Donald Trump teases an upcoming presidential campaign in an interview for Time magazine, which states that he’s discussing making an announcement in late May.
His ideas outlined in Time include placing a 25% tariff on all Chinese imports, forcing South Korea to “pay us for protection” from North Korea, and threatening to remove military aid for OPEC members unless they made oil cheaper. He promotes himself as anti-gay and pro-life, and, of course, says that he can make America great again.
He also says he’s excited to show his taxes, which he has yet to do 10 years later at the time of this writing.
While the Time piece might be the first acknowledgement that Trump is planning to run for the presidency, his campaigning really began when he became the mascot of the Obama birther conspiracy.
Some highlights from the article:
Donald Trump, 64, a golden mist of hair wafting perfectly across his forehead, holds up fresh evidence of his greatness. “This thing just came out,” Trump says, waving a 2012 Republican primary poll from the website Newsmax. “This is Trump.”
He points to a bar graph showing the 57% of voters who support his unannounced campaign for President. Then he points below…. The poll doesn’t really mean much, having been culled from a self-selected group of Internet surfers who clicked banner ads displaying Trump’s face….
“Nobody can do the job that I can do… I can make this country great again. This country is not great. This country is a laughingstock for the rest of the world.”
He has been repeating that sound bite for weeks, as if the nation were just another run-down co-op in need of redevelopment. But his play is not new….
“NBC wants to renew me for three seasons,” Trump explains. “I’ve told them, I’m sorry. At this moment, I can’t think about that because I have a big decision to make.” He has been chatting up the new head of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, and speaking regularly to Christopher Ruddy, the proprietor of Newsmax and a force in conservative circles, who happens to be a member of Trump’s opulent Palm Beach, Fla., club Mar-a-Lago. Trump has also been reconnoitering with Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster who lives in a Trump building in Manhattan. There are plans in the works for a sit-down with pro-life leaders. “He can win,” claims Conway, bucking the nearly unanimous view among the Beltway elite, explaining that “2012 is an aspiration election. When you think aspiration and upward mobility, you think Donald Trump.” ….
“He’s a working-class hero,” argues [Roger] Stone, who is no longer employed by Trump but is soliciting contributions for the cause at DraftTrump2012.com. “Blacks and Hispanics and lower-class whites like his lifestyle.”
Meanwhile, one of Trump’s senior executives, Michael Cohen, has been leading another Trump 2012 charge, booking interviews and appearances for Trump and financing a website called ShouldTrumpRun.com. Cohen works closely with Stewart Rahr, a billionaire philanthropist known in the society pages as Stewie Rah Rah, the No. 1 King of All Fun, who once handed out a business card that looked like a $1 billion bill, emblazoned with a picture of Rahr, Trump and former President Bill Clinton on a golf outing. “I believe the country needs leadership,” says Rahr, who also lives in a Trump building, belongs to Trump’s country clubs and has promised to spend whatever he legally can to elect him…
“I look very much forward to showing my financials, because they are huge,” Trump says of the disclosures he would make if he launched a campaign. “Far bigger than anyone knows. Far bigger than anyone would understand.” Like so much of what he says, it is hard to know how much he means it and how much is just Trump, extending the sold-out show.
But could Trump actually corral Washington? Does he even know how many members there are in the House of Representatives? “Well, I don’t want to answer your questions because this isn’t a history class,” he shoots back, adding that of course he knows the answer.
Photo: Marco Grob for Time