Donald Trump Announces He Is Running for President Because the United States Is ‘a Dumping Ground for Everybody Else’s Problems’
Chris Spargo and Kieran Corcoran, Daily Mail, June 16, 2015
Donald Trump is running for president, on the promise that he will ‘bring back’ the American dream.
The multi-billionaire businessmen announced his shot at the White House Tuesday morning, surrounded with gold, mirrors and polished marble in a midtown Manhattan skyscraper named after himself.
Trump was introduced by a gushing speech from his daughter Ivanka, then strode on stage to the backing of Neil Young’s Rockin’ In The Free World, and gathered his large and colorful family around him for a group photo after his speech.
And straight after his announcement he suggested he could pile in even more celebrity to the Trump ticket–by bringing Oprah with him to the White House as Vice President.
As part of his big reveal–teased at for years–Trump, 69, gave a statement of his own wealth, pegging his net worth at $8.73billion.
He declared to a crowd of Trump devotees and ‘VIP’ businessmen in suits that he was ‘proud’ of his enormous assets, noting more than once how ‘I’m really rich’.
Indeed, Trump went so far as making his own personal wealth a major strut of his pitch for the presidency–saying that he will be able to ignore lobbyists and vested interests because he has so much cash of his own.
He admitted it was ‘crass’ to parade his own wealth, but nonetheless concluded: ‘I don’t need anybody’s money. It’s nice’.
He also claimed that his personal abilities in the boardroom and at the negotiating table would put him in a position to save billions from the federal budget, buoy up industry and divert wealth worldwide into American pockets.
Among his big promises were pledges to create millions of jobs, make America rich and defeat its enemies overseas, among which he included economic rivals like China, Japan and Mexico as well as armed combatants like ISIS.
‘We need somebody that literally will take this country and make it great again. We can do that,’ said Trump in his speech.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for president of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again.’
And as soon as he was done announcing, Trump suggested that he could have some help making America great–in the form of Oprah Winfrey as the Vice Presidential candidate.
In an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos, he said: ‘I think Oprah would be great. I’d love to have Oprah,–I think we’d win easily, actually.’
He had previously floated her as an option in 1999, when he considered running for president as a member of the Reform Party.
Trump staffers sent out his speech in advance to reporters, but the candidate himself seemingly went off-script for most of the delivery, clocking in at 55 minutes after numerous digressions, anecdotes and jibes.
Joking ‘I beat China all the time’, Trump used his own record on business to illustrate how he’d deal with foreign governments.
Describing China as a bigger threat than ISIS and pointing out that Mexico is ‘not our friend’, Trump suggested that he’d levy huge taxes on foreign goods to prop up domestic production, as well as constructing a solid wall along the southern border.
He took the opportunity to wave a financial return in front of the crowd, brandishing it as proof that his net worth is almost $9billion.
Trump repeatedly used examples of his own business acumen as a contrast to government waste, saying he and his administration would be able to slash costs under his leadership.
The Obama administration was his main target–leading Trump at one point to interject: ‘How stupid are our leaders! How stupid are they?’
He slapped down the Free Trade Agreement President Obama is trying to guide through Congress at the moment, saying that U.S. leaders are so incompetent that they won’t be able to secure a good deal for the country.
He said: ‘Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people, but we have people who are stupid’.
On Obamacare, Trump called the program a ‘disaster’ and a ‘big lie.’
‘ObamaCare must be repealed and replaced with something far superior and at far less cost’. He added that the program was liable to become even more destructive in years to come.
Blasting the much-publicized failure of the healthcare.gov website, Trump railed: ‘$5 billion we spent on a website.. It doesn’t work! A website!
‘I have websites all over the place, I hire a guy to make ’em . . . costs me $3′.
He also hit out at the President’s dealings with ISIS as an example of the Obama administration being bad negotiators. He said: ‘We get [Bowe] Bergdahl, they get five killers… we get a traitor.’
He used recent news that the terror state has reportedly opened a hotel in Syria to joke at he is now ‘in competition’ with the Islamists.
Trump repeatedly turned to China as an example of a world power against which America needs to compete fiercely, stating that they are ‘killing us’.
He said: ‘I love China, but their leaders are much smarter than our leaders. It’s like taking the New England patriots and putting them against your high school football team.’
He suggested the President, a golf fan, step down from his office early and instead spend some time at the Trump National Golf Club in Washington, D.C.
The administration attempted to rise above the jibes today. At the White House’s daily press briefing, press secretary Josh Earnest said: ‘I think I’m going to try to exercise more self discipline than even Mr. Trump and avoid commenting on his announcement today.
‘On whether the president will take him up on his golf invitation: I don’t know, but it’s a generous and unexpected invitation.’
Trump also had plenty to say about his fellow Republicans, jeering at Rick Perry’s announcement speech, in which the Texas Governor spoke while covered in sweat.
After he entered, he said: ‘There’s been no crowd like this. Some of the candidates they went in, they didn’t know the air conditioning didn’t work and they sweated like dogs… They didn’t know the room was too big because there was nobody was there. How are they going to beat ISIS?’
The second put-down could be a reference either to Democrat Lincoln Chafee, whose conference was delivered to a decidedly under-capacity crowd, or Republican Rick Santorum, who hosted a campaign stop where only one voter showed up.
As for what he could do for the country, Trump said he would be the ‘greatest jobs president God ever created.’
He then added; ‘The fact is, the American Dream is dead–but if I win, I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before.’
Trump also put much of the focus of his speech on the issue of immigration.
‘It is way past time to build a massive wall to secure our southern border–and nobody can build a bigger and better wall than Donald Trump,’ said Trump.
‘A country without borders is, quite simply, not a country. Mexico is not our friend. They are beating us at the border and hurting us badly at economic development. They are sending people that they don’t want.’
As for who they are sending, Trump said; ‘They are sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems to us. They are bringing drugs and they are bringing crime, and they’re rapists.
‘Some, I assume are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we are getting. They are not sending us the right people.
‘It’s coming all over South and Latin America and it’s coming probably from the Middle East. But we don’t know because we have no protection and we have no competence. We don’t know what is happening and it has got to stop and it has to stop fast.’
He went on to say; ‘I would build a great, great wall…very inexpensive … on our southern border and I will have Mexico pay for that wall.’
He was also not afraid to take some shots at the other Republicans in the race, citing how long it took both Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio to make any definitive statements about how this country should deal with problems in the Middle East.
He said: ‘Look at Bush, it took him FIVE DAYS to answer the question on Iraq. They don’t have a clue, they can’t lead us, they can’t even answer a simple question.’
He then said; ‘Our country needs a truly great leader. And we need a truly great leader now. We need a leader that wrote the art of the deal. We need leader that can bring back jobs.’
He also focused on the Middle East and terrorism, saying; ‘Nobody will be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump.’
And, in true Trump fashion, he also applauded his accomplishments, saying; ‘I’m the most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far.’
The Democratic National Party responded to the news that Trump was running with a statement from National Press Secretary Holly Shulman .
‘Today, Donald Trump became the second major Republican candidate to announce for president in two days,’ read the statement.
‘He adds some much-needed seriousness that has previously been lacking from the GOP field, and we look forward hearing more about his ideas for the nation.’
In introducing her father, Ivanka had nothing but gushing words for the man who is also her boss.
‘He’s enjoyed success in a vast diversity of industries because the common denominator is him,’ said Ivanka.
‘His vision, his brilliance, his passion, his work ethic, and his refusal to take no for an answer.’
She closed her introduction by saying; ‘I can tell you that there is no better person than my father to have in your corner when you are facing tough opponents or making hard decisions. He is battle-tested. He is a dreamer, but, as importantly, he is a doer.’
Before his announcement, Trump remained scarce as guests, reporters and TV crews filed into the Trump Tower atrium to a looping mixture of grandiose opera and classic rock tracks.
Suited businessmen in bright purple VIP badges covered their pricey shirts and ties ties with Trump- branded t-shirts and grinned in photos ahead of the speech, which Trump had been contemplating delivering since at least 1987.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton, who made her first major campaign speech in the open air of on Roosevelt Island, barely a mile from Trump’s skyscraper, he orated from the surroundings of his own wealth.
Strong cologne–with perhaps a whiff of Trump’s own scent, unironically named Success–wafted through the lower reaches of the tower’s atrium, while supporters without Gucci apparel and VIP passes watched from the upper balconies, led in chants of ‘We Want Trump’ by a thick-accented staffer in a business suit and a baseball cap.
While Trump considered running for president several times in the past, he has never officially put his hat in the ring as a Republican candidate.
However, that has done nothing to dent Trump’s own confidence in his ability to win.
In an interview earlier this year with the Des Moines Register, he said that had he entered the 2012 race in earnest ‘I would’ve won the race against Obama. He would’ve been easy.’
He also said that had he been used more widely by the campaign of Mitt Romeny, Obama’s 2012 Republican rival, he could have won it for him as well.
After his announcement today, Trump has plans to visit both New Hampshire and Iowa–two battleground states with early presidential primaries.
He will first visit Iowa for a evening rally at the Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines, according to invitations sent out around the city.
The next day, Trump will fly to New Hampshire for another post-announcement event at Manchester Community College, WMUR reports.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka has spoken out in his support.
In an interview with CNBC last Wednesday, Ivanka, the executive vice-president of development and acquisitions for the Trump Organization, was asked about the exploratory committee her father started in March to consider running for president in 2016.
‘I would support him and encourage him wholeheartedly,’ the 33-year-old said.
‘I have the unique perspective of being by his side every day and understanding how incredibly capable and just what an amazing visionary he is. As a citizen, it would be amazing if he makes that decision,’ she added.
Ivanka would not say whether she would be involved in her father’s campaign, saying only: ‘Let’s wait to see what he decides.
‘Of course, as his daughter, I would be his strongest advocate,’ Ivanka said.
If he announces his campaign, Trump will be the eleventh Republican contender, complicating who will and won’t be able to take part in the primary debates.