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Steve Forbes

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Title: Steve Forbes  
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Subject: Republican Party presidential primaries, 1996, United States presidential election, 1996, United States presidential election, 2000, Republican Party presidential primaries, 2000, Forbes
Collection: 1947 Births, American Chief Executives, American Magazine Editors, American Magazine Publishers (People), American People of Scottish Descent, American Publishing Chief Executives, Forbes Family (Publishers), Living People, New Jersey Republicans, People from Far Hills, New Jersey, People from Morristown, New Jersey, Princeton University Alumni, The Heritage Foundation, United States Presidential Candidates, 1996, United States Presidential Candidates, 2000
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Steve Forbes

Steve Forbes
At FreedomFest 2013, Las Vegas, USA
Born Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Jr.
(1947-07-18) July 18, 1947
Morristown, New Jersey
Alma mater Princeton University (A.B.)
Occupation Publisher
Political party Republican

Malcolm Stevenson "Steve" Forbes, Jr. (; born July 18, 1947) is an American publishing executive who was twice a candidate for the nomination of the Republican Party for president. He is the editor-in-chief of business magazine Forbes. He was a Republican candidate in the 1996[1] and 2000 presidential primaries. He is the son of longtime Forbes publisher Malcolm Forbes and the grandson of that publication's founder, B.C. Forbes.


  • Early Life 1
  • Education 2
  • Political career and views 3
    • Early political career 3.1
    • Campaigns for president and major issues 3.2
    • Other political activities 3.3
  • Books by Steve Forbes 4
  • Political endorsements 5
  • Political donations 6
  • Personal Life 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early Life

Forbes was born in Morristown, New Jersey, to Roberta Remsen (née Laidlaw) and Malcolm Forbes.[2][3] Forbes grew up wealthy in the town of Far Hills, New Jersey.


Forbes attended the prestigious Far Hills Country Day School.

In 1966, he graduated cum laude from Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts, and from Princeton University in 1970.[4] While at Princeton, Forbes founded his first magazine, Business Today, with two other students. Business Today is currently the largest student-run magazine in the world.[5] Forbes is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi and Tau Kappa Epsilon.[6]

Political career and views

Early political career

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan appointed Forbes as head of the Board of International Broadcasting (BIB), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

He helped craft Christine Todd Whitman's[7] plan for a thirty percent cut in New Jersey's income tax over three years, and this plan proved to be a major factor in her victory over incumbent Governor James Florio.[8][9]

Campaigns for president and major issues

Forbes entered the Republican primaries for President of the United States in 1996 and 2000, primarily running on a campaign to establish a flat income tax. He also supported the ideas of re-introducing 4 1/2% mortgages and term limits in 1996, but dropped both in 2000 (as they were minor planks in his overall platform).

When Forbes ran for president in 1996 and 2000, he sold some of his Forbes, Inc. voting shares to other family members to help finance his run. He did not come close to securing the Republican nomination, despite winning the Arizona and Delaware primaries in 1996 and getting some significant shares of the vote in other primaries. His awkward campaigning style was considered to be a major factor in his defeat.[10] Time Magazine called his stumping a "comedy-club impression of what would happen if some mad scientist decided to construct a dork robot"[10] and also described his campaign as "wacky, saturated with money and ultimately embarrassing to all concerned."[10] After dropping out early in the 2000 primary season, he returned to heading the magazine and company. During the 1996 campaign, insiders at Fortune alleged that stories about Forbes' advertisers became favorably biased toward them.[11]

Major issues Forbes has supported include free trade, health savings accounts, and allowing people to opt out 75% of Social Security payroll taxes into personal retirement accounts (PRAs). He supports traditional Republican Party policies such as downsizing government agencies to balance the budget, tough crime laws and support for the death penalty, and school vouchers. He opposes gun control and most government regulation of the environment, as well as drug legalization and same-sex marriage.[12] This last was despite his father's increasingly flamboyant gay lifestyle before his death.[13] In terms of foreign policy, he called for a "US not UN foreign policy" (which is composed of anti-International Monetary Fund sentiments, pro-Israeli sentiment, opposition to Most Favored Nation status for the People's Republic of China, and anti-UN sentiment.)

His flat tax plan has changed slightly. In 1996 he supported a flat tax of 17% on all personal and corporate earned income (unearned income such as capital gains, pensions, inheritance, and savings would be exempt.) However, he supported keeping the first $33,000 of income exempt. In 2000 he maintained the same plan, but instead of each person receiving an exemption of $33,000, it more closely resembled the Armey Plan (Forbes' version called for a $13,000 per adult and $5,000 per dependent deduction). Forbes himself is very wealthy, with a net worth in 1996 of $430 million.[1] In response to this criticism, Forbes promised in his 2000 campaign to exempt himself from the benefits of the flat tax, although he did support the repeal of the 16th Amendment in a debate with Alan Keyes the previous year.

In his 2000 campaign, Forbes professed his support for social conservatism along with his supply-side economics. Despite holding opposite positions in 1996, for the 2000 campaign, Forbes announced he was adamantly opposed to abortion and supported prayer in public schools. The previous year Forbes had issued a statement saying he would no longer donate money to Princeton University due to its hiring of philosopher Peter Singer, who views personhood as being limited to 'sentient' beings and therefore considers some disabled people and all infants to lack this status. Steve Forbes was one of the signers of the Statement of Principles of Project for the New American Century (PNAC) on June 3, 1997.

Other political activities

In 1996, Forbes campaigned on behalf of Ron Paul in the congressional election for Texas's 14th congressional district.[14]

In December 2006, Forbes joined the board of directors of the advocacy organization FreedomWorks. Forbes is also on the board of directors of the National Taxpayers' Union. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the Heritage Foundation, an influential Washington, D.C.-based public policy research institute.[15] He is a frequent panelist on the television program Forbes on Fox, which also features members of the Forbes magazine staff, and is shown Saturday mornings on Fox News Channel at 11:00 am EST.

On March 28, 2007, Forbes joined Rudy Giuliani's campaign for the 2008 presidential election, serving as a National Co-Chair and Senior Policy Advisor. Later in the 2008 presidential campaign, Forbes served as John McCain's Economic Adviser on Taxes, Energy and the Budget during McCain's bid for the 2008 Presidential election.[16]

In March 2013 Forbes participated in a NPR broadcast Intelligence Squared debate with James Grant, Frederic Mishkin and John R. Taylor jr. concerning the motion "Does America Need A Strong Dollar Policy?".[17]

Books by Steve Forbes

Political endorsements

On January 7, 2010, Forbes announced his endorsement of Rand Paul, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.[18]

On January 28, 2010, he formally endorsed Marco Rubio, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in the State of Florida.[19]

He endorsed incumbent U.S. Senator John McCain, Republican of the State of Arizona for re-election in 2010.[20]

On July 28, 2010, he formally endorsed Peter Schiff, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in the State of Connecticut.[21]

On August 13, 2010, he announced his endorsement of Jim Huffman, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in the State of Oregon.[22]

On August 26, 2010, Forbes formally endorsed Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2nd Congressional District of Iowa.[23]

On September 2, 2010, Forbes formally endorsed State Representative Justin Amash, Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Michigan's 3rd congressional district.[24]

On October 12, 2010, Forbes formally endorsed Bill Hudak, Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Massachusetts's 6th congressional district.[25]

In 2011, Forbes endorsed Texas Governor Rick Perry for President in 2012.[26]

Political donations

For his 2000 presidential campaign, he raised $86,000,000 in campaign contributions, of which $37,000,000 was self-donated.[27]

Personal Life

In 1971, he married Sabina Beekman. They have five daughters; Sabina, Roberta, Catherine, Moira, and Elizabeth.[28]


  1. ^ a b Mitt Romney to report financial assets of at least $190 million Fox News
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  4. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth. "POLITICS: ON THE TRAIL;In Political Quest, Forbes Runs in Shadow of Father", The New York Times, February 11, 1996. Accessed December 11, 2007. "Christine Todd, Mr. Forbes's childhood friend from the Far Hills Country Day school, would grow up to become Governor Whitman.... His son went off to the Brooks School in North Andover, Mass., then on to Princeton, Malcolm Forbes's alma mater." hi
  5. ^
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  10. ^ a b c
  11. ^ POLITICS: ON THE TRAIL;In Political Quest, Forbes Runs in Shadow of Father
  12. ^ Steve Forbes:On The Issues
  13. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth. "POLITICS: ON THE TRAIL;In Political Quest, Forbes Runs in Shadow of Father", The New York Times, February 11, 1996. Accessed December 14, 2009.
  14. ^
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  16. ^ Goldsmith, Brian Steve Forbes: McCain Isn't Bush, CBS July 11, 2008.
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  19. ^ [1]
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  22. ^ [2] Archived September 19, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
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External links

  • Steve Forbes at Forbes
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • Steve Forbes for President 1996 Campaign Brochure
  • Forbes throws weight behind Giuliani
  • profile of Steve ForbesRightWeb
  • Profile: Steve Forbes, Center for Cooperative Research.
  • "Capitalist Tool II: Defending Dynamism", interview with Reason by Virginia Postrel and Charles Oliver
  • "Confront Iran to bring oil prices down" April 2006 from $70+ to $15 per barrel
  • Kurt Schemers of Traders Nation Interview of Steve Forbes
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