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Donald Trump on the issues, a PolitiFact guide

From the economy to racial justice, a look at the candidate’s position on the issues.
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House on Sept. 27 in Washington.
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House on Sept. 27 in Washington. [ CAROLYN KASTER | AP ]
Published Oct. 12, 2020

Trump’s biography

Donald Trump, 74, is seeking reelection as president of the United States. Trump was born in Queens, N.Y., the son of real estate developer Fred Trump. He became president of the family’s real estate business in 1971 and expanded it into skyscrapers, hotels, casinos, and other business ventures. In 2003, he took a starring role in the reality TV series The Apprentice, continuing the show until 2015 when he announced his run for president.

As president, Trump has pursued policies to grow the economy, appoint conservative judges and limit immigration. In foreign policy, he has steered the U.S. away from alliances and toward one-on-one negotiations with countries such as China and North Korea. The U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump in 2019 for urging Ukraine to investigate his political opponent Joe Biden, but the Senate voted against conviction.

Trump married Melania Knauss in 2005. His children are Donald Jr., Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany and Barron. His primary residence is his resort Mar-A-Lago in Florida.

His running mate

Mike Pence, 61, is seeking reelection as vice president of the United States. Pence was born and raised in Indiana, and worked as a radio and television talk show host before running for Congress. He represented Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. He served as Indiana governor for one term, from 2013 to 2017. Trump tapped him as his running mate in 2016, and he has served as vice president since then.

Pence married Karen Batten in 1985. His children are Michael, Charlotte and Audrey.

Trump’s position on the issues

PolitiFact selected the issues for this list from Pew Research Center polling on what voters consider to be the top issues of the 2020 election. Sources for the candidate’s position include campaign websites, interviews and PolitiFact research.

Economy. Trump emphasizes lower taxes, fewer regulations and trade policies that encourage U.S. job growth and exports. He supports tariffs to improve U.S. competitiveness against other countries. Trump has said the economy will bounce back from its decline during the coronavirus pandemic.

Health care. Trump opposes the Affordable Care Act and has sought its repeal. He has promised to unveil a Republican-backed health care plan but has yet to do so.

Supreme Court appointments. Trump supports conservative appointees and recently named his third Supreme Court Justice nomination, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Republicans in the Senate say they intend to confirm her before the election.

The coronavirus pandemic. Trump has said coronavirus precautions should not be allowed to hold back the U.S. economy. He’s said that states should take the lead on testing, masking rules and other policies. Trump has advocated for rapid development of vaccines.

Violent crime. Trump advocates for a visible police presence to reduce crime. He has sent federal agents to cities where protests have occurred, even when protests have been largely peaceful.

Foreign policy. Trump supports a unilateral approach to foreign policy and has reduced the U.S. role in international alliances. He has sought trade agreements to reduce the U.S. trade deficit. He has met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to persuade North Korea to abandon its efforts to become a nuclear power.

Gun policy. Trump has said repeatedly that he strongly supports gun rights and the Second Amendment. His administration banned bump stocks in 2018, however, in response to the Las Vegas mass shooting.

Racial justice. Trump has said he does not believe systemic racism exists in the United States and that most people want law and order and to feel safe. The White House ordered federal agencies to cancel sensitivity training if it refers to white privilege.

Immigration. Trump has been unable to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but he has been able to upgrade and reinforce miles of existing barriers. He has significantly reduced legal immigration, especially for refugees and asylum seekers.

Economic inequality. Trump has noted that income inequality exists but hasn’t proposed specific policies to address it. He has repeatedly called for overall economic growth.

Climate change. Trump has supported efforts to expand domestic oil and gas production; he has said that clean energy efforts should not be allowed to slow the growth of the U.S. economy. He pulled the United States out of the Paris climate change agreement. At times he has said climate change is a hoax.

Abortion. Trump opposes abortion. He has sought to restrict funding for groups that promote or provide abortion.

Tampa Bay Times elections coverage

Voter guide is coming soon: The Tampa Bay Times will publish a special election section Sunday, Oct. 18 with information on local races. You can also access our Know Your Candidates guide at tampabay.com/voterguide beginning Sunday, Oct. 11.

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