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2016 presidential candidates begin to line up

Internet Photos
Internet Photos

In less than a month, five presidential candidates have announced their bids for president. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, all U.S. senators,  have announced they will be running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Hillary Clinton and Lincoln Chafee announced their campaigns for the Democratic nomination.

Texas Sen. Cruz announced his intentions on March 23. The competition increased to four within three weeks. Paul, senator from Kentucky, entered the race on April 7. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy on April 12, and Florida Sen. Rubio joined one day later. Former Rhode Island Gov. Chafee told CNN he was running, although his candidacy hasn’t been officially announced.

There are still more names expected to be added to the mix. Ben Carson will be making a “major announcement” on May 4 in Detroit, although a spokesperson for Carson told CNN he hasn’t made a decision yet.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to run for the Republican nomination as well as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and a long list of other possible Republican names.

Another potential name for the Republican race is Carly Fiorina, former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard. Fiorina told Fox News in late March that the chance of her running is over 90 percent. Fiorina’s nomination could set up two women head-to-head (her and Clinton) for the White House.

Clinton is by far the favorite for the Democratic nomination. Other potential names include Vice President Joe Biden. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has said she will not run, but candidates have changed their mind in the past.

Cruz, Paul and Rubio all announced their intentions at political rallies. Cruz made his announcement at Liberty University. His announcement speech was devoted to reversing the policies of the current government, and he mentioned his Christian faith multiple times.

“It is a time for truth. It is a time for liberty. It is a time to reclaim the Constitution of the United States,” Cruz said.

Paul’s announcement came at a rally in his home state of Kentucky. His initial campaign platforms included defeating the “Washington machine.”

“The Washington machine that gobbles up our freedoms and invades every nook and cranny of our lives must be stopped,” Paul said at his rally.

Clinton officially made her widely-expected announcement through a video posted on her website and social media accounts.

The video featured several “every day Americans” making changes in their lives. At the end, Clinton said she is doing something as well: running for the Oval Office.

“Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top,” Clinton said in her video. “Every day Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.”

It didn’t take long for Republicans to attack the Clinton campaign. Paul released a video criticizing Clinton hours before her official announcement. He said Clinton “represents the worst of the Washington machine.”

Cruz said she “represents the failed policies of the past.”

Fiorina also went on the attack through a Facebook video. She praised Clinton’s intelligence and determination, but attacked her accomplishments and transparency saying, “she’s not the woman for the White House.”

Rubio’s announcement was made at a rally at the Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida. Rubio highlighted his background and youth as benefits for his campaign.

“In many countries, the highest office in the land is reserved for the rich and powerful,” Rubio said in his announcement speech. “But I live in an exceptional country where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege.”

Rubio, 43, is expected to be the youngest of the candidates to announce. Clinton is 67 and possible candidate Bush is 62. Rubio plans to use his youth to his advantage.

“Too many of our leaders and their ideas are stuck in the 20th century,” he said. “The time has come for our generation to lead the way toward a new American century.”

Chafee said during a CNN interview that he is running for president “because I feel strong about where we’re going as a country.”

There is still plenty of time for the debates to continue. The Iowa caucuses are expected to be held Jan. 18 with New Hampshire holding their caucuses on Jan. 26.

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