NEW YORK — The Donald is running for president.
Real-estate mogul and reality-television star Donald Trump said Tuesday he will seek the Republican nomination for president. He’s the 12th high-profile Republican to enter the 2016 race, with more to come in the weeks ahead.
“All of my life, I have heard, a truly successful person, a really successful person, and even a modestly successful person, cannot run for public office, just can’t happen,” Trump said. “Yet that’s the kind of mindset you need to make this country great again.
“So, ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for president of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again.”
Trump made the announcement at the midtown Manhattan tower that bears his name, giving a rambling speech that wandered from foreign policy to President Barack Obama‘s health care overhaul to Trump’s achievements in business. In his well-known bombastic style, he mixed boasts about his wealth with promises to defeat effortlessly the Islamic State group and negotiate trade deals with China.
“Sadly, the American dream is dead,” Trump said. “But if I get elected president, I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we will make America great again.”
It was a speech that drew immediate scorn online from a series of Republicans, who fear Trump will turn an otherwise serious Republican primary contest into a circus.
Trump has teased presidential runs before, but has always backed out. But in preparation for the 2016 campaign, Trump decided not to renew his contract with NBC for his reality show, “The Apprentice.” He cannot appear on the network and run for president at the same time.
Trump has a convoluted history on LGBT rights and has never come in support of same-sex marriage. In 2000, when he was considering a run on the Reform Party ticket, Trump gave an extensive interview with The Advocate in which he said he opposes same-sex marriage, but supports a “very strong domestic partnership law.” He also expressed support for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, hate crimes protection legislation laws and amending the Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation.
But in 2011, when he was floating the possibility of running for president as Republican, Trump told the Des Moines Register he opposes giving gay couples the same benefits as opposite-sex couples, including same-sex marriage and “civil benefits.”
In 2013, Trump held the Miss Universe pageant, which he co-owns with NBC, in Russia amid controversy over the country’s anti-gay propaganda law. In an interview with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, who was hired as host for the pageant, Trump said he’s “evolving” on the issue of same-sex marriage, which has been his most recent public comment on the issue. (Meanwhile, his son Donald Trump Jr. has come out in favor of same-sex marriage and said he has wished every guy would be gay so he could have more women.)
Article continues belowTrump is required to release a personal financial disclosure that would reveal intimate details about his personal finances. The disclosure will include his net worth, sources of income, liabilities and assets, as well as the same information for his wife and dependent children.
Trump said Tuesday he is ready to do that, pegging his net worth at roughly $9 billion.