"CHUCK TODD: Affirmative action. Should we keep it? Yes or no?
DONALD TRUMP: I'm fine with affirmative action. I mean, I think--
CHUCK TODD: Should it be expanded? Or should it... be limited?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, you know, you have to also go free market. You have to go capability. You have to do a lot of things. But I'm fine with affirmative action. We've lived with it for a long time. And I lived with it for a long time. And I've have great relationships with lots of people. So I'm fine with it."
Source: Chris Cillizza, "Donald Trump on 'Meet the Press,' Annotated," www.washingtonpost.com, Aug. 17, 2015
"OK, so I get elected President of the United States, and Congress somehow makes legislation to abolish affirmative action, I would sign that legislation. Would I actively seek that legislation? No, I wouldn't go out beating the drum on ending that. But if presented with the ability to end it I would."
Source: Phone Interview with ProCon.org, June 14, 2016
"I think affirmative action is good. I think quotas are not. Affirmative action is that we must make positive movements to make sure everyone has an equal chance. Quotas are an artificial category that's established that denies opportunity to some.
I think we also realize that polarizing Americans isn't going to fix any of our deep problems, because even though we're richer, in many respects we're poorer in spirit."
Source: ABC News, "Live Chat: John Kasich," abcnews.go.com, July 31, 2000
"[Akilah Hughes] I have a question about affirmative action. You've been a supporter of affirmative action for a long time. But I want to know how would you respond to a white student who believes that their access to education is being limited by affirmative action?
[Bernie Sanders] Well, how I would respond is saying that it's time not to play off white against black. It's time to make sure that every kid in this country regardless of income can get a college education, which is why I am vigorously fighting to make sure that all public colleges and universities are tuition-free. And I would say to that white kid, 'You know what? You deserve an education and so does the black kid next to you. So does every kid in America.'...
[Akilah Hughes] If the Supreme Court were to end affirmative action, what would you do to ensure that minority students have access to higher education?
[Bernie Sanders] Everything that I can..."
Source: Fusion, "2016 Brown & Black Democratic Presidential Forum," YouTube.com, Jan. 11, 2016
"Whereas, the use of racial and gender set-asides, preferences and quotas is generally inconsistent with the obligation of government to treat all individuals as equals without respect to race or gender…
It is the policy of my Administration to support equal educational opportunities for all qualified Floridians, to prohibit discrimination in education because of race, gender, creed, color or national origin, and to promote the full realization of equal educational opportunities throughout the State.
I hereby request that the Board of Regents implement a policy prohibiting the use of racial or gender set-asides, preferences or quotas in admissions to all Florida Institutions of Higher Education, effective immediately."
Source: Jeb Bush, "Executive Order 99-281," dms.myflorida.com, Nov. 9, 1999
"I think if we give somebody, you know, an extra nod, it should be based on their circumstances. So, for instance, let’s say I have a son who’s applying to Yale, and he's got a 4.0 average, and 1600 SATs, and is the best thing since sliced bread, and then there's a kid from Appalachia whose father was killed in the coal mines when he 5 years old, he's been all that time, but still has managed a 3.85 grade point average, and 1500 SATs, I think I would perhaps like to give him a little extra consideration. It shouldn't have anything to do with race It should have everything to do with consideration. We have always rooted for the underdog. We have always given them an extra leg up, and that's going to help to strengthen our society if we find ways to give them extra consideration... I don’t think affirmative action is appropriate, but I do think that compassionate action is. And of course, you know, it may vary from time to time who benefits the most from it, obviously, whichever group happens to be most disadvantaged would probably be the ones that would benefit the most."
Source: Ian Hanchett, "Carson: Replace Affirmative Action with 'Compassionate Action,' Approach Immigration with 'Eyes Open,'" www.breitbart.com, Sep. 11, 2015
"Today, by a 7-1 vote, the Supreme Court vacated the lower court ruling upholding the University of Texas's use of racial preferences in admissions. Discriminating because of race is wrong, and this was a victory for our color-blind Constitution. In recent years, universities have made major strides to expand admissions for minorities and low-income students, working hard for the American dream. Universities should continue to do so, expanding opportunity for everyone - but that can be accomplished without discriminating on the basis of race."
Source: Ted Cruz, "Sen. Cruz Statement on Fisher v. University of Texas," cruz.senate.gov, June 24, 2013