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Donald Trump on Government Reform

2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President

  
 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Page last updated: Mar 30, 2016