Donald Trump on Government Reform

2016 Republican nominee for President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President


FactCheck: Removed more regulations than other presidents

TRUMP: In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history.

Is that true? Washington Post Fact-Check: One possible measurement is regulations withdrawn, determined from the OMB database, narrowed just to an administration's first sweep through the regulations:

Ronald Reagan also launched a major effort to rein in regulations. In June 1981, Reagan issued a statement that said in the first three months, 181 regulations had been "withdrawn, modified or reviewed." [That was only 6 months in], but in any case, Reagan's number is lower than Trump's. So score one for Trump, at least in terms of raw numbers.
Source: Washington Post FactCheck on 2018 State of the Union address , Oct 12, 2017

Lifetime ban on becoming foreign lobbyists

We have placed a hiring freeze on non-military and non-essential Federal workers. We have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a 5 year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials--and a lifetime ban on becoming lobbyists for a foreign government.
Source: 2017 State of the Union address to Congress , Feb 28, 2017

For every new regulation, must eliminate two old ones

We have undertaken a historic effort to massively reduce job-crushing regulations, creating a deregulation task force inside of every Government agency; imposing a new rule which mandates that for every 1 new regulation, 2 old regulations must be eliminated; and stopping a regulation that threatens the future and livelihoods of our great coal miners.
Source: 2017 State of the Union address to Congress , Feb 28, 2017

Maximum representation & maximum voter participation

Donald Trump is deploying a new talking point in his campaign that is rarely heard from the lips of Republican candidates: voter rights. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Trump portrayed himself as the people's choice candidate, seeking "maximum transparency, maximum representation and maximum voter participation." Trump has taken up the diction of voters' rights advocates. It has historically been a cause trumpeted almost exclusively by the Democratic party, since many disenfranchised voters are people of color and the poor. In fact, it's usually Republicans who are accused of committing disenfranchisement.

It's unlikely that Trump would be well-served in a general election by "empowering voters" and eliminating the barriers to voting that have been erected by Republican lawmakers. One study found that voter ID laws across 23 states would disenfranchise as many as 10 million eligible Latino voters; Trump is famously unpopular with Hispanic voters.

Source: Fortune Magazine, "Voter Rights", Claire Groden , Apr 15, 2016

Reject the elite election system; infuse popular will

On Saturday, April 9, Colorado had an "election" without voters. Delegates were chosen on behalf of a presidential nominee, yet the people of Colorado were not able to cast their ballots to say which nominee they preferred. Politicians furiously defended the system. "These are the rules," we were told over and over again--well, that's just the system and we should embrace it.

Let me ask America a question: How has the "system" been working out for you and your family? I, for one, am not interested in defending a system that for decades has served the interest of political parties at the expense of the people.

The only antidote to decades of ruinous rule by a small handful of elites is a bold infusion of popular will. On every major issue affecting this country, the people are right and the governing elite are wrong. The elites are wrong on taxes, on the size of government, on trade, on immigration, on foreign policy.

Source: Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Donald Trump , Apr 14, 2016

Get rid of waste, fraud, & abuse in every single agency

Q: Your proposed tax cut would add $10 trillion to the nation's debt. You insist that you could make up for a good deal of that by cutting waste, fraud, & abuse.

TRUMP: Correct.

Q: Like what? And please be specific.

TRUMP: Department of Education. We're getting rid of Common Core. Department of Environmental Protection. We're going take a tremendous amount out. The waste, fraud, and abuse is massive.

Q: But your numbers don't add up. The total budget for the education department is $78 billion. The entire budget for the EPA, $8 billion. The deficit this year is $544 billion. Your numbers don't add up. You say that Medicare could save $300 billion a year negotiating lower drug prices. But Medicare total only spends $78 billion a year on drugs.

Q: But that doesn't really cut the federal deficit.

TRUMP: Of course it is. We are going to buy things for less money.

Source: 2016 Fox News GOP debate in Detroit Michigan , Mar 3, 2016

I wouldn't nominate my sister to Supreme Court

Senator Ted CRUZ: Last year, when talking about Supreme Court nominees, Donald said his sister--a judge who was put on the Court of Appeals by Bill Clinton--he said his sister would make a phenomenal Supreme Court Justice. His sister is a radical pro-abortion judge. She struck down New Jersey's ban on partial-birth abortion as irrational. That's an extreme position.

Q: Have you suggested your sister as a Supreme Court justice?

TRUMP: I have not.

Q: You said she would be great...

TRUMP: She's very smart.

Q: But you'd have to rule that out because she was your sister?

TRUMP: My sister is a brilliant woman. She was appointed by Ronald Reagan. He said appointed by Bill Clinton. She was elevated by Clinton to the Court of Appeals, a very high position, right under the Supreme Court. The reason she was elevated, she was an outstanding intellect and an outstanding judge. I don't even know what her views are on abortion. She is certainly not a radical anything; that's not her thing

Source: 2016 CNN GOP Town Hall in South Carolina , Feb 18, 2016

Delay, delay, delay on Supreme Court appointment

Q: The death of Justice Antonin Scalia leaves a vacancy on the Supreme Court. You've said that the President shouldn't nominate anyone in the rest of his term to replace Justice Scalia. If you were President, and had a chance with 11 months left to go in your term, wouldn't it be an abdication not to name a conservative justice with the rest of your term?

TRUMP: If I were President now I would certainly want to try and nominate a justice. Frankly, I'm absolutely sure that President Obama will try and do it. I hope that our Senate is going to be able to do something about it.

Q: So, just to be clear on this, you're OK with the President nominating somebody?

TRUMP: think he's going to do it whether or I'm OK with it or not. I think it's up to [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell, and everybody else to stop it. It's called delay, delay, delay.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

I would build consensus, not use Executive Orders

Q: You promised that if Ford were to move a factory to Mexico, you would stop it or threaten them with a 35 percent tax or tariff on every car sold. Based on your understanding of the presidency, where do you derive that power?

TRUMP: I would build consensus with Congress. I don't like the idea of using executive orders like our president. I would build consensus, but consensus means hard work. You have to get them into the Oval Office and get them all together, and you have to make deals.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

Hug 'em & kiss 'em & make deals, instead of executive orders

Sen. Ted CRUZ: On day one I will rescind every single illegal and unconstitutional executive action Barack Obama has done.

Q: Mr. Trump, you literally wrote the book on making deals. How is a deal maker any different?

TRUMP: A good deal maker will make great deals, but we'll do it the way our founders thought it should be done. People get together, they make deals. Ronald Reagan did it with Tip O'Neill very successfully, you didn't hear so much about executive orders, if you heard about it at all. You have to be able to get a consensus. The deal with Iran, how bad a deal is that? It doesn't get any more amateurish than that. A good deal maker would never make a deal like that. With Congress, you have to get everybody in a room, and you have to get them to agree. But, you have to get them to agree what you want, and that's part of being a deal maker. You have to get people in, grab them, hug them, kiss them, and get the deal done. But, it's got to be the deal that you want.

Source: 2016 ABC Republican debate on eve of N.H. primary , Feb 6, 2016

Mutually profitable 2-way relationship with the media

The cost of a full-page ad in the New York Times can be more than $100,000. But when they write a story about one of my deals, it doesn't cost me a cent, and I get more important publicity. I have a mutually profitable two-way relationship with the media--we give each other what we need. And now I am using that relationship to talk about the future of America.

Many people believe I do well with the press. Maybe I do, sometimes, but anyone who believes I can use the media is absolutely wrong. Nobody can use the press. It's too big, too widespread.

If I do something wrong or make a mistake, they report it accurately. I've got no problem with that. The mistake bothers me, not the reporting.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 11 , Nov 3, 2015

Get rid of the regulations that are just destroying us

Donald Trump concluded his sold-out speech in Dallas with a call for reduced government regulation. He said, "We're going to fight hard, we're going to negotiate tough, and we're going to do fantastically well. We're going to put our people back to work. We're going to get rid of all these ridiculous--everything is so bad--we're going to get rid of the regulations that are just destroying us. You can't breathe. You cannot breathe. You are going to be--if I'm elected President--so proud of your country again. You're going to remember this evening and you're going to say to your children and everyone else, that you were part of a movement to take back this country. And we're going to make America great again."
Source: AmericanThinker 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 16, 2015

Speak simply & clearly, even when addressing Congress

Q: Your testimony to Congress didn't slip into jargon. Why do you think people use jargon when simple words will do?

DJT: Insecure people are often long-winded when they try to convince others that they are important or have special knowledge. I believe in getting to the point in the most direct way possible. It saves everyone's time and teaches you to distill information into sound bites that cannot be misinterpreted. I move quickly in business, so I don't have the time, the desire, or the need to pontificate or sound important. Oftentimes, this backfires. Being concise is more effective, but not necessarily easier. Sometimes I ask people to explain things to me in less than three sentences to make sure they've got it down. Condensing your thoughts is a great technique for both speaking and writing. Busy people work in sound bites; anything more can be a waste of time or cause confusion. I prefer to speak simply and clearly whether I'm addressing my employees or Congress.

Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p.117-8 , Oct 20, 2006

Government scrutiny is greatest threat to American Dream

Most of us think the American Dream is a birthright, but without constant care and vigilance, it can and will be whittled down to nothing. The threatening agent is not some foreign power, but people who donít understand the proper relationship between the public and private arenas. In other words, the greatest threat to the American Dream is the idea that dreamers need close government scrutiny and control. Job one for us is to make sure the public sector does a limited job, and no more.

In the 1970s in New York City, reckless regulators under Mayor Beame were running the show [resulting in] municipal bonds worth less than Confederate money. I learned from experiences [like that] just how hard it is for normal, sane, earnest Americans to make their dreams come true when they have to confront mule-headed, but powerful burons-a buron being defined as a cross between a bureaucrat and a moron. In my opinion, burons are opportunity destroyers. Theyíre guilty of what I call Dreamicide.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 44-45 , Jul 2, 2000

Government should do public works & safety & little else

Common sense tell us that the two basic principles of governing should work anywhere they are applied. First: Get government out of activities it canít do well. (A list of thing government doesnít do well is a very long list.)

Second: Get government back in the business of providing for public convenience (transportation, public works) and safety (police and firefighters), and make sure it does so efficiently. Then judge its efforts by visible, definable results and fine-tune as needed.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 60 , Jul 2, 2000

Loser pays all costs, and over-litigiousness stops

Litigation in the United States has gotten totally out of control. The saddest part of all is that this problem should be easy to solve, and everybody, including the American Bar Association, knows exactly what I'm talking about. The simple answer is this: The loser pays all costs related to the case including, but in no way limited to, the legal fees of the winning party.

If this legislation were enacted, it is my opinion that you would see our courthouses become totally efficient again, in that the caseload would drop by perhaps 70 to 80 percent. The judges and their staffs, who now work endlessly to catch up with needless motions made by nonsense lawyers, would be free to concentrate on the real cases, the ones that deserve to go to court. Everyone knows I'm right, but no politician wants to take on the wrath of the lawyers' lobbying groups. Somebody should--because that person could be assured of being in office forever.

Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p.104-5 , Oct 27, 1997

Rebuilt Wollman Rink in 4 months; city failed for 6 years

For nearly seven years I watched from the window of my office as the city tried to rebuild Wollman Ice-Skating Rink in Central Park. At the end of that time, millions of dollars had been wasted and the job was farther from being completed than when the work began. They were all set to rip out the concrete and start over when I finally couldnít stand it anymore, and I offered to do it myself. The job took 4 months to complete at a fraction of the cityís cost.

I discovered that the cityís incompetence had extended to every imaginable detail, large and small. One week after Iíd made my deal to take over rebuilding the rink, a city report was released on mistakes made over the past six years. The report provided an astounding chronology of sloppiness, indecision, incompetence, and stupidity, but it came to absolutely no conclusions about who was responsible for the fiasco and what could be done to avoid such failures in the future. If it werenít so pathetic, it would have been almost comical.

Source: The Art of the Deal, by Donald Trump, p.43 & 204 , Jul 2, 1987

Donald Trump on Voting and Campaign Reform

Many things can go wrong when early voting goes on too long

Donald Trump expressed support for restricting voting rights: stumping for Louisiana Senate candidate John Neely Kennedy, the president-elect recalled seeing extremely long lines in Florida during the state's early voting period ahead of Election Day, suggesting "many things can go wrong" with so much time allocated to allow citizens to vote.

"They had that long early voting in Florida. It's so long, and so many things can go wrong when you have that long period of time, right?" Trump told the crowd in Baton Rouge. "That long, long, long period. Used to be you'd have a day, you vote. Now you're going forever. Weeks and weeks."

The president-elect, who continually suggested throughout his campaign that the election was rigged against him, added that he's curious about what occurs when early voting precincts are "locked": "I wonder what happens during the evenings when those places are 'locked,' right?" Trump said, using air quotes.

Source: Politico.com coverage of 2016 Trump Transition , Dec 9, 2016

It's scary that people can vote without ID

Q: Should people be able to vote without photo identification?

Trump: "You don't have to have voter ID to now go in & vote and it's a little bit scary." Trump says without voter ID, "people are going to walk in, they are going to vote 10 times maybe. Who knows?"

Clinton called for universal and automatic voter registration and a 20-day (or more) period of early voting in every state, before every election. Clinton's speech identified the work of protecting and expanding voting rights as a critical part of her campaign. Clinton talked about the fact that African Americans consistently rank among the most deeply affected by the contours of Voter ID laws, must wait in the longest lines on Election Day and cast ballots at polling sites that very often house fewer machines and poll workers than other sites. That, Clinton told the crowd, "is no accident."

Source: 2016 AFA Action iVoterGuide on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 8, 2016

There are millions who should not be registered to vote

Q: Will you accept the results of this election?

TRUMP: I will look at it at the time. I'm not looking at anything now. What I've seen is so bad. First of all, the media is so dishonest and so corrupt, and they've poisoned the mind of the voters. But unfortunately for them, I think the voters are seeing through it. If you look at your voter rolls, you will see millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn't be registered to vote.

Q: But one of the prides of this country is the peaceful transition of power and that no matter how hard-fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign that the loser concedes to the winner, Are you saying you're not prepared now to commit to that principle?

TRUMP: What I'm saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense. OK?

CLINTON: That's horrifying. You know, every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is, is rigged against him. This is how Donald thinks.

Source: Third 2016 Presidential Debate in Las Vegas , Oct 19, 2016

1980s: donated 30 times over campaign contribution limit

Trump's largesse [in political donations] caught the attention of a New York State commission examining possible political corruption. The commission called Trump to testify in March 1988. Under oath, Trump acknowledged that political donations had been a routine part of his business for nearly two decades. He gave so generously that he sometimes lost track of the amounts. When an attorney for the commission asked him to verify that he had given $150,000 to local candidates in 1985 alone, Trump responded, "I really don't know. I assume that is correct, yes."

The amount Trump donated in 1985 was equal to three times the annual limit for individual ($50,000), or thirty times higher than the cap for companies ($5,000), under New York state law. But Trump "circumvented" the law, a state commission found, by spreading the donations among eighteen subsidiary companies. Trump told the commissioners he didn't know "the exact reason" it was done this way; it was how his lawyers had said to do it.

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p.273-4 , Aug 23, 2016

SuperPACs are a disaster and cause dishonesty

I am the only campaign that's self-funding. I'm putting up 100% of my own money. And so far, I've put up less than anybody and I have the best results. Wouldn't that be nice if the country could do that?

I will be putting up tremendous amounts of money. SuperPACs are a disaster. They're a scam. They cause dishonesty. And you better get rid of them because they are causing a lot of bad decisions to be made by some very good people. And I'm not blaming these folks--well, I guess I could.

Source: GOP `Your Money/Your Vote` 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

Candidates should disavow PACs

I have disavowed all PACs. I had many people setting up PACs for me and we sent letters last week saying we don't want their money. I mean, we respect them, we love them, assuming it's all on the up and up, because I don't know these people who run PACs, I don't know what they do with everything. We disavowed all PACs, every one of them.
Source: CBS Face the Nation 2015 interview by Bob Schieffer , Oct 25, 2015

I'm not accepting any money from anybody

Q [to Jeb Bush]: Mr. Trump has repeatedly said that the $100 million you've raised for your campaign makes you a puppet for your donors. Are you?

BUSH: No. Absolutely not. The one guy that tried to get me to change my views on something--that was generous and gave me money--was Donald Trump. He wanted casino gambling in Florida.

TRUMP: I promise if I wanted it, I would have gotten it.

BUSH: No way. Believe me.

Q: What about politicians being controlled by donors?

TRUMP: Jeb made the statement, but I'm not only referring to him. A lot of money was raised by a lot of different people that are standing up here. And the donors, the special interests, the lobbyists have very strong power over these people. I am not accepting any money from anybody. Nobody has control of me other than the people of this country. I'm going to do the right thing.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

I give to politicians; and they give back: that's broken!

Q: You've donated to several Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton included, Nancy Pelosi. You explained away those donations saying you did that to get business-related favors. And you said recently, quote, "When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do."

TRUMP: You'd better believe it.

Q: So what specifically did they do?

TRUMP: If I ask them, if I need them, you know, most of the people on this stage I've given to, just so you understand, a lot of money. I will tell you that our system is broken. I gave to many people, before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. And that's a broken system.

Q: What did you get from Hillary Clinton?

TRUMP: Well, with Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding. You know why? She didn't have a choice because I gave to her foundation.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Two-term limit on NYC mayor is a terrible idea

Donald Trump pronounced the 2-term mayoral limit "a terrible idea, an artificial barrier." Terrible perhaps, but not artificial. Mike Bloomberg actually owed his job to that law, which had forced an obviously reluctant Rudy Giuliani to depart from City Hall. In 2005, when the city council toyed with a plan to extend the limit on everyone's service from 2 terms to 3, the people twice voted to ratify the limit.
Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by J.Purnick, p.179-186 , Sep 28, 2010

Ban soft money; but allow unlimited personal contributions

Our message to Congress should be clear. Take your soft money and. ban it. My second reform would be to allow unlimited personal contributions. The cynics will be steaming over that idea, but they know in their hearts that the philosophy behind it is untouchable, because it is based on personal choice. This puts at the heart of the process the individual American. But they are convinces that if individuals were allowed to give as much as they desired, guys like me would take over politics. They believe in personal freedom all right, so long as guys like Trump are kept in harness. Letís be sensible. If a huge expenditure of personal funds were a guarantee of political victory, our current president would be either Steve Forbes or Ross Perot.

The third leg to the Trump political reforms is also simple and vital. I believe that Americans should know immediately who is giving what to whom. If we have full participation, we should also have full and fast disclosure.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.232-34 , Jul 2, 2000

Supports same campaign finance rules to all organizations.

Trump supports the CC survey question on Citizens United

The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'Removing campaign free speech restrictions that are placed on some organizations but not others' The Christian Coalition notes, "You can help make sure that voters have the facts BEFORE they cast their votes. We have surveyed candidates in the most competitive congressional races on the issues that are important to conservatives."

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 16_CC16 on Nov 8, 2016

Other candidates on Government Reform: Donald Trump on other issues:
2016 Presidential Candidates:
Donald Trump(R-NY)
Gov.Mike Pence(R-IN,VP)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(D-NY)
Sen.Tim Kaine(D-VA,VP)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Bill Weld(L-MA,VP)
Dr.Jill Stein(G-MA)
Ajamu Baraka(G-VP)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Evan McMullin(I)
Darrell Castle(C)
2016 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)
2016 Withdrawn GOP Candidates:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
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Page last updated: Mar 03, 2018