Donald Trump announces his candidacy for president of the United States inside Trump Tower. (Photo: Michael Walsh/Yahoo News)
NEW YORK — In his latest act of political theater, Donald Trump is again threatening a run at the White House and held an event to announce his vision for Washington Tuesday from the palatial atrium of the Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan.
The billionaire TV personality delivered a rambling speech in which he boasted about his vast wealth and powers to restore America to greatness and lobbed insults at just about everyone, including but not limited to: the Obama administration, his potential Republican rivals and Mexico.
“The fact is, the American dream is dead — but if I win, I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before,” the long-shot contender said.
It was Trump at his Trumpiest.
Yahoo News has pulled out some quotes from Trump’s speech to illustrate the “candidate’s” take on the issues of the day, from foreign policy to immigration to jobs. Here is the Trump platform, in his own words:
On Jobs: I Am God
“I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” Trump said.
He said unemployment in the country is actually between 18 and 21 percent rather than the official governmental figure of 5.6 percent.
Trump said that the U.S.’s labor participation rate is the worst it has been since 1978. He said he would move manufacturing jobs in China and Mexico back to the U.S. by levying harsh taxes for transporting goods over the border.
“The greatest social program is a job,” he said.
Ivanka Trump introduces her father to the crowd in New York. (Photo: Michael Walsh/Yahoo News)
On Immigration: Build Walls
Trump said that, if elected president (and remember, he’s not officially running), he would order the construction of a “Great Wall” along the United States’ southern border to stop Mexico from sending people with “lots of problems” into this country.
And, he said, he will force Mexico to pay for it.
“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some I assume are good people, but I speak to border guards and they tell us what we are getting,” he said.
“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems,” he said.
On Free Trade: Americans Are Dumb
Trump said he supports free trade with China but thinks the U.S. should tax it for devaluing its currency.
According to Trump, the current Chinese leaders are much smarter than their American counterparts, allowing them to lock in unfairly advantageous deals for their country.
“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,” he said. “We have all the cards but our leaders don’t understand the game.”
On Education: Americans Are Dumb
Trump was highly critical of the cost and quality of education in the United States but did not elaborate on his plans for correcting these issues.
“They’re tired of spending more money on education than any nation in the world per capita … and we’re 26th in the world. Twenty-five countries are better than us at education, and some of them are like Third World countries,” he said.
Trump’s family watches him speak at the campaign launch. (Photo: Michael Walsh/Yahoo News)
On the Affordable Care Act: A Big Lie
Trump argued that Obamacare, which he called “the big lie,” must be repealed and replaced with something “far superior” and cheaper.
“Deductibles are through the roof. You have to get hit by a tractor — literally a tractor — to use it,” he said. “It is a disaster.”
He also criticized the cost of building the Obamacare website, which was infamously riddled with glitches upon its initial launch.
“$5 billion we spent on a website and to this day it doesn’t work,” he said. “I have so many websites all over the place. I hire people. They do a website. It costs me $3.”
On National Security: We Have No Plan
“Iran is racing toward developing nuclear weapons. China is exponentially expanding its military power. In Benghazi, Islamic terrorists killed our diplomats without any consequences,” he said. “Iran and ISIS, separately, are taking over vast areas of the Middle East. … Our president has no plan.”
On International Reputation: U.S. Is a Laughingstock
“Our country is in serious trouble. We are not respected by anyone. We are the laughingstock all over the world,” he said.
According to Trump, the nation needs a president who can take the “brand of the United States” and make it great again.
“Our country needs a truly great leader. And we need a leader that wrote ‘The Art of the Deal,’” Trump said, referencing his bestselling business advice book from 1987.
Before the speech, outside Trump Tower, workers were handing out “Trump: Make America Great Again” T-shirts to passersby and inviting them to watch the campaign launch inside.
“They gave us this shirt when we walked in the door. It’s a nice shirt,” a young man named Eli said to Yahoo News. “They were giving it out for free so I said, ‘Why not?’”
Lori Burch of New Jersey supports Trump’s bid for the White House. (Photo: Michael Walsh/Yahoo News)
Joseph Harden of New York said he believes Trump could bring true change to the U.S. (Photo: Michael Walsh/Yahoo News)
“I feel [Obama] was a hoax, a joke, the whole thing. … He has done nothing for us,” says Sanaa Lotfi of New York, right. (Photo: Michael Walsh/Yahoo News)