Super PAC ONE Vote asked candidates of the 2016 presidential election to go on record regarding what they would do to fight extreme poverty if they were elected.
At this time, three of the 12 Republican candidates have responded: Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (who has since dropped out of the race). So far, none of the Democratic candidates have responded to ONE Vote’s inquiry.
A ONE Vote 2016 organizer spoke with Cruz at a town hall event in Guthrie Center, Iowa on Jan. 4, 2016 and asked what he would do about extreme poverty in Africa.
Cruz stressed the importance of continuing investments in research and development to stop preventable diseases like AIDS. However, he did not comment on what legislation or organizations he supports that are working to reduce global poverty.
Huckabee created a video response affirming ONE Vote’s significant impact in the fight against extreme poverty. The former governor also noted that he personally visited Rwanda a few years ago with the organization and saw their work in action.
Huckabee also commends ONE for supporting the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which was created under Former President George W. Bush’s administration to save the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS. He said he feels this is something the U.S. should continue to support.
“It’s a very small investment for an incredibly large result,” Huckabee told ONE Vote regarding PEPFAR. “That result being the saving of human lives from AIDS and to make sure that there is a healthy environment, climate and safe water to drink for the people of those areas.”
A majority of the video Huckabee submitted focused more on ONE’s influence than any action he would take to alleviate extreme poverty.
Graham, who has dropped out of the presidential race, gave the most comprehensive response to how he would fight extreme poverty in his video for ONE.
Graham pledged to support PEPFAR, grow the Global Fund, grow the Millennium Challenge Corporation, increase assistance to Africa and the developing world, fight poverty and create conditions where radical Islam cannot thrive.
“To me, the one percent we spend on foreign assistance has the best return of any one percent of the entire budget,” Graham said in his video for ONE. “I am completely committed as president of the United States to growing this account and being a partner with ONE.”
– Summer Jackson
Sources: CNN, OneVote16 1, OneVote16 2, OneVote16 3, PepFar