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2012 U.S. Presidential Election

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On Nov. 6, 2012, voters in the United States head to the polls to select the next president. Here's a guide to the candidates and issues.

Barack Obama

The White House
The 44th president of the United States and the first African-American to be elected to that position. Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and a lightning-rod figure who has ignited controversy with his actions on everything from healthcare reform to alternative energy and foreign policy. Running for a second term in November 2012.

Mitt Romney

(Photo by Gage Skidmore)
Known as a cultural conservative early in his life, yet criticized by some conservatives for being too moderate as governor of the liberal state of Massachusetts. Romney has spent the bulk of his career in the private sector, first working as a business management consultant. He founded the investment firm Bain Capital in 1994, and would later return to his old consulting firm, Bain & Company, as CEO. In 1994, he challenged Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) for his seat and took a leave of absence from Bain for the unsuccessful campaign.

Obama and Romney on the Issues

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
On Nov. 6, 2012, voters in the United States will head to the polls to decide whether to give incumbent President Barack Obama a second term or replace him with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Here are where the candidates stand on the issues, in the words of their respective campaigns.

Final Statements of Obama and Romney

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
On Oct. 22, 2012, President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney met in Boca Raton, Fla., for the third and final presidential debate and to lay out their positions on the issues. At the conclusion of the debate, each man turned to the camera for a final appeal to voters. Here are those statements.

Democratic National Convention 2012

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
In the first week of September 2012, delegates of the Democratic Party met in Charlotte, N.C., to nominate Barack Obama for a second term as president of the United States. Here are some highlights from that nominating convention.

Republican National Convention 2012

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
In the last week of August 2012, delegates of the Republican Party met in Tampa, Fla., to nominate Mitt Romney for president of the United States. Here are some highlights from that nominating convention.

Obama's Remarks at the End of the Iraq War

(Photo by Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images)
"I know this historic moment comes at a time of great uncertainty for many Americans. We have now been through nearly a decade of war. We have endured a long and painful recession. And sometimes in the midst of these storms, the future that we are trying to build for our nation – a future of lasting peace and long-term prosperity may seem beyond our reach. ..."

Obama Addresses Arab World

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
"For decades, the United States has pursued a set of core interests in the region: countering terrorism and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons; securing the free flow of commerce and safe-guarding the security of the region; standing up for Israel’s security and pursuing Arab-Israeli peace. We will continue to do these things, with the firm belief that America’s interests are not hostile to people’s hopes; they’re essential to them. We believe that no one benefits from a nuclear arms race in the region, or al Qaeda’s brutal attacks. We believe people everywhere would see their economies crippled by a cut-off in energy supplies. As we did in the Gulf War, we will not tolerate aggression across borders, and we will keep our commitments to friends and partners. ..."

Will diplomatic overtures to Iran work?

President Barack Obama made outreach to the Islamic Republic a cornerstone of his foreign policy, but it may not work out as planned. The purpose of bringing Iran to the table is intended to defuse concerns about the intentions of the country's nuclear program, which Tehran claims is for peaceful nuclear energy purposes but which many others throughout the international community fear could be used for nuclear weapons. And it isn't just the West and Israel -- the target of numerous threats from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- concerned about the military power of Iran: Saudi Arabia is extremely concerned about Iran's growing power in the Middle East, and its impact on Shiite power as a whole.
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