Donald Trump at CPAC: Running For President (Maybe)

Donald Trump sounds like a man running for president.

Donald Trump began his CPAC speech saying  that he “will decide by June whether to run for president.”  But the speech certainly sounded like that of a political candidate.

His rationale for why he would give up a job he loves to run for president: “US has bcome a whipping post for the rest of the world” and “is not being treated with respect.”  What this means, exactly, he never explained, but he repeated variants of this charge throughout the speech.

But “We’re missing quality leadership and foreign countries quickly realized” that fact.  As a result, “America is becoming the laughingstock of the world. They can not believe what they’re getting away with.”  What are they getting away with? He didn’t say.

So, why Trump?  Unlike President Obama, who, Trump claimed, even people who he went to school with didn’t know when he threw his hat in the ring, he’s highly successful. “I’ve earned billions, which is both a scorecard and acknowledgment of my abilities.” Granted, the ability to earn money, not gain international respect. But, certainly, he’s tenacious and intelligent.

Alas, Trump observed, “Most successful people don’t run for office because they don’t want to be scrutinized or abused. But it’s what the country needs.”

As for his platform:  “I believe in fair trade.We don’t have free trade. I love free trade but not when China’s manipulating its currency. This makes it almost impossible to compete, even though our companies make a better product.”

But, “Even worse than China is OPEC.:  They are truly criminals. Yet we have no one that can call them and say prices better get lower fast.”

Responding to a catcall from crowd, Trump correctly observed, “By the way, Ron Paul can not get elected, I’m sorry.”  After boos, “I like Ron Paul and think he’s a good guy. But he’s got zero chance of getting elected, I’m sorry.”

Getting back to his non-campaign campaign, “If I run and get elected, this country will be respected again.”

What he stands for:  “I’m pro life.  I’m anti-gun control. And I oppose ObamaCare and will replace it with something that makes sense.   I won’t raise taxes because we’ll be taking in hundreds of billions of dollars from other countries that are screwing us.”

It was not the most impressive speech I’ve heard, either in terms of style or substance.  But it does sound like Trump fancies running for president.  Mark me down as predicting that he’ll not get very far.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Tony says:

    “America is becoming the laughingstock of the world.”

    Even if this is true (and I don’t think it is – it’s not the case from where I’ve been sitting), the idea that the remedy comes in the form of Donald Trump is hilarious.

  2. Moosebreath says:

    ““I’ve earned billions, which is both a scorecard and acknowledgment of my abilities.””

    He’s also lost billions, often on the same projects, but who’s counting?

  3. Ben Wolf says:

    “He’s also lost billions, often on the same projects, but who’s counting?”

    Yeah, but in the end his fellow investors were the ones who had to eat the loss. In his eyes avoiding responsibility while reaping rewards is what constitutes good business.

    I guess he thinks the ability to walk between raindrops is critical in a president.

  4. Herb says:

    I love how he calls himself ‘successful.”

    Yeah, cuz nothing says success like being born with a silver spoon in your mouth and working for Daddy’s company…..

  5. […] What the hell is possible presidential candidate Donald Trump talking about? […]

  6. wr says:

    “I inherited a fortune, which to my fellow Republicans means I’m a genius.”

  7. anjin-san says:

    America has become a laughingstock. People like Trump and Palin are taken seriously by a major political party…

  8. sam says:

    ” Mark me down as predicting that he’ll not get very far.”

    Ya think? I can see the op ads now.

    Donald Trump. He’ll make your hair STAND ON END!!!

  9. michael reynolds says:

    What a clown college the GOP is. Palin and Trump and Gingrich, oh my.

    I could throw a brick at ComicCon and hit five guys with more brains, wit and dignity than are to be found at CPAC.

    How do you guys endure the humiliation? It must be like finding yourself trapped in a crowd of drunken frat boys at Mardi Gras. Do you wear “I’m Not With Stupid” t-shirts?

  10. Kylopod says:

    >“I’m pro life. I’m anti-gun control. And I oppose ObamaCare and will replace it with something that makes sense….” [etc., etc.]

    He also contributed to Rahm’s mayoral campaign:

    I’m sure that will really ingratiate him to GOP voters.

  11. ratufa says:

    The idea of sitting on my couch watching President Trump address the nation from the oval office is strangely attractive — as if it would be the logical culmination of the last 40 or so years of American political life. Also, I feel somewhat like the prospective Palin voters in this Onion video:,18865/

  12. Bleev K says:

    Yeah, right, to fix the laughingstock problem, let’s elect Bozo the clown.

  13. […] what kind of platform would a Candidate Trump run […]

  14. Peteo says:

    Let’s try to lose 50 states; nominate an arrogant, bloviating, gambling plutocrat as our leader.

  15. […] must admit that, while I find Paul to be on the nutty side and agree with Donald Trump that there’s zero chance Ron Paul will be elected president, it’s rather bizarre that his opposition to two unpopular wars would be the reason he’d […]

  16. […] his speech at CPAC was meant to be the beginning of a run for the White House. it’s pretty clear that Donald […]