British Broadcasting Corporation

US elections 2008
Vote USA 2008

Election issues guide

Find out where the main candidates running for the presidency stand on a range of key issues

Mike Huckabee



National security

Climate change


Illegal immigration



Mike HuckabeeBaptist minister and former Arkansas governor is rising fast in the polls.
Would withdraw troops only when recommended by the US military commander. Believes the surge has been a success. Supports Turkish action against PKK. Against proposals to cut funding or set timetable on withdrawal.
Wants to use all resources of diplomacy before considering military action. Says "it was right to start with trying to bankrupt them before we bomb them" but ultimately the United States must do "whatever it takes".
Wants to fight a "smart war" using political, economic, and diplomatic weapons. Rejects Bush's "bunker mentality" as counterproductive. Wants to go after terrorists in Pakistan bypassing President Musharraf.
Wants to achieve energy independence by end of second term in office. Favours using all sources of energy, including nuclear, renewables, and biofuels. Says energy is a global security issue.
Says healthcare system is broken. Opposes universal federal healthcare plan. Would work with states and companies to move from an employer-based system to a consumer-based system, in order to control costs.
Opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants. Says they should not have sanctuaries or drivers' licences. Backs plan for tougher border controls, including $7bn for a new fence to boost national security.
Strong supporter of right-to-life movement. Wants Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade, which approved abortion, repealed and a constitutional amendment to protect embryos' right to life.
Wants to replace federal income tax with a national sales tax, which he calls a "fair tax", at a rate of about 23%. Republican opponents claim he was a big spender as governor. He says he balanced the budget.

John McCain

John McCainArizona senator and Vietnam war hero would be oldest man to become president.
Voted for 2003 invasion and backed Bush troop escalation. Had said US forces should remain until Iraq is able to defend itself, but now predicts under his presidency most would have withdrawn by 2013.
Would focus on trying to get a league of democracies to escalate economic sanctions against Iran. Refuses to rule out military solution if necessary to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. No unconditional diplomacy.
Argues his military background equips him to safeguard national security. A former Vietnam POW, he has sought to prevent the CIA using "cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment".
Says climate change is real and devastating. Says US should consider joining with every other nation in the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, if China and India join in.
Has highlighted his record on supporting health care for military veterans. Favours tax incentives to encourage people to get personal health insurance.
Co-sponsor of bill which offered an amnesty to illegal immigrants as well as tougher border controls. Says undocumented workers already in the US should be put on path to citizenship.
Wants to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalised abortion, Roe v Wade, but was supportive in the past. Would aid state efforts to boost adoption. Backed 2007 ruling banning late-term abortions.
Would cut taxes on middle-class families by abolishing the Alternative Minimum tax. Would keep Bush tax cuts, but reduce government spending. Wants to reform social security and healthcare.


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific