“I am officially running for president of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again.”
With those words halfway through 45 minutes of remarks, real estate magnate Donald Trump today entered the race for the Republican nomination, making good on repeated suggestions over the years that he would seek the White House as the ultimate deal maker. Trump, also a TV personality known for his “Apprentice” series, promised to be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”
“Our country needs a truly great leader and we need a truly great leader now,” @realDonaldTrump says.
“We need someone who can take the brand of the United States and make it great again,” he said, adding: “This is going to be an election that in my opinion is based on competence.”
Speaking to a sometimes rowdy crowd inside Trump Tower in New York City, one of the jewels of his global properties, Trump wound up by saying:
Sadly, the American dream is dead. But if I get elected president, I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we will make America great again.
Trump, who becomes the 12th major GOP candidate, emphasized his belief in free enterprise and a strong military. He repeatedly highlighted his negotiating acumen, ability to get things done and understanding of finances as needed to prevent the nation’s $18 trillion in debt from mounting to “the point of no return.”
In one extended example, he detailed how he would use the government’s taxing power to convince the head of Ford to bring a manufacturing plant back to the United States from Mexico.
Trump, 69, trumpeted his immunity to pressure from big donors by revealing, after some build-up, a net worth of $8.7 billion, noting with delight that some news reports got it wrong.
“I don’t need anybody else’s money, it’s nice,” he said. “I’m really rich.”
Of publicizing this measure of success, Trump said: “I’m doing that to say that’s the kind of thinking our country needs.”
In characteristic fashion, Trump refused to stick to the sharply written speech that aides had distributed to the news media as he began speaking.
At nearly every point, he said things more bluntly and inelegantly (repeatedly calling politicians and bureaucrats “stupid,” for example) than in his prepared text, to the delight of a boisterous crowd including some who shouted encouragement and egged him on.
Today I officially declared my candidacy for President of the United States. Watch the video of my full speech- https://t.co/gonTk0o9Dt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2015
“Our country needs a truly great leader and we need a truly great leader now,” Trump said, just before saying he’s running. “We need a leader that wrote ‘The Art of the Deal’ … that can bring back our jobs, our manufacturing, our military … And we also need a cheerleader.”
He said he thought President Obama would make a good cheerleader for the American dream but he turned out to be “a negative force.”
Speaking as someone who has employed “tens of thousands of people” over the years, Trump vowed:
I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created, I tell you that. I’ll bring back our jobs from China, from Japan, from Mexico and from so many places. I’ll bring back our money. … There is so much wealth out there that can make our country rich again. We’re dying, we’re dying, we have to do it. We need the right people.
Here are seven policy-related highlights of the new GOP candidate’s sometimes rambling remarks:
1. “Islamic terrorism is eating up large portions of the Middle East. They’ve become rich. I’m in competition with them. They [ISIS] just built a hotel, can you believe this? … Nobody will be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump.”
2. “Iran is taking over Iraq and it’s taking it over big league. We spent $2 trillion in Iraq, $2 trillion. We lost thousands of lives, thousands in Iraq. … We have nothing. We can’t even go there.”
3. “I will stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”
4. “Our enemies are getting stronger and stronger by the day and we as a country are getting weaker. Even our nuclear arsenal doesn’t work.” Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of other adversarial nations regard America as “a people and a nation that truly doesn’t know what they’re doing.”
“We have to repeal Obamacare, and it can be replaced with something much better,” @realDonaldTrump says.
5. “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall, mark my words. … I will immediately terminate President Obama’s illegal executive order on immigration.”
6. “We have a disaster called the big lie, Obamacare, [that] really kicks in in 2016 and it’s going to be really destructive. … We have to repeal Obamacare, and it can be replaced with something much better for everybody and much less expensive.”
7. “I like China. I love China … [But] it’s like take the New England Patriots and Tom Brady and have them play your high school football team. That’s the difference between China’s leaders and our leaders. … We have all the cards, but we don’t know how to use them. … You have a problem with ISIS, [but] you have a bigger problem with China.”