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Trump team plans to pare down Republican Party platform ahead of convention

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Greenbrier Farms on Friday in Chesapeake, Va., the day after the first presidential debate of the 2024 election.
Anna Moneymaker
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Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Greenbrier Farms on Friday in Chesapeake, Va., the day after the first presidential debate of the 2024 election.

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign is planning to present a “streamlined” platform ahead of the Republican National Convention later this month, according to a memo obtained by NPR.

“The platform is an opportunity to make our vision clear, and to lay out a framework for policy making, while rejecting any special interest influence that seeks to make public policy stray from our clear and straightforward objectives,” stated the memo, signed by Trump advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles.

They said the platform should reflect Trump’s vision for America, and avoid creating lines of attack for his opponents.

The memo was first reported by The New York Times and others.

A big question is what the platform will say about abortion, which has been a political challenge for Republicans as the strictest abortion policies are out of step with the majority of Americans’ views. The platform committee has not yet met to determine what will be in the final document.

That debate won’t be out in the open, as has happened in the past. This year the platform committee will meet a week before the convention and it will be closed to the press, according to a source familiar with the decision, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the internal plans.

The Trump campaign is looking to avoid drama and unforced controversy while, as the memo states, they believe Trump is in a good position to win. They argue an unwieldy platform could be weaponized by Democrats and the media.

But closing the platform committee meeting to the press is a break with tradition.

Party platforms can can turn into lengthy documents, with lobbyists and advocates all trying to get their issues mentioned. The Republican platform in 2016 was long and not particularly clear or cohesive. And it did open Trump up to attacks about changes made to the platform related to Ukraine.

In 2020, Trump and the RNC didn't even reopen the platform, and stuck with the one from 2016.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Tamara Keith
Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. In that time, she has chronicled the final years of the Obama administration, covered Hillary Clinton's failed bid for president from start to finish and threw herself into documenting the Trump administration, from policy made by tweet to the president's COVID diagnosis and January 6th. In the final year of the Trump administration and the first year of the Biden administration, she focused her reporting on the White House response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her reporting often highlights small observations that tell a larger story about the president and the changing presidency.