Billionaire Donald Trump announces presidential campaign

"Our country is in serious trouble. We don't have victories anymore."
By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |  June 16, 2015 at 11:23 AM
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NEW YORK, June 16 (UPI) -- Billionaire Donald Trump has announced he will run for the Republican nomination for the 2016 presidential campaign on Tuesday.

"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, announcing his campaign.

Trump, worth about $9 billion, spoke at an 11 a.m. rally at Trump Tower in New York City, N.Y.

"Our country is in serious trouble. We don't have victories anymore. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let's say China, in a trade deal. They kill us. I beat China all the time," Trump said in his speech.

"When do we beat Mexico at the border? They laugh at us, at our stupidity," Trump said, stating that Mexico is "killing us economically."

The United States has become a "dumping ground for everyone else's problems," as Trump spoke on the topic of illegal immigration. "China has our jobs, Mexico has our jobs."

"Our enemies are getting stronger and stronger by the day and we as a country are getting weaker," according to Trump.

Trump, 69, famous for his wealth, real estate finesse and The Apprentice reality TV series, has previously toyed with the idea of the presidency before. He talked about running for the presidential elections in 2008 and again in 2012, but never formally announced.

Trump has not strayed far from commenting on politics or keeping connections with politicians, such as former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin.

He's been critical of President Barack Obama, previously being one of the voices openly questioning if Obama was born in the United States and calling for the president to release his birth certificate.

Obama's foreign policy also falls under Trump's criticism, stating the president "messed up the balance in the Middle East." Trump said he has a solution to defeat the Islamic State.

"I do know what to do and I would know how to bring [the Islamic State] to the table or, beyond that, defeat [the Islamic State] very quickly... and I'm not gonna tell you what it is tonight," Trump told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren.

"Why won't you tell? We need all the help we can get!" Van Susteren replied.

"I don't want the enemy to know what I'm doing. Unfortunately, I'll probably have to tell at some point, but there is a method of defeating them quickly and effectively and having total victory," Trump replied.

Trump also is critical of members of his own political party.

"I'm the most successful person ever to run for president... I have a Gucci store that's worth more money than Romney," Trump told The Des Moines Register. "Romney disappointed us. He ran a horrible campaign. We can't let that happen again."

He also set former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in his sights, who announced his presidential campaign on Monday.

"Do we really need another Bush in the White House -- we have had enough of them," Trump said, referring to former President George W. Bush and former President George H.W. Bush -- Jeb's brother and father, respectively.

For the Republican nomination, Trump faces a wide and seemingly growing field of competitors.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham; Former New York Gov. George Pataki; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum; neurosurgeon Ben Carson; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; former HP CEO Carly Fiorina; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio have announced campaigns.

For the Democratic nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley are in the running.

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