Know who you are voting for: Leading candidates of 2016



By Hope Su and Lizbeth Trujillo

Bernie Sanders


Bernie Sanders believes that it is essential for the country to have an educated workforce, thus making college unaffordable for only brilliant students proves to be counterproductive. In response to this observation, he has proposed to make public colleges and universities tuition-free. He aims to stop the federal government from making a profit on student loans and eventually impose a tax on wall street speculators to fund this ‘free college’ opportunity.


Sanders said, “the story of immigrants is the story of America, a story rooted in family and fueled by hope.” Sanders believes that the United States is a nation of immigrants, and he plans on allowing immigrants to purchase health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. He wishes to regulate the future immigration flows through a reformed visa system and reworked trade agreements. In accordance with the DREAM Act, Sanders supports the idea that the United States must provide a path to citizenship for people from different countries and that young immigrants should have the opportunity to be permanent residents. Lastly, he is against exploiting immigrants for cheap labor and believes borders must be secured without the use of a wall.

Gun Control:

As president, Sanders promises to bring the country to “the middle.” In other words, a solution that will promote gun rights for those who wish to be in possession of one, while also recognizing the need for stronger safety measure. Ultimately, he supports the idea that gun control legislation should fall on individual states, with the exception of federally required instant background checks before firearms purchases to ensure that weapons do not fall into the wrong hands.

Hillary Clinton


Hillary Clinton guarantees that the cost of college will not be a barrier. She claims that community college will be free and that the federal government will make a big investment in the New College Compact by providing grants to states and cutting interest rates on loans. In addition, those with current student debt will be able to refinance their loans. This plan will be fully paid for by “limiting certain tax expenditures for high-income taxpayers.”


According to Clinton, immigration is “a family issue.” She believes that a good immigration system is one that is efficient and humane, and she wants to end detention at the border. Clinton promises to expand access to affordable healthcare to all families. Overall, the five main steps she will take in order to create an efficient immigration system are to 1) Ex­tend Pres­id­ent Obama’s de­port­a­tion re­lief pro­grams, 2) close private immigration-detention centers, 3) end family immigration detention, 4) provide a path to citizenship for immigrants that lack documents, and 5) facilitate the process for legal immigrants to become citizens.

Gun Control:

Clinton is in favor of strong federal background checks legislation to reduce domestic violence and illegal gun trafficking. Ultimately, Clinton’s agenda regarding gun control prohibits individuals from selling guns without a license; delays for background checks in order to prevent the purchase of guns by criminals; bans all semi-automatic weapons, detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles; and empowers the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Donald Trump


According to Forbes, Donald Trump stated that he is, “totally against Common Core” and that “it should be local and all that.” Given his word choice, it appears that Trump does not regard America’s education as a serious issue. He has not mentioned the issue often and prefers to discuss other topics during interviews and rallies, avoiding specifics regarding K-12 education or higher education, but he thinks the Common Core system is a “disaster.”


In a recent speech to Liberty University in January, Trump firmly stated that he believes that he can “build a wall” between Mexico and the United States in order to put a full stop to immigration. Trump has never specifically stated how he plans on going through with the construction of the wall and followers assume that the plan is still in its early stages. Trump is one of the few self-funded candidates in the 2016 Presidential Election, and according to Forbes, he is worth $4 billion. It appears that the Republican candidate might even be able to finance the project himself.

Gun Control:

Trump believes in “protecting our Second Amendment.” Trump stated that we need to “expand treatment programs” to prevent gun violence. He stands by America’s gun owners and believes that taking away guns will not stop gun violence. In January of 2016, Trump remarked that he could “shoot somebody” and not lose any voters to voters in Iowa. According to CNN, director Kim Snyder considered his comment an insult to those fighting for stricter gun control. Trump countered the attack by claiming that he was only joking.

Marco Rubio


Marco Rubio agrees that “states and localities” should have control over the education system. Rubio approaches education as a serious issue, discussing everything from K-12 education to college education. He believes that the Department of Education is not suitable to act as a school board for all of America’s students and has fought against Common Core since he became a U.S. Senator in 2011. He feels Common Core takes away individual state liberties.


Rubio believes that the solution to America’s “low to nonexistent growth, a shortage of good jobs, and a massive web of needs-based programs” is “continued, orderly, legal immigration.” Rubio affirms that it is possible for America to thrive from immigration and does not believe that putting a full stop to immigration is the best solution. He credits immigrants with bringing many positive elements to American culture.

Gun Control:

Rubio told New Hampshire voters in January that he “went to go purchase a handgun on Christmas Eve” and his followers applauded his commitment to his political views. According to his website, Rubio “will continue to stand up for the rights of law-abiding gun owners, sportsmen, and hunters.” Rubio is convinced we need to “expand opportunities for sportsmen on federal lands” and stands by America’s gun owners in the name of the Second Amendment that states that all Americans have the right to bear arms. He believes that giving “law-abiding gun owners, sportsmen, and hunters” a place to use their guns will help stop gun violence.

Author: Plaid Press

Granada Hills Charter High School newspaper

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