biblical teaching on marriage."
—Cruz, in April 2015
Signature gaffe
Launched campaign at Liberty University, in front of a crowd of students who had to attend, or else pay a $10 fine.
Scariest belief
"There is a liberal fascism that is dedicated to going after believing Christians who follow the biblical teaching on marriage."
Home-state clout
Texas has 38 electoral votes and went red in 2012.
Where the money flows
Has an interlocking network of four super PACs under the name Keep the Promise, each tailored to a big donor.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Hedge fund magnate Robert Mercer — whose fund has been accused by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of bilking the IRS of $6 billion — is reportedly funding one of Cruz's super PACs.
Baggage
Born in Canada (to a U.S. citizen mother); renounced his dual citizenship in 2013. No foreign policy experience to speak of. Self-serving shutdown theatrics have antagonized party establishment. Wife has been a managing director of Goldman Sachs (she's currently on leave). Is staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage; introduced legislation to allow states to ban marriage equality. Voted against the Violence Against Women Act. Is a climate change denier. Received a 100 percent rating from National Right to Life Committee. Assembled Bush's legal team for the Florida Bush/Gore recount. Brought future Chief Justice John Roberts into Bush's orbit. Is a proponent of a flat tax. Father, pastor Rafael Cruz, is a fire-breathing wing nut who called on Obama to "go back to Kenya."
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Mike Huckabee
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Mike Huckabee

Secret Service Codename?
Grits
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Mike Huckabee Overlay
In Out of the Race
Mike Huckabee
Age
60
Religion
Southern Baptist
Resume
Former Southern Baptist pastor. Lieutenant governor (1993-1996) and governor (1996-2007) of Arkansas. Failed 2008 presidential candidate. Former FOX News and conservative radio show host. Memoirist.
"We ask why there is violence in our schools but we have systematically removed God from our schools."
—Huckabee in 2012, soon after the Newtown shooting
Signature gaffe
Referring to the contraception mandate in Obamacare, Huckabee said in 2014, "If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it."
Scariest belief
"We ask why there is violence in our schools but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?" Huckabee said in the wake of the Newtown school shooting.
Home-state clout
Arkansas has six electoral votes and went red in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: Pursuing America's Greatness
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Huckabee is reportedly a close personal friend of Sheldon Adelson, though it's not clear if the billionaire will fund his 2016 bid.
Baggage
Has had trouble raising as much money as other GOP candidates. Is well liked among evangelicals for his folksy affect and far-right social stances, but may be too far to the left economically for that voting bloc. Has earned a reputation as a huckster who's endorsed sketchy diabetes treatments and sold use of his mailing list to promote dietary supplements and a scheme claiming to reveal cancer cures hidden in the Bible.
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Ben Carson
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Ben Carson

Secret Service Codename?
Scalpel
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Ben Carson Overlay
In Out of the Race
Ben Carson
Age
64
Religion
Baptized Seventh Day Adventist
Resume
World-famous pediatric neurosurgeon — separated twins conjoined at the head. Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, 2008. Has 38 honorary doctorates. Became Tea Party darling following 2013 prayer breakfast speech denouncing political correctness. Last book outsold Hillary Clinton's.
"A lot of people go into prison straight, and when they come out, they're gay."
—Carson, in March 2015
Signature gaffe
Called President Obama a "psychopath."
Scariest belief
"A lot of people who go into prison straight, and when they come out, they're gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question."
Home-state clout
Michigan has 18 electoral votes and went blue in 2012. (Carson hails from Detroit.)
Where the money flows
The National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
He has legit grassroots support — his pre-presidential super PAC raised nearly as much as Ready for Hillary, mostly through small-dollar donations.
Baggage
Is a Johnny-come-lately: only joined Republican party in 2014. Favors a flat tax. Pundits wonder if he's a serious candidate, or if he's just leveraging the campaign process to boost his profile and sell books.
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Rick Perry
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Rick Perry

Secret Service Codename?
Socrates
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Rick Perry Overlay
In Out of the Race
Rick Perry
Age
66
Religion
Evangelical
Resume
Three-term Texas governor. Spent 14 years running the nation's second biggest economy, in a state that accounted for about 25 percent of new jobs over that time.
"I am a firm believer in intelligent design, and I believe it should be presented in schools alongside the theories of evolution."
—Perry, in 2010
Signature gaffe
In a 2012 presidential candidate debate, couldn't recall the third government bureaucracy he'd shut down: "Oops!"
Scariest belief
"I am a firm believer in intelligent design as a matter of faith and intellect, and I believe it should be presented in schools alongside the theories of evolution."
Home-state clout
Texas has 38 electoral votes and went red in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: Opportunity and Freedom PAC.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Perry has counted on the support of more than a dozen billionaires over the course of his career, including T. Boone Pickens and David Koch.
Baggage
His new glasses may not be enough to throw voters off the stink of his disastrous 2012 run. Has called Social Security an unconstitutional Ponzi scheme. Supported a flat tax. Is facing an indictment for felony abuse of power in connection to a veto he threatened while trying to force a political opponent to resign. (Primary voters may write this off as just politics, but general election voters may be less forgiving.) Texas' environmental record.
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Chris Christie
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Chris Christie

Secret Service Codename?
Roadrage
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Chris Christie Overlay
In Out of the Race
Chris Christie
Age
53
Religion
Roman Catholic
Resume
Former Morris County freeholder (1995-1998), energy lobbyist and U.S. Attorney for New Jersey (2002-2008). Current governor of New Jersey.
"You know, something may go down tonight, but it ain't gonna be jobs, sweetheart."
—Christie, in 2012
Signature gaffe
When a female heckler at a 2012 Romney campaign event asked Christie about "jobs going down," Christie retorted with what many people interpreted to be a crude reference to oral sex: "You know, something may go down tonight, but it ain't gonna be jobs, sweetheart."
Scariest belief
Christie has hedged on the vaccine issue in ways that public health advocates believe to be dangerous, noting that while he and his wife have vaccinated their children, "I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that's the balance that the government has to decide."
Home-state clout
New Jersey has 14 electoral votes and went blue in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: America Leads.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone supports Christie for president, and is reportedly working to line up other wealthy donors for the candidate.
Baggage
Bridgegate. Has reputation as a bully, especially against teachers. Could be dinged for reaching across the aisle to work with Obama after Hurricane Sandy. Too socially moderate for the GOP base. On his watch as governor, New Jersey has seen high unemployment rates, low job growth numbers, poor economic growth and high taxes for businesses.
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Rick Santorum
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Rick Santorum

Secret Service Codename?
Pious
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Rick Santorum Overlay
In Out of the Race
Rick Santorum
Age
58
Religion
Catholic
Resume
Lawyer. Former U.S. representative (1991-1995), senator (1995-2007) and Senate Republican Conference chair (2001-2007). Failed 2012 presidential candidate.
"Man on child, man on dog."
—Santorum, in a discussion of same-sex relationships, in 2003
Signature gaffe
In 2003, Santorum likened homosexual relationships to pedophilia and bestiality. "In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality," he said. "That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be." (His comments prompted sex columnist Dan Savage, who is gay, to Google bomb Santorum with a website redefining the word "Santorum" as "the byproduct of anal sex.")
Scariest belief
Even beyond his 2003 comments, Santorum has consistently struggled to come to terms with the rights — or basic humanity — of same-sex couples. In 2004, he said of same-sex marriage, "This is an issue just like 9/11. We didn't decide we wanted to fight the war on terrorism because we wanted to. It was brought to us. And if not now, when? When the supreme courts in all the other states have succumbed to the Massachusetts version of the law?"
Home-state clout
Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes and went blue in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: Working Again PAC
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Foster Friess, who funded Santorum during his 2012 presidential bid, is reportedly supporting the GOP politician again this campaign.
Baggage
That whole Google bomb business. Is counting on evangelical voters to turn out for him, but those votes are likely to be split this cycle in a crowded Republican field. Voted for the Iraq War.
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Carly Fiorina
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Carly Fiorina

Secret Service Codename?
Pink Slipper
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Carly Fiorina Overlay
In Out of the Race
Carly Fiorina
Age
61
Religion
Nondenominational Christian (raised Episcopalian)
Resume
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO — the first woman to lead a Fortune 100 company. Republican political consultant, most notably for John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. Failed 2010 U.S. Senate candidate (lost to incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer).
"Carly Fiorina failed to register this domain. So I'm using it to tell you how many people she laid off at Hewlett-Packard."
—SEIU staffer Michael Link, who registered CarlyFiorina.org
Signature gaffe
Ahead of her campaign launch, Fiorina's team neglected to secure the domain name CarlyFiorina.org, which a Democratic supporter purchased and used to criticize the candidate. "Carly Fiorina failed to register this domain. So I'm using it to tell you how many people she laid off at Hewlett-Packard. It was this many," the site says, following that statement with 30,000 frowny face emoticons. :(
Scariest belief
That Roe v. Wade should be overturned.
Home-state clout
California has 55 electoral votes and went blue in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: CARLY (Conservative, Authentic, Responsive Leadership for You) for America.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
The Koch brothers funded Fiorina's 2010 Senate bid. Other billionaires who have reportedly supported her include T. Boone Pickens and Paul Singer.
Baggage
Is leaning heavily on her business acumen, but her tenure at Hewlett-Packard was widely considered disastrous, with tens of thousands of staffers fired before she was forced to resign in 2005. No experience holding public office.
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Lindsey Graham
In Out of the Race

Lindsey Graham

Secret Service Codename?
The Bachelor
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Lindsey Graham Overlay
In Out of the Race
Lindsey Graham
Age
60
Religion
Southern Baptist
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Thirty-three-year Air Force veteran. Former South Carolina state representative (1993-1995) and U.S. representative (1995-2003). Played key role in Bill Clinton impeachment proceedings. U.S. senator since 2003.
"White men who are in male-only clubs are going to do great in my presidency."
— Graham, in 2014
Signature gaffe
Graham was caught on tape in 2014 joking to a group of Republicans at an all-male club that "white men who are in male-only clubs are going to do great in my presidency."
Scariest belief
Speaking in 2013 of the federal 20-week abortion ban that he has introduced multiple times, Graham said that "nothing bad will happen" if the bill passed. "Good things will happen. Babies will be born that wouldn't have made it otherwise, and only God knows who they will grow up to be."
Home-state clout
South Carolina has nine electoral votes and went red in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: Security Is Strength PAC. (Graham has been critical of super PACs and supports campaign finance reform.)
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Billionaire grocery chain owner and former New York City mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis supported Graham in his 2014 re-election campaign. Graham has also received funding in the past from Sheldon Adelson and Ronald Perelman, the latter of whom is now on Graham's national finance committee.
Baggage
Has long been dogged by rumors of being gay, despite a solidly anti-gay rights voting record. Some family values voters are skeptical of him being unmarried. (When asked who would fill the role of FLOTUS if he was elected president, Graham said he'd have a "rotating first lady," with female friends and his sister playing a part.) Is considered by some in his party to be too willing to work with Democrats on immigration ("Grahamnesty"), climate change and other issues. Doesn't know how to use email. Voted for the Iraq War.
Related
George Pataki
In Out of the Race

George Pataki

Secret Service Codename?
Underdog
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George Pataki Overlay
In Out of the Race
George Pataki
Age
71
Religion
Roman Catholic
Resume
Former mayor of Peekskill, New York (1981-1984), New York Assembly member (1985-1992), New York state senator (1993-1994) and New York governor (1995-2006).
"The worst law of my lifetime."
—Pataki on Obamacare in March 2015
Signature gaffe
During the debate about Obamacare in 2010, Pataki wrongly called the individual mandate in Mitt Romney's Massachusetts health care law "unconstitutional," before admitting that he did not know much about the plan.
Scariest belief
Considers Obamacare to be "the worst law of my lifetime" and created a nonprofit to support repealing the legislation.
Home-state clout
New York has 29 electoral votes and went blue in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: We The People, Not Washington.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
New York grocery chain mogul John Catsimatidis is a longtime supporter of Pataki, and Pataki endorsed Catsimatidis in his failed 2013 New York City mayoral run.
Baggage
Is far too moderate — on some issues, downright liberal — to appeal to the GOP base. Is considered the longest of the long-shot Republican candidates, as evidenced by the sarcastic #patakimentum hashtag on Twitter and headlines like "George Pataki May Be Running the Saddest Campaign for President" (Slate). Much of America does not even realize he's in the race.
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Bobby Jindal
In Out of the Race

Bobby Jindal

Secret Service Codename?
Darwin
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Bobby Jindal Overlay
In Out of the Race
Bobby Jindal
Age
45
Religion
Roman Catholic (raised Hindu)
Resume
Former Rhodes Scholar, business consultant and president of the University of Louisiana system. Roles in government include Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals secretary (1996-1998), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services assistant secretary (2001-2003) and U.S. representative (2005-2008). Current governor of Louisiana — the first Indian American to be elected governor in the U.S.
"We've got to stop being the stupid party."
—Jindal, at a 2013 RNC meeting
Signature gaffe
On an RNC-hosted conference call in 2012, at a time when Jindal was considered a top Mitt Romney vice presidential pick, Jindal accidentally called Obamacare "Obamney[care]," a term coined by Tim Pawlenty to derisively compare Obama's and Romney's signature health care laws.
Scariest belief
"Right now, we've got an administration — the Obama administration — that are science deniers when it comes to harnessing America's energy resources and the potential to create good-paying jobs."
Home-state clout
Louisiana has eight electoral votes and went red in 2012.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: Believe Again.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Jindal has sought funding from Sheldon Adelson. Koch brother-affiliated donors have reportedly considered backing the candidate.
Baggage
Has called the GOP the "stupid party," while embracing many of the ideals he was criticizing. Trails other conservative candidates in support from evangelical voters. Not enough of a national following.
Related
John Kasich
In Out of the Race

John Kasich

Secret Service Codename?
Heartland
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John Kasich Overlay
In Out of the Race
John Kasich
Age
64
Religion
Anglican (raised Catholic)
Resume
Former Ohio state senator (1979-1982), U.S. representative (1983-2001) and FOX News host. Failed 2000 presidential candidate. Current governor of Ohio.
"I don't really see expanding Medicaid as really connected to Obamacare."
—Kasich, in 2014
Signature gaffe
In a 2011 speech, Kasich mentioned that a woman who works at Bob Evans — an Ohio-based food company — probably has benefits that are only "shabby at best." Labor groups seized on the comment, hammering Kasich on his record of rolling back workers' rights and even starting an organization called Ohioans Against Shabby Benefits.
Scariest belief
"I don't really see expanding Medicaid as really connected to Obamacare."
Home-state clout
Ohio has 18 electoral votes, went blue in 2012 and is considered a key battleground state.
Where the money flows
Super PAC: New Day for America.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
Kasich has sought funding from Sheldon Adelson, and reportedly has political ties to the Koch brothers.
Baggage
Some in the party consider him a RINO. Expanded Medicaid under Obamacare — one of few GOP governors to do so. Has received an F rating from the NRA. Fundraising could be a hurdle.
Related
Jim Gilmore
In Out of the Race

Jim Gilmore

Secret Service Codename?
Who?
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Jim Gilmore Overlay
In Out of the Race
Jim Gilmore
Age
66
Religion
Methodist
Resume
Former Virginia attorney general (1994-1997) and governor (1998-2002). Military veteran. Former lawyer. RNC chair in 2001. Failed 2008 presidential and U.S. Senate candidate. Current president and CEO of conservative think tank the Free Congress Foundation and NRA board member.
"The right to keep and bear arms is a reflection that we as Americans can be trusted to be free."
—Gilmore, in 2007
Signature gaffe
During the lead up to his short-lived 2008 presidential bid, he reportedly failed to disclose ties to a company that was sued by the Feds for "knowingly conspir[ing] to defraud the government."
Scariest belief
"The right to keep and bear arms is a reflection that we as Americans can be trusted to be free."
Home-state clout
Virginia, a battleground state, has 13 electoral votes and went blue in 2012.
Where the money flows
As of July 2015, no super PAC had been established to support Gilmore's 2016 presidential run.
Billionaire(s) in their corner
None, it seems.
Baggage
Virtually unknown. Was forgettable as a governor; his race against Don Beyer was described as "the bland leading the bland," and one of his legacies was to implement an education reform program with the acronym SOL. Officially announced his campaign just days before the first Republican debate, more or less dooming his chances of getting airtime.