Potential Republican candidates in 2012 presidential election who gathered in Washington for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) have launched an attack on major policies of the Obama administration as they pitched their respective cases.
Here's a snapshot of the possible Republican challengers in 2012:
Governor Sarah Palin became the 11th governor of Alaska on Dec. 4, 2006. In August 2008, Senator John McCain tapped Governor Palin to serve as his vice presidential running mate in his Presidential campaign, thus making her the first woman to run on the Republican Party's presidential ticket. Sarah Heath Palin arrived in Alaska with her family in 1964, when her parents came to teach school in Skagway. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications-Journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987, her website says. She is married to Todd Palin, who is a lifelong Alaskan, a production operator on the North Slope and a four-time champion of the Iron Dog, the world's longest snow machine race. They have five children.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is the host of the number one rated weekend hit HUCKABEE on the Fox News Channel, his website says. He is the author of 7 books, the most recent being A Simple Christmas. He finished second to John McCain in the campaign for the Republican nomination for President in 2008.
Huckabee was governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. A significant part of his early adult life was spent as a pastor and denominational leader. The former governor and his wife, Janet, live in Florida. They have three grown children. He is an avid musician and is bass player in his rock-n-roll band, Capitol Offense.
Mitt Romney was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002. He did not seek reelection in 2006. Romney was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2008 United States presidential election, winning several caucuses and primaries but ultimately losing to John McCain.
From 1978 to 1984, Governor Romney enjoyed a successful tenure as Vice President at Bain & Company, a leading management consulting firm. Romney and his wife Ann have been married for 40 years and have five sons.
Newt Gingrich was first elected to Congress in 1978 where he served the Sixth District of Georgia for twenty years. In 1995, he was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives where he served until 1999.
In his post-Speaker role, he has become one of the most highly sought-after public speakers, his website says. As an author, he has published twenty-three books including 13 fiction and non-fiction New York Times best-sellers.
Gingrich and his wife, Callista, host and produce historical and public policy documentaries. Newt Gingrich is Chairman of the Gingrich Group, a communications and consulting firm that specializes in transformational change, with offices in Atlanta and Washington, DC. He resides in Virginia with his wife, Callista. The Gingrich family includes two daughters.
Tim Pawlenty was elected governor of Minnesota in 2002. He was elected to the local city council in 1989 and to the state House of Representatives three years later.
Tim has been married for over 20 years to his wife, Mary, a former district judge and had two teenage daughters. Tim has run the Twin Cities Marathon and is a fervent hockey fan, his website says.
The former Utah governor Jon Huntsman resigned as the U.S. Ambassador to China early this month. He was widely rumored to run for president in 2012. Huntsman is the son of billionaire businessman and philanthropist Jon Huntsman, Sr. of Huntsman Corporation, according to ballotpedia. After college, Huntsman served as a White House staff assistant in the Reagan Administration, U.S. ambassador to
Singapore in the administration of President George H.W. Bush, and a deputy United States trade representative in the George W. Bush Administration.
Huntsman is a seventh-generation Utahn; his wife Mary Kaye is a first-generation Utahn. Together they have seven children.
In 1996, Thune won his first term as South Dakota’s lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was reelected to a second term by the largest margin in South Dakota history, his website says. He returned again to Washington in 2001 to serve his third term in the House. After a narrow loss in a U.S. Senate race in 2002, Thune
won his current U.S. Senate seat in 2004, when he made history by defeating a sitting U.S. Senate party leader for the first time in 52 years. In 2010, Thune was elected to serve a second term in the U.S. Senate in a rare unopposed race. Thune and his wife Kimberley live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and have two daughters.
Elected in 2006, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is the first Republican woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota, according to her website. She won a second term in Congress in November 2008.
Prior to serving in the U.S. Congress, Bachmann served in the Minnesota State Senate. Bachmann is a graduate of Anoka High School and Winona State University. Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, live in Stillwater where they own a small business mental health care practice that employs 42 people. The Bachmanns have five children.
Ron Paul served in Congress during the late 1970s and early 1980s and in 1984, he voluntarily relinquished his House seat and returned to his medical practice. Paul returned to Congress in 1997 to represent the 14th congressional district of Texas.
In 1976, he was one of only four Republican congressmen to endorse Ronald Reagan for president, according to his website. Ron Paul was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Chris Christie was sworn in as New Jersey's 55th Governor on January 19, 2010. He was named U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey in 2002, a post he left in 2008. Born in Newark and raised in Livingston, Chris has lived in New Jersey his entire life, except to attend college. Chris and his wife of 24 years, Mary Pat, now reside in Mendham, where they are raising their four children.