Donald Trump officially announced his presidential bid in New York 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,” the real estate mogul and “Celebrity Apprentice” host told an audience at Trump Tower this morning.
The reality TV personality is entering a crowded Republican primary field, which already includes 11 contenders, after toying with a presidential run five times since 1988.
Trump addressed the packed race by saying, as opposed to the “400” other Republicans running for the White House, he’ll be using his own money to bankroll his campaign. “I’m really rich,” he reminded the crowd.
He also said he has $9 billion in assets, which he will have to declare on a financial disclosure statement.
When told by a reporter, “You’re not a nice person, how can you get people to vote for you?,” he said competence wins races.
“People are tired of these nice people,” Trump said.
The announcement leaves a question of what happens to “Celebrity Apprentice,” the show that put Trump’s penchant for pugnacity onto primetime.
“We will re-evaluate Trump’s role as host of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ should it become necessary, as we are committed to this franchise,” NBC said in a statement.
Fox News Channel will end a weekly segment Trump contributed to its “Fox & Friends” morning program, according to a spokesperson for the network.
The bigger question for Trump’s campaign is whether he will gain entry to the first GOP debate on August 6. Fox News plans to feature 10 of the presidential candidates in the bloated field, based on their standing in recent national polls. Trump’s name recognition gives him a good shot at it.
Democrats pounced on Trump’s announcement, with a spokeswoman sarcastically saying, “He adds some much needed seriousness that had previously been lacking from the GOP field, and we look forward to hearing more about his ideas for the nation.”
Trump had some. He said that he would build a “great wall” on the southern border of the U.S. and “have Mexico pay for that wall.” “Nobody will be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump,” he also assured.
However, Trump did get praise from Geraldo Rivera, who said on Twitter that Trump is “more competent, creative, tough, experienced, courageous and bold than most of the announced candidates for president.”