Question 12

Do you think it is important for all would-be presidents to answer questions like these before voters decide which one to entrust with the powers of the presidency? What would you say about any rival candidate who refuses to answer such questions?

Barack Obama

Yes, these are essential questions that all the candidates should answer. Any President takes an oath to, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." The American people need to know where we stand on these issues before they entrust us with this responsibility – particularly at a time when our laws, our traditions, and our Constitution have been repeatedly challenged by this Administration.

Hillary Clinton

I am happy to tell voters when I stand on the issues. I have a long record in public life, and I leave it to the voters to judge.

John Edwards

Edwards declined to respond to this question.

Bill Richardson

Yes, it is important to answer these and other questions on the vital issues of our day. I will leave it to the voters to render a verdict on any who refuse to answer.

Christopher Dodd

I think it’s vitally important that Presidential candidates offer answers to voters’ questions on a wide variety of issues. I’ve run the kind of campaign in Iowa and in the other early states that has allowed voters to discuss with and ask questions of me.

Joseph Biden

(From staff)Yes, they should answer these questions. Sharing the vision of my presidency with voters is what campaigning is all about. As part of the primary process, candidates are able to explain their policy positions and beliefs regarding governance in real detail.

John McCain

I agree. These are part of the judgment that the American people need.

Mitt Romney

These are important questions that each candidate for President should carefully consider with the benefit of advice from legal, diplomatic, and military experts.

Ron Paul

Obviously I think we should, and I think that what we should say, which should be in the form of a question -- what are they trying to hide? Why are they embarrassed to answer the questions?

Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani declined to answer this question.

Mike Huckabee

Huckabee declined to answer this question.

Fred Thompson

Thompson declined to answer this question.