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The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

2024 Presidential Candidates a look at four frontrunners


This article highlights four 2024 presidential election front-runners and their policies on international, domestic, economic and social issues, focusing on immigration, drugs, tax reform and abortion. The information is from OnTheIssues, a website that aims to provide nonpartisan information that is gathered from the candidates’ public statements, their campaign websites and reports from reputable news outlets. 

Joe Biden – Democrat

Immigration: In office, Biden has made Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, permanent. His White House webpage detailing his administration’s priorities says that Biden’s strategy is based on welcoming orderly and prosperous immigration that does not separate families.

Drugs: In February 2023, Biden said that he wanted to start working with package companies and FedEx to ensure that mail is free of fentanyl. He also supports drug rehabilitation over incarceration. Biden wants to decriminalize marijuana and the associated criminal records, as he sees those charges as unnecessary barriers when seeking employment. In October 2022, Biden pardoned all prior Federal offenses of simple marijuana possession.

Tax Reform: Biden wishes to increase taxes on the wealthy rather than the working class. He also wants to crack down on the wealthy who avoid paying their taxes.

Abortion: Biden is publicly pro-choice and defends access to abortion as a right women should have. He has spoken out that, as a Catholic, he personally is not fond of abortions, but he does support Roe v. Wade and thinks that the decision should lie with the women themselves.

Donald Trump – Republican

Immigration: Trump wants to secure the national borders around the United States, particularly at the border with Mexico. He also wished to deploy the National Guard and law enforcement officers to assist with catching illegal immigrants. 

“He will also deliver a merit-based immigration system that protects American labor and promotes American values,” said Trump’s 2024 campaign website.  

OnTheIssues reports that in May 2023, Trump said that he would reinstate the family separation policy at the border and increase U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, deportation offices.

Drugs: Trump wants to attack drug cartels and impose a naval embargo on them. He also aims to label them as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, with the intention of lessening their global financial support. He also wants to request Congress to create legislation that assigns the death penalty to drug smugglers and traffickers. 

Tax Reform: Trump has said that he wishes to cut taxes, and in 2017, he signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which will expire at the end of 2025.

Abortion: Most recently, Trump has been publicly pro-life and targeted Democrats for wanting their pro-choice stances. 

“Virtually every Democrat candidate has declared their unlimited support for extreme late-term abortion, ripping babies straight from the mother’s womb, right up until the very moment of birth,” Trump said at a 2020 campaign rally.

 In 2020, Trump wanted to ban late-term abortions, but he did not specify how many weeks into a pregnancy he would wish to enact a ban. He has said that an abortion ban would exclude certain cases, such as rape, incest and the life of the mother.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – Independent, former Democratic candidate

Immigration: On his campaign website, Kennedy calls the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border a primarily humanitarian crisis. He also named lack of control as the main cause of the crisis at the border. He aims to end illegal immigration and expand lawful immigration, calling the greatest victims of a chaotic border the immigrants themselves. 

Drugs: Kennedy appears to support marijuana and psychedelic drug reform to the point of some legalization. He has said on X, formerly known as Twitter, 

“I will decriminalize cannabis at the federal level,” Kennedy said on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

He continued to comment that he finds the current contradictions between state and federal laws on marijuana absurd. He also wants to help those who are recovering from addiction by building recovery sites across America called healing camps.

Tax Reform: Kennedy does not appear to have said very much on this issue yet. 

Abortion: Kennedy said publicly in Iowa in August 2023 that he supports placing a federal ban on abortions after the first trimester has occurred. 

“I believe a decision to abort a child should be up to the woman during the first three months of life,” Kennedy said. 

However, his campaign team released a statement later that day saying that Kennedy always supports a woman’s right to choose and supports no legislation that seeks to ban abortions. 

Nikki Haley – Republican

Immigration: Haley has said in the last year that she aims to defund sanctuary cities. She also recently spoke on the topic, saying the debate is always on the number of immigrants, but that is not the way to look at it. 

“We need to do it based on merit,” Haley said “We need to go to our industries and say, ‘What do you need that you don’t have?’”

Drugs: Haley calls China the source of many of the opioids in the U.S., especially fentanyl. She has also supported the states’ right to make their own legislation when it comes to drugs like marijuana. She does not appear to have broadly spoken on domestic and federal means to address drugs in the U.S.

Tax Reform:
Haley has spoken about gas and diesel taxes and says she would eliminate the federal tax. She has been accused of working to actually raise gas taxes in the past, but Forbes contributor Patrick Gleason finds this deceiving. 

“In response to the effort to raise South Carolina’s gas tax, then-Governor Haley countered by telling state legislators she would only consider a gas tax increase if it were tied to an income tax cut of greater size,” Gleason said.

“I’m strongly pro-life, very pro-life, and not because my party tells me to be, but my husband was adopted, and so every day I know the blessings of having him there,” Haley said in 2010.  

She has not wavered in this stance, and is continuing to use this rhetoric in her 2024 campaign. However, Haley says that the abortion issue is personal to each woman considering it. She wants states and the people living in them to be able to choose to make their state pro-life or pro-choice as they see fit. She also has urged her fellow Republicans to not push for a national ban and to instead find middle ground and consensus between all parties.


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