The Republican presidential field: who’s in and who’s still waiting for the right moment.
IN THE RACE:
The first major Republican to get into the race, the Texas senator kicked off his campaign March 23 at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. “I believe in you. I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to re-ignite the promise of America,” he said.
The Kentucky senator launched his campaign April 7 in Louisville, where he told a hotel ballroom full of supporters, “I have a message, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We have come to take our country back.”
In a speech April 13 in Miami, the senator from Florida called his candidacy for president a way for the country to break free of ideas “stuck in the 20th century.” He said, “This election is not just about what laws we are going to pass. It is a generational choice about what kind of country we will be.”
The former tech executive chose social media and a nationally broadcast morning TV network show to launch her campaign on May 4, and she quickly went after Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton. “I have a lot of admiration for Hillary Clinton, but she clearly is not trustworthy,” she said.
The retired pediatric neurosurgeon got into the race the same day as Fiorina with an announcement speech in his native Detroit. “It’s time for people to rise up and take the government back. The political class won’t like me saying things like that. The political class comes from both parties.”
The former Arkansas governor and runner-up in the 2008 GOP presidential primaries kicked off his second White House campaign May 5 in the hometown he shares with former President Bill Clinton – Hope, Arkansas. “Power, money and political influence have left a lot of Americans behind,” he said.
The runner-up to Mitt Romney in 2012, Santorum began his return engagement to presidential politics May 27 in his western Pennsylvania hometown of Cabot. “The last race, we changed the debate. This race, with your help and God’s grace, we can change this nation,” he said.
A former three-term governor of New York, who previously considered presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012, Pataki got his campaign started on May 28 in Exeter, New Hampshire. “While I saw the horrors of Sept. 11 firsthand, in the days, weeks and months that followed, I also saw the strength of America on display. … I completely reject the idea that we can only come together in adversity.”
The senior senator from South Carolina made his bid official June 1 with a speech in his hometown of Central, South Carolina, that cast the foreign threats to America in dark terms. “Simply put, radical Islam is running wild. They have more safe havens, more money, more weapons and more capability to strike our homeland than any time since 9/11. They are large, they are rich, and they’re entrenched.”
The former Texas governor announced his 2016 presidential bid June 4 at an airfield outside Dallas, surrounded by prominent veterans – including the widow of Chris Kyle of “American Sniper” fame. “I have been tested. I have led the most successful state in America.”
The former Florida governor declared his candidacy June 15 in Miami after spending months raising money, touring early-voting states and building a political organization to prepare for the campaign. The son and brother of presidents said no candidate “deserves the job by right of resume, party, seniority, family, or family narrative. It’s nobody’s turn. It’s everybody’s test, and it’s wide open – exactly as a contest for president should be.”
The real estate mogul and reality television star opened his campaign June 16 in the Manhattan tower that bears his name. “Sadly, the American dream is dead,” Trump said. “But if I get elected president, I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we will make America great again.”
The Louisiana governor entered the race June 24, pitching himself as a “doer” in a field with “a bunch of great talkers.” He’s one of the contenders going for the Christian conservative vote and he has a policy wonk reputation that he hopes will give him broader appeal, too.
The New Jersey governor opened his campaign June 30: “You’re going to get what I think, whether you like it or not, or whether it makes you cringe every once in a while or not.” The effort is driven by his outsized personality and reputation for pragmatism over partisanship. It’s complicated by his troubled standing with conservatives, New Jersey’s messy economy and backwash from the bridge scandal that implicated his associates in a scheme to cause trouble for a Democrat who didn’t endorse his re-election.
WAITING FOR THEIR MOMENT
The Wisconsin governor says he will announce his decision the week of July 13. He’d said earlier that he would wait until the state budget is signed but the Legislature has been at an impasse. He’s considered an all-but-certain candidate.
The Ohio governor is declaring his candidacy July 21, aides say. He’s got a scrappy style and an unpredictable approach to policy, drifting from conservative Republican orthodoxy with his support for Common Core education standards, his expansion of Medicaid under the federal health care law and his distaste for bashing Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.