Here’s Where the Presidential Candidates Stand on Term Limits


Poll leaders Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

by Nick Tomboulides

Campaign 2016 is in full swing, and it’s being called the “year of the outsider,” with nontraditional candidates shaking things up in both parties.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has built a commanding lead by attacking “incompetent politicians” in Washington. But Trump hasn’t endorsed term limits, the one reform that’s guaranteed to address the problem. Here’s where all of the candidates stand:

(If a candidate has signed the U.S. Term Limits Pledge, that means they’ve made a written commitment to “support congressional passage and state ratification of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would set term limits on service in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House.”)

Let’s start with the Republicans:

Donald Trump
Stance: Unknown

Despite his anti-Washington slant, the tycoon-turned-politician has not come out for or against congressional term limits. In 2010, he called the two-term limit on New York City’s Mayor “a terrible idea.”

Senator Ted Cruz
Stance: Strong Supporter
Cruz has always supported term limits to combat what he calls the “Washington Cartel,” which is “career politicians in both parties getting in bed with lobbyists and special interests.” He’s signed the USTL Pledge and co-sponsored multiple Senate bills for term limits.

Senator Marco Rubio
Stance: Strong Supporter
Rubio, who announced he is stepping down from the Senate after one term, has also signed the USTL Pledge and co-sponsored the USTL amendment in the Senate. He is also a supporter of the Article V Convention path, telling the Des Moines Register that “it is the only way you are going to get term limits.”

Dr. Ben Carson
Stance: Strong Supporter
After declaring “no more career politicians in Congress,” Carson signed the USTL pledge in front of the Capitol building.

Governor Chris Christie
Stance: Supporter

While not a pledge signer, Christie is a vocal term limits supporter. He recently told a television panel that “it’s time to get these guys the hell out of Washington. That’s why I’m for term limits.”

Governor Jeb Bush
Stance: Supporter
Bush said last month that term limits “led to a significantly higher quality” of legislature in Florida. He wants to export the reform to Washington.

Senator Rand Paul
Stance: Strong Supporter
Paul has introduced the USTL amendment twice in the Senate, and says it’s time to “fumigate the place and bring Congress home.”

Carly Fiorina
Stance: Supporter
Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, endorsed congressional term limits in a video she tweeted out to supporters.

John Kasich
Stance: On the Fence
At a town hall event in New Hampshire, Kasich bashed term limits and then, a minute later, said he supported them. Hopefully he makes up his mind soon.

Mike Huckabee
Stance: Supporter
In the former Arkansas Governor’s “Pledge to the People,” he says “I will fight for term limits for members of Congress.”

Rick Santorum
Stance: Unknown
Santorum, who spent 16 years in Congress, has been conspicuously silent on the issue.


On the Democratic side, here’s what we know:

Hillary Clinton
Stance: Unknown
Clinton has not gone on the record for or against congressional term limits.

Senator Bernie Sanders
Stance: Opposed
At the height of the term limits movement, the populist Senator claimed term limits would only “make a bad situation worse.” Sanders has served in Washington for 24 consecutive years and elected office for 32.

Governor Martin O’Malley
Stance: Unknown
O’Malley has not revealed his stance on term limits.

About Nick Tomboulides