In 2008, a historic event occurred. Nearly 23 million 18 to 29-year-olds voted in the presidential election — an uptick of more than three million from the 2004 election. This number represented the highest youth turnout since 1972. This turnout strongly favored President Barack Obama, who received 66 percent of the youth vote. In the 2010 midterm elections, only 21 percent of the same age group cast ballots, contributing to sweeping Republican victories nationwide. With the 2012 presidential campaign in full swing and an underwhelming cast of candidates competing in Michigan’s Republican primary next week, it’s vital people of all ages vote. With that in mind, The Michigan Daily endorses voting in November.

To better explain the endorsement, or lack thereof, the editorial board will let the candidates speak for themselves.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said in an interview with the Associated Press on April 7, 2011 “In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever, to my knowledge, included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.” Last October, during an interview with CaffienatedThoughts.com, he said, “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) discussed his views on crime in a 1992 newsletter written under his name. He wrote “Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.” When asked about his views on homosexuality, Paul wrote in the newsletter, “I miss the closet. Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities. They could also not be as promiscuous. Is it any wonder the AIDS epidemic started after they ‘came out of the closet,’ and started hyper-promiscuous sodomy?”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney often speaks about corporations, and said at the Iowa State Fair last August that he thinks “corporations are people, my friend.” When asked about the time he placed his dog in a carrier and strapped the carrier to the roof of his car, Romney said in a speech leading up to the 2008 election “PETA is not happy that my dog likes fresh air.” Finally, Romney relates to many Americans, stating, “I’m also unemployed.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in a 1995 interview with The New Yorker said: “I’m not a natural leader. I’m too intellectual; I’m too abstract; I think too much.” Gingrich also said at a campaign stop in Iowa in December that he would like to end child labor laws: “It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in child laws which are truly stupid … These schools should get rid of unionized janitors, have one master janitor, pay local students to take care of the school.”

There you have it. Direct from the candidates themselves. Hopefully these quotations will help you make your decision when you vote in November.

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