Biden and Trump Would Pursue Different Goals on Key Issues

The choices, if the winner gets his way, are sharply defined. The onward march of regulation and incentives to restrain climate change, or a slow walk if not an about-face. Higher taxes on the super rich, or not. Abortion rights reaffirmed, or left to states to restrict or allow as each decides. Another attempt to legislate border security and orderly entry into the country, or massive deportations. A commitment to stand with Ukraine or let go.

At no time in living memory have two presidents, current and former, competed for the office. Not since Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, both Republicans, in 1912, and that didn't work out for either of them -- Democrat Woodrow Wilson won that three-way race.

More than a century later, voters again get to judge two presidents on their records alongside their promises for the next four years. Here's where they stand on 10 of the top issues:

Abortion: Biden: The president has called for Congress to send him legislation that would codify in federal law the right to an abortion, which stood for nearly 50 years before being overturned by the Supreme Court. He has also criticized statewide bans on abortion in Republican states and says he will veto any potential nationwide ban should one come to his desk. Trump: The former president often brags about appointing the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to an abortion. After dodging questions about when in pregnancy he believes the procedure should be restricted, Trump announced in April that decisions on access and cutoffs should be left to the states. He said he would not sign a national abortion ban into law. But he's declined to say whether he would try to limit access to the abortion pill mifepristone.

Climate/Energy: Biden: In a second term, Biden could be expected to continue his focus on implementing the climate provisions of his Inflation Reduction Act, which provided nearly $375 billion for things like financial incentives for electric cars and clean energy projects. Biden is also enlisting more than 20,000 young people in a national "Climate Corps," a Peace Corps-like program to promote conservation through tasks such as weatherizing homes and repairing wetlands. Biden wants to triple the group's size this decade. Trump: His mantra for one of his top priorities: "Drill, Baby, Drill." Trump, who in the past cast climate change as a "hoax" and harbors a particular disdain for wind power, says it's his goal for the U.S. to have the cheapest energy and electricity in the world. He'd increase oil drilling on public lands, offer tax breaks to oil, gas and coal producers, speed the approval of natural gas pipelines and roll back the Biden administration's aggressive efforts to get people to switch to electric cars, which he argues should not be forced on consumers. He has also pledged to re-exit the Paris Climate Accords, end wind subsidies and eliminate regulations imposed and proposed by the Biden administration targeting energy-inefficient kinds of lightbulbs, stoves, dishwashers and shower heads.

Democracy/Rule of Law: Biden: Protecting democracy has been the raison d'etre behind Biden's decision to run for reelection. In a symbolic nod to the Revolutionary War, Biden delivered his first campaign speech of 2024 near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, where he spoke of George Washington's decision to step down as the leader of the Continental Army after American independence was won. During the Jan. 5 speech, Biden said this year's presidential contest is "all about" whether U.S. democracy will survive and he regularly condemns Trump's denial that he lost the 2020 general election. Biden has called the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol a "day that we nearly lost America -- lost it all." Trump: The former president, who famously refused to accept his loss to Biden in 2020, has not committed to accepting the results this time. "If everything's honest, I'll gladly accept the results," Trump recently told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "If it's not, you have to fight for the right of the country."

Federal Government: Biden: The Biden administration is already taking steps to make it harder for any mass firings of civil servants to occur. In April, the Office of Personnel Management issued a new rule that would ban federal workers from being reclassified as political appointees or other at-will employees, which makes them easier to dismiss. That was in response to Schedule F, a 2020 executive order from Trump that reclassified tens of thousands of federal workers so they could be fired more easily. Trump: The former president vows an overhaul of the federal bureaucracy, which he has long blamed for stymieing his first term agenda: "I will totally obliterate the deep state." He plans to reissue the Schedule F order stripping civil service protections. He'd then move to fire "rogue bureaucrats," including those who "weaponized our justice system," and the "warmongers and America-Last globalists in the Deep State, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the national security industrial complex."

Immigration: Biden: The president continues to

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