Jack Welch, the former GE chief and longtime Republican supporter, told CNBC on Tuesday he’s voting for Donald Trump because he likes the real estate mogul’s policies on tax reform, government regulations and national security more than those of Hillary Clinton.
Welch was late to the Trump camp, first supporting Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who failed to secure the GOP presidential nomination.
In a “Squawk Box” interview, Welch provided a detailed argument for Trump’s policies.
“I have no ax to grind with the Clintons. … I’m supporting an agenda. It’s Donald Trump’s agenda, and I’m for it,” he said. “I like starting here, and fighting like hell for it, because I know it will grow the economy 4 percent-plus.”
On taxes, Welch said Trump’s federal corporate tax cut from 35 percent to 15 percent would be better for the economy.
“I want a strong economy that creates jobs,” he said, comparing the Democratic presidency of Jimmy Carter and Republican Ronald Reagan. “I saw the incredible surge” under Reagan.
On regulation, Welch said he favors Trump’s stance on reviewing or repealing a host of government regulations, including the Dodd-FrankWall Street reform act.
Clinton’s plan on regulations would be “Obama plus,” he said, adding the U.S. is being “drown in regulation and you haven’t seen anything yet.”
Welch, a senior advisor at private equity group Clayton Dubilier & Rice, said he sees regulations hurting business.
On energy, the Jack Welch Management Institute executive chairman said he likes Trump’s support of fracking and the Keystone pipeline.
On the environment, Welch said supports Trump’s plans to reform the EPA and modify the climate change agreement reached in Paris.
“The EPA is out of control,” he said.
On national security, Welch said Trump has a more aggressive stance than Clinton’s Obama-like mentality.
Welch also feels Trump’s immigration and strict border ideas would keep Americans safer. “I like restricting [immigrants] until they know who they are,” he added.
On the military, Trump needs to explain who he’s going to pay for the buildup and modernization he wants, Welch said.
On education, Welch said Trump supports expanded choice, while accusing Clinton of being “beholden to the unions.”
On entitlements, Welch said Trump calls for no changes in Medicare, while looking to repeal and reform Obamacare.
Clinton supports adding the so-called “public option” — government-run health insurance offerings — to Obamacare.
On appointments, Welch said Trump will nominate conservatives to the Supreme Court, bring fresh and board experience to his Cabinet and put “reformers” in regulatory positions.
Welch acknowledges Trump may not get everything he wants from Congress. “I like him negotiating from these positions a lot more than the Democratic candidate negotiating because she’s negotiating from Obama plus.”
In an appearance Thursday at the Economics Club of New York, Trump said his economic plan, including tax cuts, would average 3.5 percent growth and create a total of 25 million new jobs. He also said the U.S. should strive grow at a 4 percent rate.
On the other side, Oxford Economics said if Trump were able to implement all of his proposed policies, they would undermine global economic growth and knock 5 percent, or as much as $1 trillion, off where U.S. gross domestic product would otherwise be in 2021.