Trump Says He May Still Run For President


trump1Real estate mogul Donald Trump said he hopes to endorse a candidate for the Republican nomination within the next “three or four weeks” but has not ruled out an independent bid if primary voters choose someone who can’t win.

“If they pick somebody who I think can’t win and if they pick somebody who is, in my opinion, the wrong person … and if the economy continues to be bad, I might run as an independent,” he told USA TODAY.

He also says he has the money to do it on his own.

Included in his new book, Time to Get Tough Making America #1 Again, are the financial disclosure forms that Trump would have filed if he had decided to run for president this year.

So how much is he worth? More than $7 billion, the forms show.

run and have somebody who is struggling say I’m going to send him $100 or $1,000,” Trump said, referring to himself in the third person three times. “They’d say I love Trump, I’m going to vote for Trump but it’s even nicer that he doesn’t need my money.

The reality television star announced in May that he would forgo a presidential bid after several months of speculation that he might throw his hat into the ring. The buzz began after he seized upon the so-called birther issue, a conspiracy-fueled theory that President Obamawas not born in the United States, and he began appearing at the top of several early national polls.

Trump said the decision was difficult but at that point giving up The Apprentice was too difficult.

“Other people don’t give up anything when they run,” he said. “You give up a top, prime-time television show and I don’t want to sound trivial but that’s a lot.”

His decision not to run has not kept him from remaining relevant in the Republican race for the nomination.

Trump announced Friday he would host a debate in Iowa on Dec. 27, just days before the Iowa caucuses. However, two candidates – former Utah governor Jon Huntsman and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas – have declined to participate. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who is now leading in the most recent Iowa poll, said he will participate.

Paul’s campaign said Trump’s role as a moderator was “wildly inappropriate.” Trump responded in a statement, “Few people take Ron Paul seriously and many of his views and presentation make him a clown-like candidate.”

New York’s Trump Tower has become a familiar campaign stop for many of the current presidential contenders.

Gingrich will be the latest to drop by for a visit today.

Trump describes his impressions from a few of those meetings in the book:

Sarah Palinis a “terrific woman” and the stir they created in New York on their trip to a local pizza place was “wild.”
Rep.Michele Bachmannis a “real worker bee,” who has a “great political future ahead of her” no matter how the race turns out.
Texas Gov.Rick Perryis “different from the debates” and “is forceful and strong” off camera.
Former Massachusetts governorMitt Romneyis “warm and engaging” and someone “the public needs to get to know better.”
“They want my endorsement, not my money, and the reason is because I have millions of people … that really want to hear what I say,” Trump said. “They basically know that I understand how not to get ripped off and we are being ripped off by the world.”

That theme would likely dominate any future Trump bid for president. His book describes his belief that China is secretly trying to sink the U.S. economy through currency manipulation and cyber warfare while preparing to dominate militarily.

“Get it straight,” he writes. “China is not our friend.”

Trump said China and the role of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the United States’ economy have not been discussed enough during the primary, but said the book was not meant to be a policy checklist for an endorsement.

Asked when he would make a final decision about a run if the right person was not chosen, Trump said after the next season of The Apprentice wraps in May 2012.

“You don’t need a lot (of time) in the age of television, of computers … to be honest and, you know, most people know where I stand anyway,” he said. “I’m a free agent right after the (season ends), which is May 15.”

{USA Today/ Newscenter}



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