Front Page Talking Points


Edgy comments by Trump spur discussions about the stakes in next year's presidential vote


1.gifReact to a presidential race quote, column or letter – why do you agree or disagree?

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3.gifLook for coverage of another 2024 topic and describe it.

Even with more than 10 months until Americans cast ballots, a growing array of political observers in both major parties frame the 2024 presidential election in stark language. Joe Biden's probable challenger, based on all polls of Republicans in recent months, is the former president he unseated in 2020 – Donald Trump. Statements this fall by Trump – such as "the gloves are off" -- lead some prominent people and media commentators to worry that democracy could be eroded if he wins.

"He pledged to be a dictator on day one," former Vice President Al Gore said last week. "You kind of wonder what it'll take for people to believe him when he tells us who he is," added the Democrat, who served from 1993-2001 under Bill Clinton. For his part, Trump said recently in New York that Biden "is the real threat to democracy," adding that Democrats "think the threat-to-democracy hoax will save Biden from having created the worst inflation in our country's history, a fragile economy that may soon end in a depression."

Although he 91 charges in a Georgia court and from a federal special prosecutor in Washington, D.C., Trump holds a solid lead among rivals for his party's nomination. He skipped all four Republican debates so far. The party begins picking convention delegates Jan. 15 in Iowa, followed by a New Hampshire primary eight days later. These are among Trump policies and comments drawing attention:

In response, the Democratic president said this month at a Boston campaign event: "I don't think anyone doubts our democracy is even more at risk in 2024. . . . We're running against an election denier-in-chief. Trump's not even hiding the ball anymore. He's telling us exactly what he wants to do. He's making no bones about it." Similarly, former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted this month: "Our democracy is in peril. Everyone must be a part of the struggle to protect it." In a new book, former Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming calls Trump a clear danger to American democracy. "One of the things that we see . . . is a sort of a sleepwalking into dictatorship in the United States," she said this month on "CBS Sunday Morning."

Trump says: "I said I want to be a dictator for one day. And you know why I want to be a dictator? Because I want a wall . . . and I want to drill, drill, drill [for oil]." – Speech to New York Young Republican Club, Dec. 9

Republican senator says: "His behavior suggests that this is a person who will impose his will if he can on the judicial system, on the legislative branch and on the entire nation." – Sen. Mitt Romney, R- Utah

Columnist says: "We're going to have a campaign in which one of the candidates is facing more felony indictments than most of America's Most Wanted." – Gail Collins, The New York Times

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2024

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Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.