Entrepreneur and reality television host Donald Trump has teased the idea many, many times. But this time he says he’s serious. Trump announced his presidential bid Tuesday morning from Trump Plaza in Manhattan.
Trump is the 11th Republican running for the White House.
After waving to supporters as he descended down an escalator, Trump stepped on to stage steeped in American flags where he said other candidates won’t be able to fight ISIS because “they didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work” or because “they didn’t know the room was too big” for their presidential announcement.
“Ladies and gentlemen I am officially running for president of the united states and we are going to make our country great again,” Trump said in a rambling speech that went on for nearly an hour.
He also knocked Republican challenger Jeb Bush by name for supporting Common Core and immigration reform, saying, “How the hell can you vote for this guy?”
Trump has descent approval ratings in national polls, registering above 20 percent in a latest NBC News poll from March and is averaging approval ratings that would allow him to stand on the debate stage in August. But the percent of people who said they would never vote for him is above 70 percent, far higher than any other candidate.
He repeatedly called U.S. leaders “stupid.”
He said free trade can be “wonderful if you have smart people. We have people who are stupid.”
He then compared Chinese leaders to American leaders. “Their leaders are much smarter than our leaders. It’s like taking the New England Patriots and Tom Brady and have them play your high school football team. That’s the difference between our leaders and China’s leaders.”
Trump, who has filed for bankruptcy four times, released a basic statement of his net worth, which is estimated to be just over $9 billion, a point he highlighted during his speech.
He said that because of his wealth he won’t cater to lobbyists and donors because “I don’t need it.”
Trump is also the host of the reality television show called “Celebrity Apprentice,” which airs on NBC. The network released a statement on his candidacy. “We will re-evaluate Trump’s role as host of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ should it become necessary, as we are committed to this franchise,” a spokesperson from NBC said.
Trump vowed to rebuild infrastructure. “It will be done on time and under budget,” he said, neglecting to say how he’d pay for it as infrastructure funding has been an ongoing debate between Republicans, who are reluctant to spend the money needed to repair roads and bridges, and Democrats, who are pushing for more infrastructure funding.
Trump said he would build a “great, great wall” on the southern border and that he would make Mexico pay for it.
Mexicans “are not our friends,” he said.