Meet the Candidates: Donald Trump

By: Daniel Wachman – Senior Political Correspondent

This article is one of two candidate profiles in the 2020 presidential election. To read the profile of Joe Biden, click here.

Donald J. Trump of Florida is the 45th and current President of the United States and the Republican nominee for president. Prior to his election in 2016, Trump was a New York-based real estate mogul and businessman whose family company, The Trump Organization, made him a billionaire. Born in Queens, New York, Trump holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. Trump gained fame as he grew his father’s company into a multi-billion dollar worldwide real estate empire and hosted the reality TV series The Apprentice.

In 1977, Trump married model Ivana Zelníčková, and the two had three children: Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. Trump divorced Ivana in 1992 and remarried actress Marla Maples, with whom he had his fourth child, Tiffany. Trump and Maples then divorced in 1999 and Trump married model (and now First Lady) Melania Knauss in 2005; the two had one child, Barron. Following their father’s inauguration in 2017, Ivanka joined the Trump administration as an adviser to the president, while Don Jr. and Eric took on executive roles in the Trump Organization. 

Widely regarded as the underdog in his run for president against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Trump won an upset victory in November 2016, winning the Electoral College but losing the popular vote to Clinton. Trump’s campaign was centered on his slogan: “Make America Great Again.” He advocated for economic nationalism, the repeal of Obamacare, infrastructure investments, deregulation, tax cuts, and strict immigration reform, including the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. 

In the first three and a half years of his presidency, Trump has appointed a record number of judges to federal courts, repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate, and begun construction on his famed wall. He has also re-negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994 (NAFTA), pulled America out of the Paris Climate Accords, and overseen Middle East peace treaties. Before the COVID recession, Trump frequently highlighted the economy under his presidency as the best in American history; unemployment rates hit record lows while the stock market hit record highs, both of which Trump credits to his numerous regulations cuts. Trump also credits his most major legislative accomplishment, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which slashed individual and corporate tax rates, especially for those in the highest wealth brackets. However, Trump’s tenure as president has been swamped in allegations of corruption, including an abuse of power charge that led to his impeachment by the House of Representatives in 2019 (and ultimate acquittal by the Senate in early 2020). 

Trump’s re-election campaign is focused on continuing the work of his first term and recovering the economy from the COVID crisis. Trump has frequently criticized his opponent, Joe Biden, calling his proposals “radical” and “far left” while claiming Biden is mentally unfit for office. Following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Trump’s campaign has emphasized the importance of court appointments, including Trump’s pending nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. In recent months, Trump, the self-described “law and order president,” has also positioned himself as the pro-law enforcement candidate in the race, calling for a crackdown on violence in cities and vehemently opposing the “defund the police” movement. If re-elected, Trump also promises to cut taxes once again, forge improved trade deals, implement a better and cheaper healthcare system, continue deregulation, and “Keep America Great.” Trump would be the oldest president ever inaugurated if given a second term, breaking a record he set himself in 2017.

Trump’s running mate is Michael R. Pence, the 48th and current vice president of the United States, former Governor of Indiana, and former Congressman for Indiana’s 6th Congressional District. Pence is the head of Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force and has been leading the Trump administration’s fight against COVID-19 since February. 

Learn more about the Trump/Pence ticket at

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