2024 Presidential Election: The Guardian’s guide to where candidates stand on major issues

2024 Presidential Election: The Guardian’s guide to where candidates stand on major issues
Image by Nicholas Regli for The UCSD Guardian

With the United States presidential election scheduled for Nov. 5, 2024, many political parties have begun to coalesce around their presumptive nominees. 

This article focuses on five major candidates and their stances across key issues in the upcoming election. The candidates are Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Robert Kennedy Jr., Jill Stein, and Cornel West.

Biden is the incumbent president and presumptive Democratic nominee. Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee and a former president. Kennedy is running as an independent candidate and is the nephew of former president John F. Kennedy. Stein is a physician and the presumptive nominee for the Green party. Finally, West is running as an independent and is a philosopher and professor. 

 

Israel-Palestine:

Joe Biden:

Biden has stated his support for a two-state solution in his State of the Union address, as reported by Time. He has also been critical of the Israeli military campaign and has specifically critiqued Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership of the conflict. The Biden administration also did not veto and abstained from voting on the UN resolution calling for a ceasefire on March 25, after months of pressure by activists to support a ceasefire. That said, Biden has yet to call the situation in Palestine a genocide and has continued to supply Israel with military and financial aid.

 

Donald Trump:

Trump has been a vocal supporter of Israel and has even recently encouraged Israel to “finish the job” in regard to Palestine, as reported by NBC. This has led some news outlets to write that Trump is “encouraging the genocide.” During his presidency, Trump also relocated the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a highly contentious move given the contested status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Trump has said little about the plight of the Palestinian people and has not called the situation in Gaza a genocide. 

RFK Jr:

Kennedy has been a staunch supporter of Israel and has even questioned the necessity of a ceasefire, The Times of Israel reports. He has stated that Israel is a moral nation that is just in its response to a war he believes was started by Hamas. Jill Stein:

The Michigan Advance reports that Stein has said that the U.S. has “blood on our hands.” She has stated that the U.S. is a partner in the genocide occurring in Gaza. She has called for the complete withdrawal of military and financial aid to Israel. Stein has stated that the Biden administration is enabling Israel to commit genocide, and has called Biden “Genocide Joe.”

Cornel West:

West has called for an end to the genocide in Gaza and the end of Israeli occupation of Gaza, the Michigan Advance reports. West has stated that he does not want “the massacre and genocide of any people,” and that security can only be achieved once Gaza is no longer occupied. West supports ceasing U.S. aid to Israel both financially and militarily. 

 

Abortion:

Joe Biden:

Biden supports a person’s right to choose to have an abortion, as noted in a recent White House Press Release. He criticized the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which struck down the Roe v. Wade case that federally protected a person’s right to have an abortion. He also pledged to only nominate justices who would protect the right to choose.

Donald Trump:

Trump opposes abortions, according to The Washington Post. As president, Trump nominated justices to the Supreme Court who went on to overturn Roe v. Wade. He also celebrated the Dobbs v. Jackson decision.

RFK Jr:

Kennedy supports the right to choose. He has stated that it is not the government’s place to intervene in personal health decisions. He opposes any attempt to federally ban abortion.

Jill Stein:

Stein supports of abortion rights. She has previously criticized Democrats for failing to codify Roe v. Wade. 

Cornel West:

USA Today reports that West is also in favor of reinstating protections for the right to have an abortion. He has also tied the fight for reproductive freedom to struggles against poverty and racism. 

 

Student Loans/Debt:

Joe Biden:

Biden has stated his support for reducing the costs of student loan payments, according to Forbes. An initial attempt at a wide-scale student loan forgiveness program was halted by the Supreme Court. Biden has recently announced the Saving on a Valuable Education Plan, or SAVE, which would allow borrowers to potentially receive loan forgiveness in 10 years if their balance is below $12,000. 

Donald Trump:

Trump opposes efforts for student debt relief and has been critical of Biden’s attempts to provide relief, as CNBC reports. He has stated that debt forgiveness is unfair, and if elected president, he would roll back Biden’s student loan debt relief programs. 

RFK Jr:

The Hill writes that Kennedy is supportive of student loan debt forgiveness. Kennedy has also claimed that Biden knew his student loan debt forgiveness program would be blocked by the courts and was only trying to appear to take action on the issue.Jill Stein:

The Green Party website states that Stein and the Green Party support universal full loan forgiveness. Stein has criticized Biden’s plan as failing to rectify a massive financial burden on people of color, as the average Black household’s student loan debt is three times that of white households.

Cornel West:

Newsweek reports that West is in favor of student loan forgiveness. He has stated that Biden needs to do more on the issue of student loan debt and has generally criticized an apparent lack of action by Biden on the issue. 

 

Environment: 

Joe Biden:

Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement once he became president. Biden recently implemented the American Climate Corps, which seeks to train young people who want to work to fight against the climate crisis. He has sought to offer support for more widespread usage of electric vehicles and pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 also included several provisions related to protecting the environment and mitigating climate change. 

Donald Trump:

Trump wants to cut back on many environmental regulations and has continually downplayed the significance of climate change. As president, he withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.

RFK Jr:

Kennedy served for over 20 years as an environmental lawyer, focusing on clean water. He wants to encourage sustainable practices in the agriculture industry and incentivize industries to move toward cleaner sources of energy.  

Jill Stein:

Stein believes climate change is an existential threat to the world and that decisive action must be taken now. Stein backs a Green New Deal, a model based on Franklin Roosevelt’s depression-era New Deal program, which seeks to address climate change and improve the economy at the same time. 

Cornel West:

West wants to declare a climate emergency, nationalizing the fossil fuel industry and putting an indefinite pause on fracking in the process. He believes access to clean air and water should become a constitutional right. West also urges a pause on leasing federal lands and waters for use in oil and gas production and extraction. 

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About the Contributors
Carter Castillo
Carter Castillo, News Editor
Second year Comparative Politics Major and passionate student journalist. Proud owner of a 2012 Toyota Prius.
Nicholas Regli, Artist
Graduating 2024 Cogsci: HCI & Studio Art Double Major
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    AlumApr 14, 2024 at 2:20 pm

    Why are you reporting on the presidential election instead of the A.S. election? Your value isn’t in regurgitating things you read in national newspapers about national news; it’s in being the only news org reporting on the happenings at the multi-million dollar pseudo-corporation known as ASUCSD.

    I haven’t seen a single article about the A.S. elections. Not even an editorial endorsing/condemning candidates. What the heck happened?

    Reply