In a wide-ranging speech, the real estate tycoon declared, ‘I will be the greatest jobs president God ever created.’
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
New York City By Mike Leventhal APB News Staff Writer
NEW YORK — Donald Trump first entertained the idea of a presidential run in 1988, thought about it in 2000, seriously considered it in 2004. In 2014, he took a hard look at running for Governor of New York but pulled back because the NY Republican Party would not back just one candidate.
On Tuesday morning, standing on the basement floor of the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in front of American flags, Trump told the media and supporters that the game of pretend is over: “I am officially running for President of the United States. And we are going to make our country great again.”
In a rambling hour-long speech touching many topics, Mr. Trump vowed he would be “the greatest jobs President that God ever created.” He said he would “build a great wall on our southern border and have Mexico pay for that wall” and rebuild the country’s nuclear arsenal that “doesn’t work.”
He blasted the $5 billion price tag for the Obamacare website and said he could do better. “I hire people, they do a website, it costs $3,” he boasted.
He constantly reminded the crowd: “I’m really rich…that’s the kind of thinking you need for this country. It sounds crass, it’s not crass.”
A team of accountants, he said, has been working for months to calculate his total net worth of $8 billion, and assets of $9.24 billion.
“That’s the kind of thinking our country needs,” he said in apparent reference to his wealth. “We have the opposite thinking. We have losers. We have people that don’t have it. We have people that are morally corrupt.”
Unlike the kick-off acts of the more deliberate candidates, where regular Americans are placed in closest proximity to the candidate, and the press was placed in the back of the make-shift food court, supporters were kept upstairs while the area closest to Trump was reserved for hundreds of reporters, television cameras Mr. Trumps personal friends and family.
A bused in crowd who responded to an ad on Facebook to attend, filled up three floors of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, leaning over the amber-colored mirrored walls, waving signs that said: “Donald, We Need YOU!”
“This is beyond anybody’s expectations,” Trump crowed from the podium, after descending the escalator with his wife, Melania, dressed in stiletto heels and a strapless white dress. “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?”
Trump proclaimed: “Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump.” while stating that America was currently losing to other world powers especially China.
“I’m not saying they’re stupid, I like China,” he said. “I just sold an apartment for $15 million to someone from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?”
Trump criticized President Obama for failing to be a cheerleader for the United States, and said as president he would immediately repeal Obama’s “illegal” executive action on immigration.
Trump’s disgust was not just directed at the current administration. He said he was against the Common Core education standards that have been championed by rival Jeb Bush, who he also criticized for being too soft on immigration.
But in perhaps his clearest articulation of why he’s running, Trump declared, “We need a leader that wrote ‘The Art of the Deal’” a reference to his 1987 book.
Still, Federal Elections Commission records show that, as of noon on Tuesday, Trump has not yet filed any paperwork regarding his candidacy or finances. He has 15 days to do so.
Trump was introduced by his daughter, Ivanka Trump, who during the speech held hands with her husband, real estate mogul Jared Kushner, who owns the New York Observer newspaper.
“His legend has been built and his accomplishments are too many to name,” Ivanka Trump said. “Most people strive their entire lives to achieve great success in a single field. My father has succeeded at many, at the highest level and in a global scale….the common denominator is him.”
The campaigns of Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, and Carly Fiorina all declined to comment on what Trump’s entry meant for the presidential race. Other campaigns couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer called Trump “a successful businessman” and said, “We’ve got a number of caliber candidates running in this cycle.”
He said Trump would be able to participate in the debates if he qualifies like any other candidate. “If he meets the requirements, he’s in.”
In a statement, the Democratic National Committee welcomed Trump to the crowded Republican field: “Today, Donald Trump became the second major Republican candidate to announce for president in two days,” said spokeswoman Holly Shulman. “He adds some much-needed seriousness that has previously been lacking from the GOP field, and we look forward to hearing more about his ideas for the nation.”