By Arun Kumar
After Bush family scion Jeb Bush, real estate mogul and TV reality star Donald Trump finally jumped into the 2016 White House race, making the crowded field of Republican contenders a round dozen.
Trump, who has been toying with the idea of running for the Oval Office for more than two decades, declared his candidacy in the atrium of Trump Tower, the 68-storey luxury skyscraper on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
“Sadly the American dream is dead,” Trump said in a long speech, taking shots at President Barack Obama and his 2016 rivals and declaring, “We are going to make our country great again.”
In line with his incoming campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”, Trump claimed he would be “the greatest jobs president that god ever created”, and restore America’s economic primacy.
Trump, 69, has already billed himself as the “most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far”, pointing out even that he owns a “Gucci store that’s worth more than (Mitt) Romney”, Obama’s 2012 Republican rival.
Flaunting his wealth and success in business as a centrepiece of his presidential run, Trump on Tuesday disclosed a whopping $9 billion as his financial assets.
But many Americans view him primarily as a reality TV star after 14 seasons of his “Apprentice” series, and his numerous flirtations with a presidential run — first in 1987, then 1999 and again in 2004 and most recently in 2011, according to CNN.
Fox News is limiting participation in the first presidential debate to the top 10 Republican contenders based on national polling, and Trump is just on the edge based on the latest polls.
He tied for the 10th place with 3 percent in the latest CNN/ORC poll earlier this month and earned 4 percent in both the most recent Fox News and Washington Post/ABC News polls — coming in 10th and tied for 9th, respectively.
Challenging conventional political notions of nominating a presidential candidate who’s held elected office, Trump is expected to target former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a son and brother of presidents, who formally announced his candidacy on Monday.
Trump said earlier this year in Iowa: “The last thing we need is another Bush.”