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Romney Vs. Perry: Are They Really That Different? Romney Vs. Perry: Are They Really That Different?

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Campaign 2012

Romney Vs. Perry: Are They Really That Different?


Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry speak during a Republican presidential debate Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, in Las Vegas.(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

It seems that Romney and Perry see eye-to-eye on many issues, though the competition for the Republican presidential nomination can obscure this. We take a look at some hot topics to see how they compare. 

Abortion: Both Romney and Perry say they are against abortion except for cases of rape, incest, and the preservation of a woman’s health. However, Romney declined signing the Susan B. Anthony List’s antiabortion plan, saying it was too broad. Perry readily signed it.. Perry has also made moves to defund Planned Parenthood and supported a law that required physicians to conduct a sonogram and describe the fetus to pregnant women seeking an abortion. 


China: Romney supports a bill in Congress to slap tariffs on China and label the country a currency manipulator, while Perry has courted Chinese investment in Texas. 

Crime: Romney fought to bring the death penalty back to Massachusetts, while Perry has presided over more executions than any other governor in modern history. 

Environment: Romney wants to tap into Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drill for oil and roll back Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Perry also wants to increase domestic energy production and rebuild the EPA into an agency that focuses on regional and cross-state regulations and leaves much of the regulatory authority to state agencies.


Gay Rights: Both Romney and Perry supported a federal amendment limiting marriage to heterosexuals. Romney decried repealing "don't ask, don't tell" during wartime, while Perry views sexuality as a choice. 

Immigration: Romney vetoed a bill to give illegal immigrants in-state tuition; Perry approved a similar law. Perry also rejected any attempts by the Texas Legislature to pass an enforcement bill similar to the harsh law enacted in Arizona, saying it would hurt business.

Iraq: Both Romney and Perry have criticized President Obama for not negotiating an extension for troops to remain in Iraq, with Perry saying he was "deeply concerned" that Obama hadn't used sound military and security judgement. Romney derided the move as a "naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government."

Israel: Romney and Perry are both staunch supporters of Israel. Romney tacitly endorsed continued Israeli-settlement building in the West Bank and criticized Obama for putting pressure on America’s most reliable Middle Eastern ally. Perry also blasted Obama for a “policy of appeasement” toward the Palestinians and said “the people of Israel and the people of this world will never question where I stand when it comes to Israel.” 


Medicaid: Both Romney and Perry have said they want to waive federal rules, freeing states to dictate how they administer Medicaid programs.

National Security: Perry’s Air Force background probably contributes to his assertion that the defense budget has already been dangerously eroded, while Romney attacked “Obama’s massive defense cuts.” 

Science: Romney has said he believes evolution is the process that God used to create the human body, while Perry has been openly skeptic about the theory. Perry also has questioned the scientific foundation for climate change, saying it’s debatable.

Social Security: Both candidates advocate raising the eligibility age for Social Security, while Perry has referred to the system as a “Ponzi” scheme.

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