[Editor's Note: Mike Gravel lost the Libertarian Party presidential nomination on May 25, 2008. On May 27, 2008 his website indicated that his career in active politics is now over. ProCon.org called Gravel's campaign on May 28, 2008 and confirmed this information by phone. ProCon.org stopped updating his profile as of that date.]
Libertarian Presidential Candidate Former US Senator (D-AK)
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "[Michele] Norris: And that's where we'd like to start, and I'd like to pose a question to many of you. Given China's size, its muscular manufacturing capabilities, its military buildup, at this point - and also including its large trade deficit - at this point, who has more leverage, China or the US?...
[Mike Gravel: ] The tremendous increase in their defense. They're only 10 percent of American defense. They haven't had a tremendous increase. Ten percent of our defense. And I want to take all of them to task. Clearly, none of them are running for China - president of China - because this amount of demagoguery is shameful. Here, the Chinese people have a problem. And when we continue this rhetoric of beggar thy neighbor, where our interests always come first, there should be the interests of human beings, the interests of human beings."
Democratic Presidential Debate, hosted by NPR, Des Moines, IA, Dec. 4, 2007
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Question: I'm Gabriel. And I'm Connie, from a refugee camp near Darfur. Before you answer this question, imagine yourself the parent of one of these children. What action do you commit to that will get these children back home to a safe Darfur and not letting it be yet another empty promise?
[Anderson] Cooper: Governor Richardson, what are you going to do? Would you commit American troops?...Senator Gravel?
[Mike] Gravel: The problem goes a little bit deeper than that. It's because we haven't owned up to our responsibilities to a sense of global governance. And so now, you've got a situation with the United States of America, as Joe says, wants to go in, but the African nations don't want us there. What's the message? They're afraid of us. They're flat afraid of us."
CNN/YouTube Democratic Presidential Debate, Charleston, SC, July 23, 2007
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "...[O]utsourcing is not the problem. What is the problem is our trade agreements that we have that benefit the management and, of course, the shareholders, and have neglected on either side of the issue, whether it's in Mexico or in other countries or the United States. That's the problem that must be addressed.
So, no, it's not outsourcing. But I would add to it, it's the way all of these people want to finance health care, on the backs of businesses, that make them uncompetitive in the world. That's part of the problem. And our system of taxation is also part of the problem because it makes us uncompetitive in the world.."
All-American Presidential Forum, hosted by PBS, Howard University, Washington, D.C., June 28, 2007
Con: "The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been a disaster for the working class of both the US and Mexico and a boon to the international corporate interests. A study by the Economic Policy Institute found that over 1 million US jobs were lost as a result of NAFTA, a third of them manufacturing jobs."
"How Mike Stands on the Issues," Mike Gravel's official candidate website (accessed Mar. 17, 2008)
Con: "No Child Left Behind is a failure. Our whole system of education is in trouble. All of the stakeholders are all at fault -- a third of our children don't graduate from high school. That is appalling."
"Election '08: Talk with the Candidates" washingtonpost.com, Oct. 16, 2007
Con: "There's nothing I would do as President to lower the price of gasoline right now. We Americans have to grow up. If we want to get off of the dependency on the Middle East we have to own up to the problem. These things cost money. They're controlling our society. And the sooner we stop fighting these wars -- here, stop and think: You only see $3. Just watch those wheels turn. There's another $4 -- which is what we spend to keep American troops around the world to keep the price. So you're paying more than $7 a gallon, you just don't know it."
Democratic Presidential Debate, Manchester, NH, June 3, 2007
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Senator Gravel believes that global climate change is a matter of national security and survivability of the planet. As President, he will act swiftly to reduce America's carbon footprint in the world by initiating legislation to tax carbon at the source and cap carbon emissions."
"How Mike Stands on the Issues," Mike Gravel's official candidate website (accessed Mar. 18, 2008)
Pro: "Health care is a right, not a privilege. My plan, called the Healthcare Security System, creates a truly universal health care program where an annual certificate is issued to each American to cover his or her basic health care costs."
Email to ProCon.org from Mike Gravel's Press Secretary, Alex Colvin, Oct. 19, 2007
Con: "The opposite is true. The world is more dangerous as a result of the War in Iraq. The US military is bogged down in a war costing the taxpayers 2 billion dollars a week. I advocate a full military withdrawal from Iraq."
Email to ProCon.org from Mike Gravel's Press Secretary, Alex Colvin, Oct. 19, 2007
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "The linchpin to long-term stability in the Middle East is the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian impasse. The US, along with its European and Asian allies, and regional players (to include Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan under the auspices of the United Nations) must sponsor direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, including Hamas. The negotiations, with the goal of a two-state solution, must be scheduled as soon as possible. Sponsoring nations and organizations would guarantee the demilitarized borders of both parties, would guarantee Israel's right to survive and thrive, and would make a commitment to the Palestinians to raise their economic standards to that of Israel. An accomplishment of this magnitude would go a long way to defusing the radical Islamic confrontation with the West."
"Stepping Back From Imperialism: Redirecting American Foreign Policy," Mike Gravel's official candidate website, Nov. 2, 2006
Pro: "The linchpin to long-term stability in the Middle East is the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian impasse. The US, along with its European and Asian allies, and regional players (to include Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan under the auspices of the United Nations) must sponsor direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, including Hamas. The negotiations, with the goal of a two-state solution, must be scheduled as soon as possible."
"Stepping Back from Imperialism: Redirecting American Foreign Policy," Mike Gravel's official candidate website, Nov. 2, 2006
Pro: Q: "This afternoon the DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] began extensive raids on medical marijuana facilities in California. Would you put an end to these raids?"
Mike Gravel: "Totally...I would deregulate. I mean, there's nothing wrong with marijuana. It's not nearly as addictive as alcohol, and plus it has some health properties to it. So we deregulate marijuana, let you go buy it in a package store."
"Mike Gravel on Federal Raids for Medical Marijuana," YouTube.com, Sep. 26, 2007
Pro: "I have no problem with a national ID card. I know it disturbs a lot of people but you know something? I've got one in my wallet right now. It's called a license...All they can do is design a better ID card than this. A real serious ID card...
Getting a better ID can protect you as an individual - it's not bad."
"Mike Gravel on the Real ID Act (National ID Card)," Q&A forum with Mike Gravel in Tampa, FL, YouTube video, Sep. 8, 2007
Con: "In 1971, Senator Mike Gravel (D-Alaska), by waging a lone five month filibuster, singlehandedly ended the draft in The United States thereby saving thousands of lives. As a result, aside from those who volunteered, everyone under the age of 54 has been able to stay out of harm's way in the tragic war against Vietnam, the first war against Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and Bush's current war in Iraq. In addition, the children of everyone under the age of 54 have been able to stay out of harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan...
In short, Senator Gravel's opposition to the draft is based on his desire to insure that no American man or woman is sent to a distant land to fight unnecessary and ill-advised pre-emptive wars of choice by reckless, ignorant, warmongering leaders."
"Mike Gravel and the Draft," Mike Gravel's official candidate campaign website (accessed Jan. 10, 2008)
Pro: "...I'd be careful with the President, former President [Bill Clinton], because I know he wimped out with respect to gays in the military.
I'd only wished that he had been like Harry Truman who stood up to Omar Bradley when he integrated the services, which made possible for Colin Powell to now stare down the President of the United States when the President should have demanded immediate integration."
Democrats' Second 2008 Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN, WMURTV, and The New Hampshire Union Leader, Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH, June 3, 2007
Pro: "Vaughn [Ververs]: ...Democrats have vowed to weed out corruption in the federal government. A major source of corruption for both Democrats and Republicans are bribes in spending bills, sometimes referred to as earmarks. Would you vow, if elected president, to veto all bills containing earmarks?...
[Mike] Gravel: Totally, totally. It's abominable, and the only way you're going to get rid of it is to give the president the line-item veto. Of course, they're not going to give the president a line-item veto..."
Democratic Presidential Debate, Manchester, NH, June 3, 2007
Con: "This administration has illegally declared that it has supreme overriding authority. The Vice President and the President have accumulated and consolidated unprecedented power that has replaced the co-equal system of checks and balances mandated by the Constitution with a new Imperial Presidency. This imperialism has given the President far-reaching powers that our founding fathers would quickly recognize as tyranny.
The illegitimate authority of this newly constructed imperial Presidency this Supreme Commander-in-Chief created by Cheney and Bush has replaced the Rule-of-Law based on the Constitution and Bill of Rights."
"Impeachment Statement by Presidential Candidate Senator Mike Gravel," New World Order Truth website, Jan. 25, 2008
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Do you think it?s [an] accident that all of a sudden we wake up, that the wealthy aren?t paying a fair share? The only way they?re going to pay a fair share is wipe out the income tax -- it is corrupt, it?s corrupting our society...and begin to put in place a tax that everybody will know what everybody?s paying, and that?s a retail sales tax. And you can make it as progressive as you want. Keep in mind, a tax where everybody will know what everybody is paying."
Democratic Presidential Debate, Howard University, Washington, D.C., hosted by PBS, June 28, 2007
Con: "The Constitution is very clear that prisoners of war are the responsibility of the Congress. The Bush administration has unlawfully taken that power without Constitutional justification. The Congress has been derelict in its duty to see that enemy combatants are treated humanely within the guidelines of the Geneva Conventions, and has been equally neglectful in its response to the President's unlawful use of torture...
The practice of torture is immoral. It is un-American and it is ineffective. Information acquired as a result of torture techniques in unreliable. It endangers our soldiers in combat by encouraging reciprocity. It inflicts irreversible damage to our nation's image and undermines our credibility among the international community...
It is unconscionable that the Vice President stood before the Congress and lobbied against a proposed ban on C.I.A. torture techniques...
George Bush lied when he told the American people in November 2005, 'we do not torture.' How many times will Congress allow the President to lie to the American people?"
"Gravel Calls for Congress to End Torture," Mike Gravel's official candidate website, Mar. 1, 2007
Pro: "I will withdraw US troops from Iraq within 60 days and raze Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo. We must tell the world that the United States does not stand for torture. It is unacceptable human behavior."
"Gravel Wraps Up Pittsburgh, New York City Swing," Mike Gravel's official candidate campaign website, Apr. 21, 2007
Con: "...[I]t is illegal and unconstitutional to eliminate or weaken government checks and balances. The federal government cannot just eradicate judicial process. Once again, the Democrats are guilty of complicity with the illegalities of the Bush administration. Russ Feingold is the only Democratic Senator to have originally voted against it [the PATRIOT Act]."
"10 Questions With Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Mike Gravel," dullardmush.blogspot.com, Feb. 5, 2007
Speaker, US House of Representatives (D-Alaska), 1965-1966
Member, US House of Representatives (D-Alaska), 1963-1966
Former Member, Finance, Interior, and Environmental Committee
Former Member, Public Works Committee
BS, Economics, Columbia University
Affiliations and Memberships:
Founder and Former President, The Democracy Foundation
Founder and Former President, Philadelphia II
Founder and Former President, Direct Democracy
Former Cab Driver in New York City
Former Clerk on Wall Street
Former Brakeman on the Alaska Railroad
Special Adjutant, Communications Intelligence Services and Speical Agent, Counter Intelligence Corps, US Army, 1951-1954
Mike Gravel announced he was changing his party affiliation from Democratic to Libertarian on Mar. 26, 2008; he hand delivered an amended Statement of Candidacy to the FEC on Apr. 3, 2008, thus officially making him a Libertarian candidate for US President
In 1971, read 4,100 of the 7,000 pages of the Pentagon Papers into the Senate record
Also in 1971, waged a one-man, five month filibuster regarding ending the draft in the United States
Citizen Power, 1972
The Senator Gravel Edition: The Pentagon Papers, 1971