Rick Santorum: President Trump will succeed if he keeps promises

Trump's first day: What's on the agenda?
Trump's first day: What's on the agenda?

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    Trump's first day: What's on the agenda?

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Trump's first day: What's on the agenda? 02:47

Story highlights

  • Rick Santorum: In his first 100 days, President Trump will have to make good on his promise to make America great again
  • Trump has to undo a lot of polices from the Obama administration and immediately nominate a Supreme Court justice, he writes

Rick Santorum is a former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania and a contributor to CNN. He is the Co-chair of Americans for Energy Security and Innovation, which does advocacy. The views expressed here are solely his.

(CNN)If President Trump wants to go big league, he needs to make an immediate impact with a bold agenda in the first 100 days. From Supreme Court nominations to immigration and trade promises, Mr. Trump needs to make his priorities stick.

First, he must immediately nominate his candidate to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Trump's presidency has the chance to save the Constitution from obliteration by a runaway Supreme Court, and there could be no greater accomplishment. His Supreme Court nominations likely will define his presidency.
There are critical cases before the Court in late April that, without a replacement being seated, will further erode of our liberty. Speed is of the essence because the press is already beginning to report which candidates he is meeting with. If he wants his selection to get a fair hearing, the selection needs to be made in January, before Trump opponents can unfairly target the nominee for defeat.
Beyond his long-term legacy on the Court, President Trump needs to immediately address the healthcare crisis that has been caused by Obamacare. Our nation's health insurance marketplace is collapsing upon itself; dramatically driving up premiums and out-of-pocket costs for hard-working Americans. Congress has already set in motion the repeal of Obamacare, but it will be up to President Trump to lead the replacement process. Consumers will need confidence that their care will be there if necessary. Obamacare was an unmitigated disaster, and it is up to President Trump and the Republican Congress to replace it with a patient-based plan that puts the power of the most important decisions any of us will make back into our hands.
And as President Trump moves forward with his initial agenda, it will be essential that he uphold his promise to the American worker. Voters from Pennsylvania to Michigan and Wisconsin bucked decade-long voting patterns to give his "made in America" platform a chance. Now he needs to deliver for those voters.
This means following through with his commitment to enforce our immigration and trade laws. Doing so would be a marketed shift from the Obama policies of turning a blind eye to the costs of cheap foreign labor on our blue-collar communities and from Republican traditions of unfettered free trade that places the bottom line over workers. Neither of these practices will require congressional approval; they will simply require the will of a president to uphold the pledges he made to voters willing to take a chance on a nontraditional candidate.
These same communities are also counting on President Trump to revive a manufacturing base that has been eroded over the past 40 years. But to accomplish this turnaround, these communities and their manufacturers will need low-cost energy resources at their disposal. Costly Obama-era regulations will need to be reversed, initiatives like the Keystone Pipeline must be completed, and programs like the Renewable Fuel Standard will need to be extended. President Trump can do much of these things on day one because it involves simply revoking executive orders. But other rules are more complicated and will take agency or congressional action, which Mr. Trump will need to be ready to kick-start.
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And finally, Mr. Trump needs to put more money in the pockets of workers along with a simplified tax code and tax reduction, especially in business taxes -- which are among the highest in the world. Tax simplification and reform has been a clarion call of both President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, and this will be central to revitalizing our economy for the American worker.
With these priorities on his domestic agenda, President Trump must also be committed to an international agenda, remembering that he will be Commander in Chief to the most powerful nation in the history of the world. In two key areas -- our relationship with the United Nations and the Iran nuclear deal -- he needs to shift our country's focus.
In response to the recent anti-Israel resolution by the UN Security Council, we must extricate ourselves from the UN's un-democratic sub-agencies. This will be a welcome sign to our allies, particularly Israel, which feels hung out to dry by President Obama.
And we need to unravel the Obama Administration's nuclear deal with Iran. President Trump needs to make sure this radical Islamic regime never gets close to achieving the nuclear weapon the Obama Administration has failed to prevent it from developing.
This is an ambitious agenda. President Trump has a lot of work to do in order to dig our nation out of the hole President Obama dug for him. But if he plans to make good on his promise to make America great again, following through on these campaign promises from the very beginning of his administration will be step one.