Trump: I Wish I Didn’t Have to Do It

Donald Trump figures that, because he's rich, he's qualified to be president.

Donald Trump figures that, because he’s rich, he’s qualified to be president.

CNN (“Trump: I’m ‘much bigger’ than Romney“):

Real estate mogul Donald Trump touted his net worth as a selling point over likely presidential contender and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

“I’m a much bigger business man and have (a) much, much bigger net worth. I mean, my net worth is many, many, many times Mitt Romney,” Trump said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I built a very big net worth and I’d like to put that ability … to work for this country.”

“I don’t do it for myself, I’ll be doing it for the country,” Trump added. “And guess what? That’s what this country needs.”

The “Celebrity Apprentice” star has flirted with a bid for the White House in recent months and is expected to make an announcement after the show wraps May 22. But Trump said he wishes he didn’t have to run for president. “I love my life. I love what I’m doing,” Trump told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “I wish I didn’t have to do it. I would prefer not doing it. But I love this country.”

Although he said he’s honored by his rising poll numbers, he conceded his name identification helps him. “Well, they know my name,” Trump said. “But you know why they know my name? Because of success.”

Like Romney, Trump had a pretty nice head start. Trump’s dad already had a thriving real estate development business and he took it over three years out of college. He adopted a high risk style that made him very wealthy–and put him at the brink of bankruptcy numerous times. But he’s certainly been successful.

Leaving aside his weird policy pronouncements, is he qualified to be president? Romney has run successful companies and been a state governor; Trump has no public policy experience. We’ve elected a handful of presidents who’d never previously held elective office, but they were all generals. And the only one of those in modern times was Dwight Eisenhower, whose military career involved years of diplomacy at the highest levels.

By Trump’s logic, though, there are a lot of people more up to the job. He’s worth a measly $2.4 billion, which puts him in a 6-way tie for 153rd on Forbes list of richest Americans. And I’ve never heard of 4 of the other 5–and one is a Rockefeller. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who’s an even more entertaining interview, is 144th. Shouldn’t we be asking him to run? For that matter, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is worth a whopping $54 billion and is now devoting his life to philanthropy. Just think what he could do with the entire Federal budget at his disposal!

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, 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. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Ben Wolf says:

    Trump’s message will appeal to a significant minority. A lot of Americans really do believe that great wealth equals talent and intelligence, when what is truly required to get your hands on the lucre is a combination of hard work, luck and ruthlessness.

  2. Hey Norm says:

    Trump says he’s going to just tell OPEC to cut prices. I’m sure that will work.

  3. MarkedMan says:

    This type of thing makes me realize just how far I am from the average politically engaged Repub. Trump? Palin? Bachman? I know they won’t win the nomination, but they are doing darn well in the polls. I can’t think of a similar case for the Dems. Jesse Jackson? Yeah but that was, what, twenty years ago? Dennis Kucinich? Yeah, but he never was more than a low single digit candidate in the polls. I just couldn’t be a member of a party wherein significant numbers of the membership get enthusiastic about people like these.

  4. tom p says:

    “I wish I didn’t have to do it. I would prefer not doing it.”

    Trust me Donald, you don’t have to do it.

  5. Solomon says:

    Trump is just shooting his mouth off and he’s not nearly as rich as he previously boasted about declaring he could just spend $1 billion of his own money. Donald, you don’t have any where close to a billion in liquid assets. Trump is clearly a laughing stock. 🙂

  6. Axel Edgren says:

    Trump is hitting the “HATE OBAMA HATE HATE HATE” button the most. I think that will serve him well until the Chamber of Commerce fellows get cold feet and demands Romney on top of the ticket.

  7. ratufa says:

    I, for one, am looking forward to President-elect Trump’s victory speech on election night, which hopefully will begin with, “President Obama, you’re fired!” and include a smiling Vice President-elect Bachmann standing behind him. Also, it would be best if the time before Inauguration Day would be used to hold Apprentice-style auditions for selected cabinet positions.

  8. reid says:

    Now I’m confused…. Is running the government just like running a business or just like running a reality TV show? Ah, screw it, I just want to have a beer with the guy, so he’s got my vote.

  9. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve lost track. Is this the fourth time he’s pretended to run for president or the fifth? And does it count that he pretended to run for Governor? How can you say he has no experience?

  10. anjin-san says:

    Trump is hitting the “HATE OBAMA HATE HATE HATE” button

    Since that is pretty much the entire GOP platform, it should be an effective message during primary season.

  11. Murray says:

    Sure he made cash for himself … screwing everybody.The guy even managed to bankrupt a casino!

  12. I suppose name identification, egomania and bombast could work for us, for a little while at least.
    Can you imagine the decision process under The Donald? Do it now! You’re fired! Send in the Air Force! Land the Marines there immediately! Etc. How about four or five little wars at the same time?

    Prudence is a great virtue, but does Trump have it?

  13. An Interested Party says:

    …when what is truly required to get your hands on the lucre is a combination of hard work, luck and ruthlessness.

    Or simply inheriting it or resorting to rent-seeking…

  14. ponce says:

    Perhaps the entire Republican primary could be turned into some kind of reality show?

    Call it “The Amazing Race.”

  15. Wayne says:

    And Obama qualify because he was able to spend ¾ billion dollars of other people’s money?

    Being a successful businessman is a better qualification than community organizer in my book. Hopefully someone better steps up but Trump would be better than Romney or Huckabee. Certainly he would be better than Obama.

  16. sam says:

    “Donald Trump figures that, because he’s rich, he’s qualified to be president.”

    Hey, isn’t the Drew’s theory? (And Wayne’s, I see.)

  17. sam says:

    BTW, the mystery of The Donald’s hair may have been solved: Shocking Truth Behind Donald Trump’s Hair Revealed?. Evidently, it’s an example of the heretofore-only-known-from-legend double-comb-over. See the cited article for photographic evidence. Startling.

  18. Wayne says:

    Being a successful businessman as one qualification is the same as he’s qualified because he is rich?

    With logic like that you probably think it is perfectly reasonable if someone claimed that the only qualification Obama has is because he is black? It would be the same B.S. logic and thinking many seem to be applying here.

  19. Viv says:

    Well, at least he’s better qualified than the clown we have now. Clearly the lesser of two evils…