Donald Trump delivered the “closing argument” to the presidential election in historic Gettysburg, Pa. on Saturday, invoking President Abraham Lincoln as he vowed to unite a divided country, and set it on course with a series of policies he intends to put in place during his first 100 days in office.
The populist wish-list — a push to set a presidential, policy-driven tone for his campaign’s final 17 days — included tax cuts, term limits, school choice, and regulatory reform in a speech he called “a contract between Donald J. Trump and the American voter.”
“Change has to come from outside our very broken system,” said Trump, who lags behind Hillary Clinton in most national polls, and ended another bruising week, in which he shocked debate viewers by refusing to say he’d accept the results of the presidential election.
Pledging to “drain the swamp” of Washington DC, Trump said he would fight for a constitutional amendment to limit congressional terms and to trim the fat from the federal bureaucracy.
“For every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated,” he told a crowd of about 500 in a ballroom at the Eisenhower Hotel and Conference Center.
Trump also said he would bar White House and congressional employees from taking lobbying jobs for five years after leaving government service, and would freeze federal hiring to shrink the ranks of bureaucrats by attrition.
A seven-point list of economic promises included some of his go-to stump lines on renegotiating NAFTA, and labeling China a currency manipulator, and a new pledge to pull billions of dollars earmarked for United Nations climate-change efforts in favor of domestic infrastructure projects.
“My economic plan will create at least 25 million jobs in one decade,” Trump said.
He also touted tax relief legislation. “A middle-class family with two children will get a 35 percent tax cut, and that money will go back into the economy,” he said. And he’d reduce corporate taxes as well, from 35 percent to 15 percent, to encourage business growth.
But Trump also said he would thwart big media mergers, like the proposed deal for AT&T to buy Time Warner, “because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few” — and because the media has been pat of the “rigged system” aligned against his campaign.
“The media is trying to poison the mind of the American voter,” Trump charged. “Deals like this destroy democracy.”
To “restore security and the constitutional rule of law,” Trump said, he would immediately repeal executive orders issued by President Obama, deport criminal illegal aliens, and restrict immigration through “extreme vetting.”
‘”We want people who love our country or who can love our country,” he said. “There are ways of determining that.”
He promised to push repeal of Obamacare through Congress, and create instead a national system of health savings accounts and strike down rules preventing consumers from buying health insurance across state lines.
Trump, who took the stage at the conference center — about four-and-a-half miles from the cemetery where Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address — about an hour late, said he was honored to speak on “hallowed ground.”
“President Lincoln served in a time of division like we’ve never seen before. It is my hope that we can look at his example to heal the divisions we are living through right now. We are a very divided nation.”
Clinton’s campaign was unimpressed.
“This speech gave us a troubling view as to what a Trump State of the Union would sound like — rambling, unfocused, full of conspiracy theories and attacks on the media, and lacking in any real answers for American families,” said deputy communications director Christina Reynolds.
This article first appeared in the New York Post