NEW YORK—Donald Trump appeared on NBC on Monday to tell America why he thinks he'll be the next president.
He has not officially announced his candidacy, but Trump told NBC's Savannah Guthrie, “I built a fantastic company with a fantastic worth, and the fact is that this country needs somebody that can do a great job.”
In a Rasmussen poll released on the same day, Trump had 34 percent of the voters' support nationwide when pitted against Obama, who got 49 percent of the hypothetical vote.
Other GOP candidates fared similarly, or better than Trump, against the current president. Considering that some political analysts are not taking Trump's candidacy seriously, a 34 percent margin against Obama is a substantial accomplishment in the polls. Trump is highly recognized, giving him an advantage over some potential candidates.
Trump's claim that Obama was not born in the United States has drawn more ridicule to himself than any of his other positions. Guthrie pointed out that he was “an island” on the issue, the only person making such a claim. She quoted political analyst, Karl Rove as saying Trump's “Full embrace of the birther issue means that he's off there in the nutty right and is now an inconsequential candidate.”
“So inconsequential that I'm leading in every poll,” responded Trump. “I would love him [Obama] to come out with a birth certificate, a proper birth certificate.” Obama says he was born in Hawaii.
If Trump Were President
If Trump were president, the wealthy would pay a one-time 14.25 percent tax toward the national debt; all goods coming from China would be taxed 25 percent; defense would continue to receive strong funding; Medicaid wouldn't be “tinkered” with; trade agreements would be renegotiated to stop other countries from “sapping” us; and jobs would be brought back to American soil.
“When you see what China is doing to us, what we're going to lose this year—$300 billion to China—and they're taking all of our jobs, and they're doing it through a manipulation of their currency,” Trump told Guthrie.
“They don't have the cards, we have the cards,” added Trump, saying China has a relatively small portion of our debt.
Trump is known as a proponent of free health care, having written a book on the matter in 2000. He supported Obama's 2008 bailout, and believes strengthening our self-reliance is the way to solve the nation's fiscal woes. He says we're paying too much for oil in particular.
Trump responds to the argument that the wealthy will leave the country if taxed too heavily by saying that he does not need any tax breaks.
He told the nation on Monday, “I have a lot of cash.” He says Forbes' estimate of a $2.7 billion worth was below the mark by far. He is waiting another month before revealing his net worth, but he says Americans will be impressed when he does.
Trump told Guthrie he would certainly have enough to pad a hefty campaign fund.
New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) released a report on Tuesday outlining Trump's political contributions in recent years. Though the billionaire would be running as a Republican, the paper trail shows he supports New York State Democrats more than any other politicians.
Since 1999, Trump has given $395,391 to state Democrats, and $172,150 to state Republicans. Since 1999, he contributed nearly $600,000 to state level campaigns—that is almost as much as he has contributed on the federal level since 1990. NYPIRG says this is because state financial campaign laws have more loopholes and allow for larger contributions than at the federal level.
Trump crossed the line, however, in 2000, when the state lobby commission slapped him with the second largest civil penalty fine ever imposed, $250,000. Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts hired lobbyist Roger Stone, but what the lobbying Stone did on Trump's behalf was not properly disclosed.
Trump was made to put out a number of ads to apologize to the public for his dishonesty, explained Bill Mahoney of NYPIRG.
One thing is for sure—mud slinging is not Trump's game. He was very kind and had flattering words for other potential GOP candidates. One of the several potentials Guthrie named was Sarah Palin.
“I really respect her a lot,” said Trump. “She's got a tremendous energy and a tremendous following. I think that she's been very unfairly treated.”
To his critics, Trump says, “I was at all the best schools, and I always did good and I was a good student.”
“I think that I have the aptitude. I think I'm presidential,” he said.