Politics with Amy Walter: Has Trump Kept His Campaign Promises? | WBEZ
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The Takeaway

Politics with Amy Walter: Has Trump Kept His Campaign Promises?

We are less than a month away from the Midterm Elections. And that also means we are two years out from the 2016 campaign, when then-candidate Donald Trump ran on a series of promises to the American people: creating millions of new jobs, revitalizing manufacturing, renegotiating NAFTA, and of course, building the wall.

For this hour of Politics with Amy Walter, we analyze President Trump's top promises that he made in his campaign, and whether or not he's followed through on them. We break these promises into six distinct sections: foreign policy, trade, jobs, the Supreme Court, Obamacare, and the southern border wall.

Here are ten of them, with the results so far:

1. Respect for America on the World Stage

Susan Glasser, a staff writer for The New Yorker, says President Trump has failed on this: "This is probably his biggest failure. By the numbers, by any objective standard, the United States has plummeted in world opinion."

2. Withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal

In May, President Trump finalized plans to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. "If you didn't think he was going to withdraw from the Iran deal, which is what some serious foreign policy people thought or convinced themselves of, you were wrong," says Susan Glasser.

3. Make NATO Allies Pay More

"It's not fair to say that as Trump has claimed, that he's gotten European allies to pay millions more," says Susan Glasser. "However, if you want to grade on a curve, you definitely could say that the threats or the bullying, or the blustering, or however you want to characterize it, have produced a new awareness in Europe that they ought to ante up more for their common defense in NATO than they felt pressured to do in the past."

4. Withdraw from The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Renegotiate NAFTA

President Trump followed through on withdrawing from TPP with an Executive Order on January 23rd. But he revived parts of the TPP to renegotiate NAFTA, which the administration finished just this month. According to Alex Lawson, Law360’s senior reporter on international trade, "[The new NAFTA] is an improvement," but the guidelines for the renegotiation were already drawn up by the Obama administration. "It's a little disingenuous for Trump to say that none of this happens without me...That's just not the case."

5. GDP Growth of Over 3.5 Percent Over 10 Years

GDP growth was over 4 percent in the second quarter of 2018, but Jim Tankersley, tax and economics reporter for The New York Times, says, "It's not what President Trump promised. It's not the supercharged sustained 3.5, 4 percent, which is really hard to do at this point in an economic cycle, but it's better than it was, and I do think he gets some credit for that."

6. Create 25 Million Jobs Over 10 Years

"We're right around 4 million jobs from the start of his presidency," says Jim Tankersley. "I will say that is a straight line continuation of the job creation pace we were on for the average of the last several years before his presidency." As for the question of creating 25 million jobs in 10 years? "You are unlikely to see that level of job creation."

7. Appoint Conservative Justices to the Supreme Court Who Support the Second Amendment and Oppose Abortion

Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch are certainly considered conservative justices. It remains to be seen how they will vote on Second Amendment issues, as well as on a potential Roe v. Wade debate. "The jury is still out," says Amy Howe, co-founder of SCOTUS Blog.

8. Fully Repeal and Replace Obamacare

Julie Rovner, Chief Washington Correspondent for Kaiser Health News, says that while the Trump administration has done quite a bit to dismantle Obamacare, they failed to fully repeal and replace it.

9. Build the Southern Border Wall 

The Trump administration claims that new fencing along the Southern Border is the Trump Wall. But according to Michel Marizco, senior editor for KJZZ, that is far from the truth. "What's going up now does not fit the definition" of the type of wall that Trump called for in his campaign and in an Executive Order that he signed early in his presidency.

10. Make Mexico Pay for the Southern Border Wall

As for Mexico paying for the wall? "No ma'am," says Michel Marizco.

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