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Nov 05, 2012 at 11:14am IST

Mitt Romney and the Republicans: Flag bearers of US conservatism

Washington: Boasting of the only two Indian-American governors, presidential challenger Mitt Romney's Republican Party is the flag bearer of American conservatism advocating "smaller and smarter" government, fiscal discipline, lower taxes and minimum regulation. Founded by anti-slavery activists in 1854, the Republicans dominated US politics nationally for most of the period between 1860-1932 providing 18 of America's 44 presidents, including George W. Bush, who occupied the White House from 2001 to 2009.

In the current Congress, elected in 2010, the Republican Party holds a 240-190 seat majority in the 435-member House of Representatives with five vacancies. It's in a minority in the 100-member Senate with 47 members to Democrats' 51plus two independents who caucus with them. The party currently also has governors in 29 of the 50 states, including Bobby Jindal, son of immigrants from Punjab, who has been the chief executive of Louisiana since 2007 and "Nimrata" Nikki Haley of South Carolina who at 40 is the youngest current governor.

Founded in the Northern states in 1854 by anti-slavery activists, the Republican Party first came to power in 1860 with the election of Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Declaration to free the slaves. Symbolised by the elephant since 1874 when Thomas Nast, a cartoonist for Harper's Weekly so depicted it, the Republican party has been defined by social conservatism in the 21st century.

Romney and Republicans: Flag bearers of US conservatism

Founded in the Northern states in 1854 by anti-slavery activists, the Republican Party first came to power in 1860.

Its presidential nominee Romney and his running mate "share a positive vision for America - a vision of America renewed and strong" and will provide "honest results-oriented, conservative leadership to enact good policies," says the party platform. For it, Tuesday's election is a choice "between the chronic high unemployment and the unsustainable debt produced by a big government entitlement society, or a positive, optimistic view of an opportunity society, where any American who works hard, dreams big and follows the rules can achieve anything he or she wants."

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