The Presidential Candidates: In Their Own Words

This regularly updated guide features transcripts from the Republican and Democratic presidential debates as well as select foreign policy speeches, op-eds, and interviews of the candidates.

Last updated July 25, 2016

Backgrounder
Current political and economic issues succinctly explained.

The race for the White House comes at a time of rising global instability, as the United States and its allies face a complex array of threats and diplomatic challenges. This regularly updated guide features transcripts from the Republican and Democratic presidential debates as well as select foreign policy speeches, op-eds, and interviews of the candidates.

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This publication is now archived.

The Party Platforms

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United States

Elections and Voting

- Republican Platform 2016 (PDF)
- Democratic Platform 2016 (PDF)

The Debates

- Republicans in Des Moines, top seven polling candidates (Transcript, 1/28/2016)
- Republicans in Des Moines, four lower polling candidates (Transcript, 1/28/2016)
- Democrats in Charleston (Transcript, 1/17/2016)
- Republicans in Charleston, top seven polling candidates (Transcript, 1/14/2016)
- Republicans in Charleston, three lower polling candidates (Transcript, 1/14/2016)
- Democrats in New Hampshire (Transcript, 12/19/2015)
- Republicans in Las Vegas, top nine polling candidates (Transcript, 12/15/2015)
- Republicans in Las Vegas, four lower polling candidates (Transcript, 12/15/2015)
- Democrats in Des Moines (Transcript, 11/14/2015)
- Republicans in Milwaukee, top eight polling candidates (Transcript, 11/10/2015)
- Republicans in Milwaukee, four lower polling candidates (Transcript, 11/10/2015)
- Republicans in Boulder, top ten polling candidates (Transcript, 10/28/2015)
- Republicans in Boulder, four lower polling candidates (Transcript, 10/28/2015)
- Democrats in Las Vegas (Transcript, 10/13/2015)
- Republicans in Simi Valley, top eleven polling candidates (Transcript, 9/16/2015)
- Republicans in Simi Valley, four lower polling candidates (Transcript, 9/16/2015)
- Republicans in Cleveland, top ten polling candidates (Transcript, 8/6/2015)
- Republicans in Cleveland, seven lower polling candidates (Transcript, 8/6/2015)
- Democrats in Charleston (Transcript, 1/17/2015)

Jeb Bush (R) -- Campaign Suspended

Jeb BushCandidate Profile
- On defense and national security (Transcript, 11/18/2015)
- On cybersecurity (Paper, 9/14/2015)
- On tax reform (Paper, 9/9/2015)
- On Mideast terrorism and Iraq (Speech, 8/11/2015)
- On immigration (Op-ed, 8/3/2015)
- On foreign policy and the economy (Interview, 6/16/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 6/15/2015)
- On energy (Op-ed, 4/14/2015)
- On Israel and Iran (Op-ed, 3/25/2015)
- On foreign policy (Speech, 2/18/2015)

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Ben Carson (R) -- Campaign Suspended

Ben CarsonCandidate Profile
- On the economy (10/7/2015)
- On Iran (Op-ed, 8/13/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 5/4/2015)
- On the Mideast (Op-ed, 4/22/2015)
- On foreign policy and defense (Interview, 3/18/2015)
- On the Mideast (Op-ed, 3/11/2015)
- On immigration (Op-ed, 11/12/2014)
- On energy and Russia (Op-ed, 3/29/2014)

Lincoln Chafee (D) -- Campaign Suspended

Lincoln Chafee- On foreign policy (Interview, 7/13/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 6/3/2015)



 

More on:

United States

Elections and Voting

Chris Christie (R) -- Campaign Suspended

Chris ChristieCandidate Profile
- On foreign policy (CFR Meeting, 11/24/2015)
- On foreign policy (Paper, 6/30/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 6/30/2015)
- On foreign policy (Speech, 5/18/2015)
- On tax reform (Op-ed, 5/11/2015)
- On the economy and foreign policy (Speech, 5/1/2015)

 

Hillary Clinton (D)

Hillary ClintonCandidate Profile
- On counterterrorism (CFR Meeting, 11/19/2015)
- On financial reform (Op-ed, 10/8/2015)
- On trade and foreign policy (Interview, 10/7/2015)
- On Iran (Speech, 9/09/2015)
- On energy and climate change (7/26/2015)
- On the economy (Speech, 7/13/2015)
- Announcing her candidacy (Speech, 6/13/2015)
- On energy (Op-ed, 5/28/2015)
- On immigration reform (Roundtable, 5/6/2015)
- On Israel and the Mideast (Interview, 12/5/2014)
- On the Mideast and foreign policy (Interview, 8/10/2014)
- On foreign policy (Interview, 6/27/14)
- On foreign policy (CFR Meeting, 6/12/2014)

Ted Cruz (R) -- Campaign Suspended

Ted CruzCandidate Profile
- On Russia and Mideast (Op-ed, 10/9/2015)
- On trade and the economy (Speech, 6/24/2015)
- On Mideast counterterrorism (Op-ed, 6/11/2015)
- On Iran (Op-ed, 4/29/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 3/23/2015)
- On Cuba relations (Op-ed, 12/18/2014)
- On immigration (Op-ed, 11/19/2014)
- On internet policy (Op-ed, 11/13/2014)
- On Mideast counterterrorism (Op-ed, 10/6/2014)
- On Iran (Op-ed, 9/28/2014)
- On trade (Op-ed, 6/30/2014)

Carly Fiorina (R) -- Campaign Suspended

Carly FiorinaCandidate Profile
- On foreign policy (Speech, 6/20/2015)
- On energy and national security (Interview, 6/10/2015)
- Announcing her candidacy (Speech, 5/4/2015)
- On internet policy (Op-ed, 4/7/2015)
- On Iran (Op-ed, 4/2/2015)
- On climate change (Op-ed, 10/24/2014)

Jim Gilmore (R) -- Campaign Suspended

Jim GilmoreCandidate Profile
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 7/30/2015)



 

Lindsey Graham (R) -- Campaign Suspended

Lindsey GrahamCandidate Profile
- On the budget (Op-ed, 10/15/2015)
- On foreign policy and the economy (Interview, 7/13/2015)
- On foreign policy (Interview, 6/30/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 6/1/2015)
- On Iran (Op-ed, 5/17/2015)
- On national security (Speech, 4/18/2015)
- On defense (Interview, 3/20/2015)
- On Iran (CFR Meeting, 3/23/2015)
- On Syria and counterterrorism (Op-ed, 10/6/2014)
- On Mideast counterterrorism (Op-ed, 8/29/2014)

Mike Huckabee (R) -- Campaign Suspended

Mike HuckabeeCandidate Profile
- On trade (Op-ed, 5/12/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 5/5/2015)
- On economy and foreign policy (Speech, 4/18/2015)
- On Israel (Op-ed, 2/13/2015)

 

Bobby Jindal (R) -- Campaign Suspended

Bobby JindalCandidate Profile
- On Iran (Interview, 7/14/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 6/24/2015)
- On foreign policy (Interview, 3/5/2015)
- On Islamist extremism and national security (Speech, 1/15/2015)
- On defense and foreign policy (Speech, 10/6/2014)

 

John Kasich (R) -- Campaign Suspended

John Kasich

Candidate Profile
- On foreign policy (CFR Meeting, 12/9/2015)
- On defense and foreign policy (Op-ed, 8/17/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 7/21/2015)
- On foreign policy (Interview, 4/21/2015)


 

Martin O’Malley (D) -- Campaign Suspended

Martin O’MalleyCandidate Profile
- On Mideast terrorism and human rights (Op-ed, 8/7/2015)
- On immigration (Speech, 7/13/2015)
- On foreign policy (Speech, 6/25/2015)
- On energy and climate change (Op-ed, 6/18/2015)
- On cybersecurity and China (Op-ed, 6/9/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 5/30/2015)
- On the economy and trade (Interview, 4/20/2015)
- On energy and climate change (Op-ed, 2/2/2015)

George Pataki (R) -- Campaign Suspended

George PatakiCandidate Profile
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 5/28/2015)
- On national security (Op-ed, 1/17/2015)


 

Rand Paul (R) -- Campaign Suspended

Rand PaulCandidate Profile
- On taxes (Op-ed, 6/17/2015)
- On surveillance reform (Op-ed, 5/25/2015)
- On foreign policy and the military (Speech, 4/9/2015)
- On fiscal policy (Interview, 4/8/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 4/7/2015)
- On Cuba (Op-ed, 12/19/2014)
- On foreign policy (Op-ed, 10/23/2014)
- On Mideast counterterrorism (Op-ed, 8/27/2014)
- On immigration (Op-ed, 11/18/2014)
- On Iraq (Op-ed, 6/19/2014)

Rick Perry (R) -- Campaign Suspended

Rick PerryCandidate Profile
- On Iran and Immigration (Interview, 7/15/2015)
- On the economy (Speech, 7/2/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 6/4/2015)
- On trade (Op-ed, 5/5/2015)
- On Iraq and counterterrorism (Op-ed, 8/17/2014)
- On immigration (Op-ed, 7/15/2014)
- On counterterrorism (Op-ed, 7/11/2014)

Marco Rubio (R) -- Campaign Suspended

Marco RubioCandidate Profile
- On defense (Speech 11/5/2015)
- On Russia and Mideast (9/21/2015)
- On energy (Speech, 9/2/2015)
- On China (Op-ed, 8/27/2015)
- On Iran and Cuba (Speech, 8/14/2015)
- On foreign policy (Op-ed, 8/4/2015)
- On surveillance reform (Op-ed, 6/15/2015)
- On foreign policy (CFR Meeting, 5/13/2015)
- On relations with Europe (Op-ed, 5/8/15)
- On Japan relations (Op-ed, 4/29/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 4/13/2015)
- On defense spending (Op-ed, 3/26/15)
 

Bernie Sanders (D) -- Campaign Suspended

Bernie Sanders- On the budget (Interview, 6/23/2015)
- On immigration (Speech, 6/19/2015)
- On taxes and the economy (Op-ed, 6/12/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 5/26/2015)
- On trade (Op-ed, 5/21/2015)
- On financial reform (Op-ed, 5/7/2015)
- On infrastructure (Op-ed, 1/26/2015)

Rick Santorum (R) -- Campaign Suspended

Rick SantorumCandidate Profile
- On immigration reform (Speech, 8/20/2015)
- On foreign policy (Speech, 6/19/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 5/27/2015)
- On immigration (Op-ed, 5/6/2015)
- On Iran (Interview, 4/16/2015)
- On foreign policy (Op-ed, 9/5/2014)
- On the Mideast (Op-ed, 8/28/2014)

Donald Trump (R)

Donald Trump - On trade with China (Paper, 11/10/2015)
- On tax reform (Paper, 9/28/2015)
- On foreign policy (Interview, 9/3/2015)
- On immigration reform (Paper, 8/16/2015)
- On foreign policy and the economy (Interview, 6/28/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 6/16/2015)



 

Scott Walker (R) -- Campaign Suspended

Scott WalkerCandidate Profile
- On foreign policy (Speech, 8/28/2015)
- On the economy and foreign policy (Interview, 7/13/2015)
- Announcing his candidacy (Speech, 7/13/2015)


 

Jim Webb (D) -- Campaign Suspended

Jim Webb- On foreign policy (CFR Meeting, 10/15/15)
- Announcing his candidacy (7/2/15)
- On foreign policy (Interview, 6/2/2015)
- On East Asia and China (CFR Meeting, 6/13/2011)

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