7 Things You Have To Be OK With To Endorse Donald Trump

Judd Legum

Judd Legum Editor-in-Chief, ThinkProgress

Donald Trump will be the presidential nominee of the Republican Party. But some Republicans have reservations climbing aboard the Trump train.

A few prominent figures in the party, including Mark Salter (former top aide to John McCain) and Ben Howe (editor of RedState), say they’ll support Hillary Clinton. Others, including Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), simply say they will never support Trump.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, the highest ranking Republican official, charted a third course. Yesterday, he announced that he was “just not ready” to support Trump. Ryan was unclear about what Trump needed to do specifically to earn his support. He did say he wanted Trump to run a campaign that conservatives are “proud to support and proud to be a part of.”

That could be a very difficult bar to clear, because he has already staked out positions that many Republicans find repellent. Endorsing Trump means endorsing an individual who would pursue these policies.

1. Deporting 11 million immigrants with a “deportation force”

Trump has explicitly called for the immediate deportation of all undocumented immigrants. Trump said that he would form a “deportation force” to execute his plan.

Trump also said he would end “birthright citizenship,” the constitutional guarantee that individuals born in the United States are citizens. This would ultimately swell the ranks of people that Trump is pledging to deport.

2. A “total and complete” ban of all Muslims from the U.S.

Trump is calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims in the United States.” The ban would continue “until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”

As justification for the ban, Trump cited the Center for Security Policy, one of the leading purveyors of Islamophobia in America. The head of the Center for Security Policy has been banned from the annual conference of the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) for his bigoted views on Muslims.

3. Torture

Trump has advocated the use of waterboarding, which is widely considered torture. Trump added that he wanted to “go stronger” and employ other methods of torture. “[W]e should go tougher than waterboarding,” he said.

Trump said that torture was necessary to deal with “animals” in “the Middle East.”

4. Birtherism

Trump gained prominence in Republican politics by openly questioning whether Obama was born in the United States, suggesting that his birth certificate was fake and he was really born in Kenya.

After Obama eventually produced a “long-form” birth certificate he did not back down. Asked during the current campaign if Obama was born in the United States, Trump would not answer.

5. War crimes

Trump argued that to defeat ISIS, he would intentionally kill the family members of suspected extremists. Intentionally targeting innocent civilians is a war crime under international law.

Trump justified his position by claiming the wives of the 9/11 terrorists were sent home prior to the attacks, which is a myth. There is no evidence any of them even had wives or girlfriends in the United States prior to the attack.

6. Shutting down the EPA

Scientists believe climate change is real and presents an existential threat to humanity. Trump believe it is a hoax created by the Chinese.

Trump has said that he will close the Environmental Protection Agency, which he refers to as the “Department of Environmental,” and let the states do whatever they want.

7. Changing the law to make it easier to sue journalists who write “negative” articles

Trump has gained popularity by railing against the media, which he claims is dishonest and unfair. Even places like Fox News, which has provided incessant, fawning coverage, do not escape his wrath.

As president, Trump says he will get his revenge.

Trump has pledged that, if he wins the presidency, he is going to “open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.”


Reposted from ThinkProgress.

Judd Legum is Editor-in-Chief of ThinkProgress. Previously, Judd was the Research Director for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign. He also worked at American Progress from 2003 to 2007, when he founded and edited ThinkProgress. Judd holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. from Pomona College in Public Policy analysis. He is a member of the Maryland Bar and has practiced as an attorney, focusing on civil and criminal trial work. Judd has also appeared frequently on radio and television, including CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and CNBC.

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