Gilmore, who on July 29 became the last Republican to enter the race, has been excluded from GOP debates because of low poll numbers. “I have a vision for a different America, one that will return American to the policies of a dynamic entrepreneurial free market economy and a policy of peace through strength for our national security,” he said in his announcement video. Gilmore proposes to reduce taxes while increasing U.S. armed forces. He said he would scrap the Iran nuclear deal, and fight terrorism with arms and ideology. Gilmore opposes gun laws, vows to ax the Affordable Care Act and pledges to beef up border security. He said he will deport criminal undocumented immigrants but allow others here illegally to work but not become citizens. Climate change is a reality, he said, but its cause is debatable and he opposes economically harmful regulations to reduce global carbon emissions.
Gilmore, 66, a Republican, served as governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002 after a term as the state’s attorney general. He chaired the Republican National Committee from 2001 to 2002 and led a commission on terrorism from 1999 to 2004. He made a brief unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2007 and lost a race for U.S. Senate in 2008. Gilmore, the son of a meat cutter and a church secretary, earned undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia and was a U.S. Army counterintelligence agent in Germany in the 1970s. Since 2009 he has been president and CEO of the conservative think tank Free Congress Foundation and serves a National Rifle Association board member. Gilmore and his wife Roxane have two adult sons