4 takeaways from the new Republican Party platform — or Trump's playbook

The Republican National Convention’s platform committee released its new platform Monday, cementing the party’s alignment with Donald Trump ahead of next week’s convention in Milwaukee.

The document focuses on many themes, such as immigration, Trump hammers at his rallies. The platform even mirrors Trump’s typical language and formatting in social media posts, with many capitalized letters, slogans such as “DRILL, BABY, DRILL” and broad promises.

Party delegates will vote on the proposed platform at their convention, where they will also formally accept Trump as the Republican nominee for president.

Here’s what you need to know:

No nationwide abortion ban

The party is leaving abortion up to the states, to decide how to rule on the contentious issue. The platform also takes credit for overturning Roe vs. Wade, the long-standing Supreme Court case that allowed abortions nationwide.

Trump frequently cites the 2022 Supreme Court decision which undid Roe while on the campaign trail. Trump appointed three conservative justices to the Supreme Court who ruled in the case, Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which essentially gave states decision-making power on abortion.

Still, many on the Republican Party’s most conservative flank — including many evangelical leaders — have called for Trump and the party to go further, pushing for a federal ban on abortion.

Knowing that stronger abortion restrictions could alienate key constituencies such as suburban women and young people, Trump has sought to carve out a narrow lane for himself — taking credit for undoing nationwide abortion access but leaving it to the states to decide how far to go. The new party platform reflects that tightrope.

“We proudly stand for families and Life,” the platform reads. “We believe that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that no person can be denied Life or Liberty without Due Process, and that the States are, therefore, free to pass Laws protecting those Rights. After 51 years, because of us, that power has been given to the States and to a vote of the People.”

The document mentions the word “abortion” only once, when articulating the party’s opposition to “late term abortion.” It also notes that the party supports access to birth control and in vitro fertilization treatments.

‘America first’ foreign policy

In keeping with Trump’s “America first” mantra on foreign policy, the Republican Party platform says a second Trump administration will invest heavily in the U.S. military by increasing pay to the troops and ramping up defense equipment production.

The platform — like Trump — promises to build an Iron Dome missile defense system, like the one Israel has deployed against attacks by the militant group Hamas.

The platform does not mention Ukraine directly but does say one goal is to “restore peace in Europe.” Many Republicans have called for cutting off military aid to Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia two years ago.

Part of its America first policy includes promoting U.S. manufacturing and deregulating the energy industry.

Immigration control is everywhere

Immigration remains one of Republicans’ top priorities in the 2024 election, and the party platform capitalizes on the topic. In nearly every section — even on seemingly unrelated topics, such as supporting senior citizens — the platform includes a nugget about stanching illegal immigration.

It promises to restore Trump-era border policies, including the controversial “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers entering through the southern border. The party states a Trump administration would complete the U.S.-Mexico border wall, despite the fact that during Trump’s four years as president, fewer than 500 miles of wall were built along the 1,954-mile border, most of it replacing outdated fencing. Also, despite Trump’s repeated assertions that Mexico would pay for the wall, it never did.

The proposed party platform describes deporting millions of immigrants in the country illegally, even deploying federal troops to the southern border. It also pledges to increase penalties for those overstaying visas and to cut federal funding to sanctuary cities.

“Republicans will secure the Border, deport Illegal Aliens, and reverse the Democrats’ Open Borders Policies that have driven up the cost of Housing, Education, and Healthcare for American families,” the platform reads.

The Republican Party is Trump’s party

The new platform, dedicated “To the Forgotten Men and Women of America,” shows how closely the party is adhering to Trump’s campaign stump speech, with heavy emphasis on major issues, such as immigration, and few details for how policies would be designed or carried out.

Jon Fleischman, a Republican political strategist and former executive director of the California GOP, said the proposed platform is a continuation of the party’s move in the last eight years away from traditional Republicanism and toward Trump loyalism.

Not only has the Trump campaign placed its people in charge of many state party organizations, Fleischman said, but it has also changed the rules for many state parties to ensure that delegates are handpicked Trump loyalists. That way, Trump supporters are the delegates attending the convention and voting on the party’s rules and platforms.

“It really illustrates that America lives in a weak party system,” Fleischman said. “I mean the parties are not in charge, the candidates are in charge.”

The platform is a 16-page document, down 50 pages from its 2016 version.

“One generation ago, it would’ve been heresy to say we want to replace the party platform, which is a very large document,” Fleischman said. “Now it has become a campaign literature.”

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