Donald Trump

Biography
Current Positions on Campaign Issues
Voting Record
Sources
Comparison with Hillary Clinton

Biography

Donald Trump has been a public figure in America for decades. While it’s hard to say when exactly the celebrity businessman came to national prominence, certainly with the debut of The Apprentice reality TV show (which he hosted from 2004-2015) Trump was a household name.

Born in Queens, New York in 1946, Trump’s Scottish mother was a homemaker and his father (of German descent) was a real estate developer. Trump attended a private K-12 school in Queens before his parents decided to send him to a more structured educational environment at a private military boarding school in a town about 50 miles to the north, where he would complete grades eight through 12.

After graduating from high school Trump was accepted and enrolled for two years in New York City’s Fordham University. He then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania where he earned his bachelor’s degree in economics, graduating in 1968. As Trump’s college years were during the Vietnam War, he avoided being drafted with four student, and one medical, deferments.

That same year he began his career in businesses at the real estate company owned by his father. From then until the present, Trump has been involved in real estate, including a filing for bankruptcy in 1991. He has also branched out into the entertainment, sports, and hospitality industries.

Though he had considered a run for president as early as the late 1980s, it was in 2000 that he made his first bid for the White House with an exploratory committee, saying he would work towards universal healthcare and eliminating the national debt. He named Oprah Winfrey as his ideal vice president.

While making political comments and donations throughout his career, Trump was injected into the 2012 presidential election debate as the most prominent voice making repeated accusations that Barack Obama was not born in America.

One point of contention Trump has faced is his net worth, stated by himself as fluctuating, though in excess of $10 billion. Federal election regulators estimate it as being $1.4 billion.

The political issues and positions Trump has advocated or supported in the past cover a wide spectrum:

  • Universal healthcare
  • Free trade
  • Opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  • Clinton Foundation
  • Auto industry bailout
  • Elimination of the national debt
  • Opposition to gun control
  • One-time 14.25 percent net-worth tax on those with over $10 million
  • Elimination of the estate tax
  • Border fence with Mexico
  • Deportation of all illegal immigrants
  • Restricting travel of Muslims into the United States

To put this range of positions in context, Trump has had an evolving political ideology:

  • Democrat: Adulthood-1987, 2001-2009,
  • Republican: 1987-1999, 2009-2011, 2012-present
  • Reform Party: 1999-2001
  • Independent: 2011-2012

Current Positions on Campaign Issues     (back to top)

These are specific stances and proposals the candidate has made. Campaign topics are specifically defined when all candidates take a stance on an issue. Niche positions are noted in the “Other Stances” section.

Guns     (campaign issues | top)

  • Supports the Second Amendment right of law-abiding Americans to possess firearms6
  • Favors enforcing existing firearms laws6
  • States that gun and magazine bans are not effective6
  • States that the background check system is broken6
  • Favors a nationally-recognized concealed carry permit6
  • Favors allowing members of the military to carry firearms on bases and recruiting centers6
  • Pledges to nominate Supreme Court justices who will uphold the Second Amendment14
  • Expand and bring back programs like Project Exile14
  • Empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves14
  • Reform laws to make it easier to act when a person is mentally unstable14
  • Supports a nation-wide right to carry14

Immigration     (campaign issues | top)

  • Proposes building a wall between the US and Mexico to control illegal immigration1,7
  • States that current immigration laws should be enforced, including those relating to deportation7
  • Proposes tripling the number of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officers7
  • Proposes deporting all criminal aliens, including legal aliens7
  • Favors increasing penalties for those who overstay their visas7
  • Favors ending birthright citizenship7
  • Proposes banning Muslims from entering the United States until US representatives can figure out, “what is going on”9
  • Cancel all overreaching and illegal executive orders15
  • Establish immigration controls that ensure jobs are offered to Americans first16
  • Select immigrants based on their likelihood of success in America16
  • Vet applicants to ensure they support America’s values16
  • Has a 10-point immigration plan16
  • End catch and release; anyone who illegally enters the US will be detained until deportation16
  • Expel criminal aliens16
  • End Obama’s executive amnesties16
  • End sanctuary cities16
  • Opposes issuing visas when applicants cannot be properly screened16
  • Cancel all overreaching and illegal executive orders15
  • Establish immigration controls that ensure jobs are offered to Americans first16
  • Select immigrants based on their likelihood of success in America16
  • Vet applicants to ensure they support America’s values16
  • Has a 10-point immigration plan16
  • End catch and release; anyone who illegally enters the US will be detained until deportation16
  • Expel criminal aliens16
  • End Obama’s executive amnesties16
  • End sanctuary cities16
  • Opposes issuing visas when applicants cannot be properly screened16

Abortion     (campaign issues | top)

  • States that abortions should be allowed in cases of rape, incest, and in the interest of a mother’s life8

Economic Policies     (campaign issues | top)

  • Force Mexico to pay for a border control wall to be built between the two countries1
  • Proposes declaring China a currency manipulator and taking other policy action against China with the aim of putting US competition on a level playing field3
  • Favors lowering the corporate tax rate5
  • Favors a tax reduction for middle-class Americans, with no income tax required for individuals earning less than $25,000, or married earning less than $50,0005
  • Proposes eliminating the marriage penalty tax, the death tax, and the alternative minimum tax5
  • Proposes four income tax brackets, with the maximum being 25 percent5
  • Proposes taxing business income at no more than 15 percent5
  • Withdraw from the TPP17
  • Identify every trade violation foreign countries are using against the US and end these17
  • Renegotiate NAFTA to get a better deal for workers; if unsuccessful then withdraw from NAFTA17
  • Bring trade cases against China for unlawful subsidies17
  • Use every lawful tool to stop China from breaking trade laws and agreements17
  • Eliminate special interest loopholes18
  • Allow families to fully deduct the cost of child care from their taxes, including stay-at-home parents18
  • End regulations that inhibit job growth in America19
  • Make a temporary moratorium on new regulations that are not compelled by congress or public safety19
  • Boost the growth of the economy to 3.5 percent per year20
  • Has a plan to create 25 million jobs20

Foreign Policy     (campaign issues | top)

  • Force Mexico to pay for a border control wall to be built between the two countries1
  • Proposes declaring China a currency manipulator and taking other policy action against China with the aim of putting US competition on a level playing field3
  • Proposes bolstering the US military presence in the South China Sea3
  • States he would bring back waterboarding as a form of enhanced interrogation11
  • Work with Congress to repeal sequestration and make a new budget to rebuild the military21
  • Increase the Army to 540,000 active-duty troops, the Navy to 350 ships, the Air Force to 1,200 fighter aircraft, and increase the Marine Corps to 36 battalions21
  • Improve our missile defense system21
  • Reduce necessary bureaucracy of the Pentagon21
  • Pledges to order an immediate review of all US cybersecurity defenses and vulnerabilities22
  • Unify and strengthen responses to cybersecurity attacks22
  • Develop offensive cyber for deterrence and response22
  • Supports the notion of peace through strength23
  • End strategy of nation building and regime change23
  • Ensure the refugee policy takes into account Americans’ security23
  • Fight ISIS while working with allies in the region23
  • Pursue aggressive joint and coalition military activities to defeat ISIS23
  • Defeat the ideology of radical Islamic terrorism in a similar way to how Communism was defeated in the Cold War23
  • Temporarily suspend immigration from the most dangerous parts of the world23
  • Establish a Commission on Radical Islam for public education23
  • Declare American energy dominance as a foreign policy goal24

Education     (campaign issues | top)

  • Does not favor Common Core10

Healthcare and Retirement     (campaign issues | top)

  • Proposes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with something (like Health Savings Accounts) that broadens healthcare access on a more affordable basis grounded on free-market principles and intra-state commerce2
  • Proposes opening US pharmaceutical markets to overseas companies2
  • Ensure veterans get the care they need whenever and wherever they need it25
  • Support the whole veteran by also addressing mental health issues25
  • Empower doctors and nurses to ensure veterans receive the care they need in a timely manner25
  • Has a 10-point plan to reform the VA25
  • Work with states to establish high-risk pools to ensure those who have not had access to continuous coverage can get covered26
  • Favors allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines26
  • Supports Medicaid block grants to states26
  • Rewrite the tax code to allow for child care and elderly care expense deductions27
  • Allow tax-free child and elderly care savings accounts27
  • Provide low-income households with a childcare rebate27
  • Incentivize employers to provide workplace childcare27
  • Provide new mothers with six weeks of paid leave from work27

Marriage and LGBT Rights     (campaign issues | top)

  • Favors allowing states to decide laws on transgender bathrooms, as opposed to federal legislation12

Energy and Climate Change     (campaign issues | top)

  • States that the concept of climate change was created by China to make US manufacturing less competitive13
  • Eliminate Waters of the US Rule and the EPA’s Clean Power Plan19
  • Make America energy independent24
  • Make American energy dominance a strategic goal24
  • Unleash untapped shale, oil, coal, and natural gas reserves24
  • Open all federal lands to energy leasing, remove the moratorium on coal leasing, and open shale deposits24
  • Encourage consumption of America’s native energy resources24
  • Rescind Obama’s executive actions that relate to energy development24

Other Stances     (campaign issues | top)

Voting Record     (back to top)

Donald Trump has never held public elected office and therefore has no voting record.

Sources     (back to top)

1 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/pay-for-the-wall (4/26/2016)
2 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/healthcare-reform (4/26/2016)
3 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/us-china-trade-reform (4/26/2016)
4 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/veterans-administration-reforms (4/26/2016)
5 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/tax-reform (4/26/2016)
6 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/second-amendment-rights (4/26/2016)
7 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/immigration-reform (4/26/2016)
8 http://edition.cnn.com/2016/04/21/politics/donald-trump-republican-platform-abortion/ (4/26/2016)
9 http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/07/politics/donald-trump-muslim-ban-immigration/ (4/26/2016)
10 http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/mar/07/donald-trumps-education-platform-stop-common-core-/ (4/26/2016)
11 http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/06/donald-trump-waterboarding-republican-debate-torture (4/26/2016)
12 http://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-trump-north-carolina-transgender-bathroom-law-election-2016/ (4/26/2016)
13 https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/265895292191248385 (4/26/2016)

sources 14-27 accessed on October 10, 2016

14 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/constitution-and-second-amendment/
15 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/regulations/
16 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/immigration/
17 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/trade/
18 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/tax-plan/
19 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/regulations/
20 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/economy/
21 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/national-defense/
22 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/cyber-security/
23 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/foreign-policy-and-defeating-isis/
24 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/energy/
25 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/veterans-affairs-reform/
26 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/health-care/
27 https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/child-care/