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Donald Trump's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)


Official Position: Candidate addressed this issue directly by taking the Political Courage Test.

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, but Vote Smart inferred this issue based on the candidate's public record, including statements, voting record, and special interest group endorsements.

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, or we could not infer an answer for this candidate despite exhaustive research of their public record.

Additional Information: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position, from their answers or Vote Smart's research.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as candidates submit them. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Donald Trump has failed to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2020 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart and voters like you.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Issue Positions

For Presidential and Congressional candidates who refuse to provide voters with their positions, Vote Smart has researched their public records to determine their likely responses. These issue positions are from 2020.

  • “Protect innocent human life from conception to natural death, including the most defenseless and those Americans with disabilities.” (
  • “Despite Senator Ted Cruz attempting to smear me and totally lie about my beliefs and positions on almost all of the issues, I am a conservative person and I believe in conservative values. Like Ronald Reagan, on many issues, I have evolved. I am pro-life and have been for a long time.” (
  • “My position has not changed - like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions.” (
  • "America is one of the highest tax nations in the world. Reducing taxes will cause new companies and new jobs to come roaring back into our country." (
  • “Reduce taxes across-the-board, especially for working and middle-income Americans who will receive a massive tax reduction.” (
  • “Simplifying the tax code and cutting every American's taxes will boost consumer spending, encourage savings and investment, and maximize economic growth.” (
  • "That's also why we are strongly protecting Medicare and Social Security. We will protect your Social Security. We will protect your Medicare. We will protect you, as American citizens. And that goes even beyond seniors. We're protecting this country." (
  • "I think it's very important. I think it's a very important thing. It's very good. It's been proven to be successful. It's a big saving for the people. It's a tremendous saving, and I think it's an incentive for companies to hire their workers back and to keep their workers. So the payroll tax cut, to me, is very important. We're working on it. And I don't think that there's too much dispute as to the level of importance, John. It's a very important thing. Okay?" (
  • "The Democrats have stated strongly that they won't approve a Payroll Tax Cut (too bad!). It would be great for workers. The Republicans, therefore, didn't want to ask for it. Dems, as usual, are hurting the working men and women of our Country!" (
  • "Yeah, I'd like to see a payroll tax cut. I think it's great for the workers. The Democrats would never have gone for it. They don't want it. They're not big into the workers, I guess. And based on that, I told them last night -- I told the Republicans, who have been working very hard on this, I'll tell you -- and they want what's right for the country, and hopefully the Democrats ultimately will. But I said, "I think a payroll tax will be good, but you're not going to get it from the Democrats." We need their votes, as you know. It's not like -- you know, we have a majority, but it's not enough that we -- that's why I guess we have an election coming up. So you still need Democrat votes, and we're not going to get the Democratic votes on that. So I'd like to see it. I think it would be very good for the workers. But if we're not going to get their votes, I guess we have to go on to the next thing. A payroll tax cut would have been very good. And maybe -- maybe something happens." (
  • "If you look at other candidates, all they talk about is cutting Social Security, cutting Medicare, cutting Medicaid. People pay into Social Security their whole lives and suddenly Republicans, people running for us, they want to cut it," he said.”   (
  • "I'm not going to be cutting Social Security and I will tell you I appreciated what Ed Schultz said. He happens to be right," Trump, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, said at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.” (
  • "I'm not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I'm not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid," Trump told The Daily Signal. "Every other Republican is going to cut, and even if they wouldn't, they don't know what to do because they don't know where the money is. I do." (
  • "Under my Administration, Medicare Advantage premiums next year will be their lowest in the last 13 years. We are providing GREAT healthcare to our Seniors. We cannot let the radical socialists take that away through Medicare for All!" (
  • "I will protect your Social Security and Medicare, just as I have for the past 3 years. Sleepy Joe Biden will destroy both in very short order, and he won't even know he's doing it!" (
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • "Many Democrats want to Defund and Abolish Police Departments. HOW CRAZY!" (
  • "You do need it just like you need immunity for the police, OK, whether they like it or not. You need immunity for the police." (
  • "The Radical Left Democrats new theme is "Defund the Police". Remember that when you don't want Crime, especially against you and your family. This is where Sleepy Joe is being dragged by the socialists. I am the complete opposite, more money for Law Enforcement! #LAWANDORDER" (
  • “For the last eight years, deep defense cuts have undermined our national security, hallowed our -- and they just -- if you look at what's taken out, they've hallowed our readiness as a military unit, and put America at really grave risk.” (
  • “As soon as I take office, I will ask Congress to fully eliminate the defense sequester and will submit a new budget to rebuild our military. This will increase certainty in the defense community as to funding, and will allow military leaders to plan for our future defense needs.” (
  • “President Trump has worked with Congress to increase defense spending, reverse the defense sequester, expand our military capacity, and modernize its capabilities.” (
  • “Today, I'm taking action to build on this tremendous success by strengthening the Buy American principle for federal infrastructure and federal spending.” (
  • “Spur economic growth and competitiveness by closing infrastructure gaps to attract more development and manufacturing investments in rural America.” (
  • "We will rebuild our roads, bridges, tunnels, highways, airports, schools, and hospitals." (
  • “The President lowered the corporate tax rate was lowered from the highest in the industrialized world (35%) to 21%.”  (
  • “Companies leaving is not the disease, it is the symptom. Politicians in Washington have let America fall from the best corporate tax rate in the industrialized world in the 1980's (thanks to Ronald Reagan) to the worst rate in the industrialized world. That is unacceptable. Under the Trump plan, America will compete with the world and win by cutting the corporate tax rate to 15%, taking our rate from one of the worst to one of the best.” (
  • “The Trump Plan will lower the business tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, and eliminate the corporate alternative minimum tax.” (
  • "I just signed the CARES Act, the single biggest economic relief package in American History -- twice as large as any relief bill ever enacted. At $2.2 Trillion Dollars, this bill will deliver urgently-needed relief for our nation's families, workers, and businesses. #CARESAct" (
  • Signed HR 748 - Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. (
  • “Previous administrations have wrongfully forced states and schools to comply with federal whims and dictate what our kids are taught. But we know that local communities do it best and know it best. The time has come to empower parents and teachers to make the decisions that help their students achieve success. That's what this executive order is all about. So important.” (
  • “The Department of Education is urging states to embrace the opportunity provided by ESSA to end top-down mandates from Washington, D.C.” (
  • "We have the strongest energy. Hillary wanted windmills. She wanted solar. Solar is fine -- you know, small potatoes, compared to what we're talking about. It doesn't have the power that you need. And someday, good. I love solar. I think solar is good, but it's limited. The wind is very expensive because you put up those windmills -- I know it very well. First of all, they're made in Germany and they're made in China. Think of the pollutants that go on the air when they're making these massive steel things. If it's anywhere near your house, your house is way down in value. Try dropping a windmill someplace close to your house. Try selling your house. They make noise. They kill all the birds. The energy is intermittent. If you happen to be watching the Democrat debate and the wind isn't blowing, you're not going to the see the debate. "Charlie, what the hell happened to this debate?" (Laughter.) He says, "Darling, the wind isn't blowing. The goddamn windmill stopped. That windmill stopped." (Laughter.)" (
  • "We will get the bureaucracy out of the way of innovation, so we can pursue all forms of energy. This includes renewable energies and the technologies of the future. It includes nuclear, wind and solar energy -- but not to the exclusion of other energy. The government should not pick winners and losers." (
  • "My administration is now revising the past administration's misguided regulations to better protect the environment and to protect our American workers, so importantly. As an example, there is a very good place for solar energy. I'm a believer in solar energy. It hasn't fully developed. It's got a long way to go, but it's really got a tremendous future." (
  • "Donald Trump is committed to an "all of the above" energy plan that would encourage, not discourage, the use of natural gas and other American energy resources that will both reduce emissions but also reduce the price of energy and increase our economic output." (
  • “We will get the bureaucracy out of the way of innovation, so we can pursue all forms of energy. This includes renewable energies and the technologies of the future. It includes nuclear, wind and solar energy -- but not to the exclusion of other energy.” (
  • “Our energy policies will make full use of our domestic energy sources, including traditional and renewable energy sources.”  (
  • “President Trump directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to rescind the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan (CPP).” (
  • “We owe no apologies to other nations for our environmental stewardship. After all, before the Paris Accord was ever signed, America had reduced its CO2 footprint to levels from the early 1990s. In fact, between the years 2000 and 2014, the United States reduced its carbon emissions by 18-plus percent. And this was accomplished not through government mandate, but accomplished through innovation and technology of the American private sector.” (
  • “"Obama Administration legalized bump stocks. BAD IDEA. As I promised, today the Department of Justice will issue the rule banning BUMP STOCKS with a mandated comment period. We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns."” (
  • “"Whether we are Republican or Democrat, we must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!"” (
  • "Gun and magazine bans are a total failure. That's been proven every time it's been tried. Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like "assault weapons", "military-style weapons" and "high capacity magazines" to confuse people. What they're really talking about are popular semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans. Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice. The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own." (
  • "The right of self-defense doesn't stop at the end of your driveway. That's why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver's license works in every state, so it's common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving -- which is a privilege, not a right -- then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege." (
  • "There has been a national background check system in place since 1998. Every time a person buys a gun from a federally licensed gun dealer -- which is the overwhelming majority of all gun purchases -- they go through a federal background check. Study after study has shown that very few criminals are stupid enough to try and pass a background check -- they get their guns from friends/family members or by stealing them. So the overwhelming majority of people who go through background checks are law-abiding gun owners. When the system was created, gun owners were promised that it would be instant, accurate and fair. Unfortunately, that isn't the case today. Too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health records into the system -- and it should go without saying that a system's only going to be as effective as the records that are put into it. What we need to do is fix the system we have and make it work as intended. What we don't need to do is expand a broken system." (
  • “"I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health. Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks! Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue - I hope!"” (
  • “But none of these positive reforms can be accomplished without Obamacare repeal. On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.” (
  • “It is clear to any objective observer that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has resulted in rapidly rising premiums and deductibles, narrow networks, and health insurance, has not been a success. A Trump Administration will work with Congress to repeal the ACA and replace it with a solution that includes Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and returns the historic role in regulating health insurance to the States.” (
  • "I fully support H.R. 6201: Families First CoronaVirus Response Act, which will be voted on in the House this evening. This Bill will follow my direction for free CoronaVirus tests, and paid sick leave for our impacted American workers. I have directed........the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations that will provide flexibility so that in no way will Small Businesses be hurt. I encourage all Republicans and Democrats to come together and VOTE YES!" (
  • Signed HR 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (
  • “President Trump called on Congress to fully fund a wall along the Southern border, to close legal loopholes that enable illegal immigration, to end chain migration, and to eliminate the visa lottery program.” (
  • “"Even President Ronald Reagan tried for 8 years to build a Border Wall, or Fence, and was unable to do so. Others also have tried. We will get it done, one way or the other!"” (
  • “"Virtually every Democrat we are dealing with today strongly supported a Border Wall or Fence. It was only when I made it an important part of my campaign, because people and drugs were pouring into our Country unchecked, that they turned against it. Desperately needed!"” (
  • “"The people that Ice will apprehend have already been ordered to be deported. This means that they have run from the law and run from the courts. These are people that are supposed to go back to their home country. They broke the law by coming into the country, & now by staying."” (
  • “Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws and to have a country. Otherwise we don't have a country.” (
  • “"When people come into our Country illegally, they will be DEPORTED!”" (
  • "I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!" (
  • “Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon.” (
  • “These measures represent a strong and proportionate response to Iran's increasingly provocative actions. We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran until the regime abandons its dangerous activities and its aspirations, including the pursuit of nuclear weapons, increased enrichment of uranium, development of ballistic missiles, engagement in and support for terrorism, fueling of foreign conflicts, and belligerent acts directed against the United States and its allies.” (
  • “To ensure this corrupt dictatorship never acquires nuclear weapons, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. And last fall, we put in place the toughest sanctions ever imposed on a country.” (
  • "Iran has just issued a New Warning. Rouhani says that they will Enrich Uranium to "any amount we want" if there is no new Nuclear Deal. Be careful with the threats, Iran. They can come back to bite you like nobody has been bitten before!" (
  • "Likewise, Iraq: We'll be down to about 2,000 soldiers in a very short period of time. And, in Syria, for the most part, we're out, other than we kept the oil. And so we have soldiers guarding the oil -- not too many; I think a small number -- but they're guarding the oil. And we're helping the Kurds, and we're making their lives much more pleasant because of the fact that we have the oil. So we're pretty much out of Syria. We're pretty much out of Iraq. And we're down to the smallest force that we've had in -- we'll be very shortly down to that number in Afghanistan. The negotiations are a result of a bold diplomatic effort on part of my administration in recent months and years. The United States will play an important role in bringing the parties together to end the decades-long war; it's been going on for almost 20 years, long before I got involved, I can tell you that."  (
  • “My Administration will aggressively pursue joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS, international cooperation to cutoff their funding, expanded intelligence sharing, and cyberwarfare to disrupt and disable their propaganda and recruiting.” (
  • “Well, a little bit far more cheers. And look, a year ago, I would have never said it, but today you have to do something to stop this crazy -- you know, what's going on over there is just crazy. So if it was necessary, I'm the last one that would want to do it. But if it was necessary to do it and everybody seems to think it's necessary, you watch every general on your show, anywhere else, and they all seem to think you need that, at least in a limited way.” (
  • "We are acting as a police force, not the fighting force that we are, in Afghanistan. After 19 years, it is time for them to police their own Country. Bring our soldiers back home but closely watch what is going on and strike with a thunder like never before, if necessary!" (
  • "America’s great USMCA Trade Bill is looking good. It will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody - Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions - tremendous support. Importantly, we will finally end our Country’s worst Trade Deal, NAFTA!" (
  • "When you are the big "piggy bank" that other countries have been ripping off for years (to a level that is not to be believed), Tariffs are a great negotiating tool" (
  • "Last month, we ended the NAFTA catastrophe, and I signed the brand-new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement into law. A great job. The USMCA is a gigantic victory for farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and workers all across our country." (
  • “"Every time I see a weak politician asking to stop Trade talks or the use of Tariffs to counter unfair Tariffs, I wonder, what can they be thinking? Are we just going to continue and let our farmers and country get ripped off? Lost $817 Billion on Trade last year. No weakness!"” (
  • “Tariffs will make our Country MUCH STRONGER, not weaker. Just sit back and watch! In the meantime, China should not renegotiate deals with the U.S. at the last minute. This is not the Obama Administration, or the Administration of Sleepy Joe, who let China get away with "murder!" (
  • “"....We are getting other countries to reduce and eliminate tariffs and trade barriers that have been unfairly used for years against our farmers, workers and companies. We are opening up closed markets and expanding our footprint. They must play fair or they will pay tariffs!"” (
  • "Look, tariffs, at a minimum, are the greatest negotiating tool that we have ever devised that were never used for negotiation. President Xi only made the deal with us. They -- they're going to buy 250 billion. Now, we're going to have to see what's going on because of what happened. This was done, you know, months before the -- the virus. But we're getting -- going to buy $250 billion worth of our product. Two hundred and fifty billion. They didn't buy two cents. They didn't want to buy from us. They took advantage of our country." (
  • "China just announced that their economy is growing much slower than anticipated because of our Trade War with them. They have just suspended U.S. Tariff Hikes. U.S. is doing very well. China wants to make a big and very comprehensive deal. It could happen, and rather soon!" (

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