By John Celock
Real estate developer and reality television star Donald Trump used a trademark boastful speech Tuesday to become the 12th Republican presidential candidate.
Trump, who has long toyed with a presidential run, used his speech at New York’s Trump Tower, to attack President Barack Obama and others in the presidential field, while playing up his own career and wealth. Trump’s largely off the cuff speech mixed in many of the billionaire’s trademark behavior along with lines tailored to the conservative Republican primary electorate.
“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 a leader who can bring back our jobs and bring back our man, bring back our military, take care of our vets,” Trump said. “We also a need a cheerleader.”
“The Art of the Deal” is the name of Trump’s 1987 autobiography.
Trump quickly addressed the issue of his wealth in the speech, saying that he was “proud of my net worth” and then outlining that an accounting firm found his net worth to be slightly over $8 billion with $9.240 billion in assets. He then outlined several of his real estate holdings in New York including Trump Tower and the Trump Building on Wall Street.
“I’m not doing that to brag because I don’t have to brag,” he said.
Trump, the host of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” outlined his opposition to Obamacare, noting that he believes it is not helping the country. He claimed that the deductibles were too high to use the health insurance and that it is placing more burdens on doctors. He characterized the health care law as “amazingly destructive.”
He claimed that he spoke to a doctor who said that he has to employ more accountants than nurses to handle Obamacare issues.
“You have to get hit by a tractor – literally a tractor – to use it,” Trump said of the health care law.
Trump said that he wanted to focus on job creation if elected president, noting that he has been able to create jobs as a real estate developer.
“I will be the greatest jobs president God ever creator,” Trump said.
Trump attacked Obama’s foreign policy record, saying that the president has hurt America’s image abroad and the military. Many of Trump’s remarks were similar to other Republicans who have entered the burgeoning presidential field.
Trump said that in the area of foreign policy he would reach out to other countries while also promoting the United States. He noted that while he likes the Chinese and Saudis he wanted to work to promote the United States.
“I like China, I just sold an apartment for $15 million to someone from China,” he said.
He said similar comments of Saudi Arabia native.
“I love the Saudis, many are in this building,” Trump said, referring to his signature tower on New York’s Fifth Avenue.
Trump called for a wall on the U.S./Mexico border to be paid for by Mexico. He also said he would work to bring back jobs from Mexico. He discussed a hypothetical phone call he would have with the CEO of Ford about a new factory Ford is opening up in Mexico, saying that he would tell the Ford chief executive that he’d place a 35 percent tax on all components of a car made in Mexico.
Trump said that he would be able to call for the higher tax because he is self-funding his campaign and would be able to stand up to political pressure.
“I’m using my own money,” he said. “I am not using the lobbyists or the donors. I am really rich.”
Trump was joined by his family during the announcement, where he was introduced by his daughter, Ivanka. Trump has long been known for his oversized personality, particularly in the New York area. He discussed a bit his start in his father’s real estate company in Brooklyn and Queens and move into Manhattan real estate, noting his work on the Grand Hyatt Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Trump is also known for his casinos in Atlantic City, N.J. and other buildings and golf courses around the country.
Trump’s personal life has made as many headlines as his business career. His divorce in the early 1990s from his first wife, Ivana, dominated tabloid headlines, along with his second marriage to Marla Maples, who he had had an affair with prior to his first divorce. He has been married to his third wife, Melania, since 2005.
In addition to his real estate and television career, Trump is the owner of the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants.
Among the other issues Trump touched on in his speech is more care for veterans, new military leaders, abolishing Common Core and building nicer airports.
“We need someone who can take the brand of the United States and make it great again,” he said.