Donald Trump
Trump Organization Chairman and CEO
CPAC 2011
Washington, DC
February 10, 2011

[Music: The O'Jays "For the Love of Money" which is the theme song for "The Apprentice"]

Trump: Thank you. Wow, what a nice group.  Beautiful.  Thank you very much.  Great to be here. 

Audience member: You're hired. 

Trump, pointing: You're hired. 

These are my people.  This is beautiful. 

Audience member: inaud. 

Trump: Thank you darling.

Let me begin by thanking CPAC for the opportunity to address so many of you today.  It's a wonderful forum and an honor to be here.  Thank you very much.  [applause]

While I'm not at this time a candidate for the presidency, I will decide by June whether or not I will become one.

And I will tell you the reason that I'm thinking about it is that the United States has become a whipping post for the rest of the world.  The world is treating us without respect; they are not treating us properly. [applause]

America today is missing quality leadership and foreign countries have quickly realized this.  It's for this reason that the United States is becoming the laughingstock of the world.  Now whether we like it or don't like it, that's what's happening.  I deal with people from China.  I deal with people from Mexico.  They cannot believe what they're getting away with.

I've said on numerous occasions that countries like China, like India, South Korea, Mexico, and the OPEC nations view our leaders as weak and ineffective and have repeatedly taken advantage of them to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

When they talk about raising your taxes, they talk about—I think raise the taxes on some of these countries that are taking advantage of the United States. [applause]

Over the years, I've participated in many battles and have really almost come out very, very victorious every single time.  I've beaten many people and companies and I've won many wars.  I have fairly but intelligently earned many billions of dollars which in a sense was both a scorecard and acknowledgment of my abilities.

During my lifetime I've—a little different, right?  A little different than what you've been hearing.  [laughter, applause]

During my lifetime, I've always been told that a person of great accomplishment and achievement cannot become a politician or run for political office because there are too many enemies, both very smart and not so smart, strewn along this highway to success.

People who have been in wars—and this is war.  Life is pleasant, but it can be war.  People who have been in wars, even the most successful of them, leave themselves open to great criticism from the many that they have beaten and those that have watched the battles.

The fact is, this theory of a very successful person running for office is rarely tested because most successful people don't want to be scrutinized or abused.  And that's what happens.  If you see it, that's what happens.  And this is why we don't have the kind of people that we should have running for office.

Unfortunately however, this is the kind of person that the country needs, and they need it now.  We don't have time to wait 25 years and get the right—  This country is in serious trouble.  We need it now. [applause] 

Our current president came out of nowhere, came out of nowhere.  In fact I'll go a step further.  The people who went to school with him, they never save him; they don't know who he is. [cheers, applause]  Crazy.

With no track record, and I will tell you, he's got nothing to criticize—you've got no record, you can't be criticized.  Wonderful guy, he's a nice man, but there was no record, nothing to criticize. He didn't go in wars, he didn't go in battles, he didn't beat this one, that one, have enemies all over the place.  Nobody knew who the hell he was.  [audience reaction]  He's now our president; he's our president.

[audience reactions]

But he is our president.

Business Week magazine, which is now Bloomberg Business, said in a vote of its readers that Donald Trump was the world's most competitive businessperson.  I don't know if that's true or not, but that's what the readers said, with Bill Gates number two and Warren Buffett number three.  Steve Forbes stated that I was one of the greatest entrepreneurs in the history of free trade.  That's an important word, free trade.  Because we don't have free trade.  We don't have free trade.  We don't have fair trade, and I'm a fair trade believer.  I love open markets, but not when China's manipulating their currency.  Not when all of these other factors are taking place.  [applause]  Thank you.

And I can tell you, I'm a big buyer of products.  I build buildings and other things.  And so many of those products unfortunately come from China, and other countries, but we are re-building China.  We're rebuilding China.  You go to China right now, they're building the biggest airports in the world, the greatest airports, the best everything.  And they're doing it because we buy so much of their product.  And the reason we buy their product is because their currency is so low and they have it artificially so low that it makes it almost impossible for our companies to compete.  Now I'll tell you the one thing that's very important.  Our companies make a better product.  That's very important to know.  We make a better product.  [applause]

So with Steve Forbes, and with the Business Week statement, considering the shape the United States is in right now, we need a competitive person, we need a highly competent person or we're going to have very, very serious trouble very quickly.  [cheers, applause]

I've said on numerous occasions that we should watch China and OPEC because, by the way, worse than China, worse than everyone—OPEC.  They are truly ripping us.  And you know, I wrote it down, coming over here today.  One of my people in the car said, oh my gosh look at that—  He actually didn't use the word gosh, [some laughs], but I'm going to use it.  Four dollars and fifty four cents a gallon for gas.  Right on the sticker.  4.54 for gas.  It's going to go much higher, folks; get used to it.  Because we have nobody that calls up OPEC—and they're only there because of us;  we protect them.  We have nobody that calls up OPEC and say that price better get lower, and it better get lower fast.  We have nobody that does that. [applause]  They have a free rein, they have a free rein and it's amazing.  You know the other day there was a small leak in the Alaska pipeline.  I said watch, OPEC will announce an increase.  They did.  Just a small leak.  Lasted like half a day.  They announced an increase.  Any time there's a problem.  Now Egypt.  They had the whole situation in Egypt, people in the square, OPEC announced increase.  There was a—  Any time there's a little problem, they announce, and nobody says anything.  Nobody says it's unwarranted.  Anyway, so you have to watch OPEC.  You have to tell OPEC, folks those prices are coming down, and they're coming down fast.  And we're not going to be paying 7 and 8 and 9 dollars, which believe me in a year or two from now, you're going to be paying that, as sure as you're sitting there because we have nobody to speak to them. 

How about this?  This morning I'm leaving New York, and Germany is buying the New York Stock Exchange.  Can you believe it?  I thought it was kidding.  I said is this April Fool's Day.  Germany, a major company in Germany is buying the New York Stock Exchange.

How about the Somali pirates?  Now you know that doesn't really pertain to us.  How simple would that be if we had a good admiral.  Give me one good admiral and a couple of good ships.  We'd blast them out of the water so fast. [applause]

So I have a reputation for telling it like it is, I'm known for my candor, I've had a lot of great victories, and I may be willing to put that to work.  I mean I wish that—frankly I wish there was a candidate that I saw that would be fantastic, because I love what I'm doing.  In fact I have a great club that's 15 minutes away—

Shouts from audience: Ron Paul.

Trump: By the way Ron Paul cannot get elected.  I'm sorry to tell you.

Audience: Mix of uproar and applause.

Trump: Sorry.

And you know what else?  I like Ron Paul.  I think he's a good guy, but honestly he has just zero chance of getting elected.  You have to win an election.

Audience: Uproar and applause.

Trump: And I can tell you this.  If I run and if I win, this country will be respected again.  This country will be respected again.  I can tell you that. [applause]

I graduated from the Wharton School of Finance, which is the best business school, in my opinion, but I graduated from the Wharton School of Finance as well as military school.  Both of those educational backgrounds have come into play to shape my personal and business relationship with what I do, who I do it with.  There are tactics and strategies involved in any form of leadership, and I'm well acquainted with both.  I am also well acquainted with winning, and that's what this country needs now: winning. [cheers, applause]

Just very briefly, I'm pro-life. [cheers, applause]  I'm against gun control [applause].  I agree with your previous speaker.  And I will fight to end Obamacare and replace it [cheers, applause] —replace it with something that makes sense for people in business and not bankrupt the country. [cheers, applause]

If I decide to run, I will not be raising taxes. [cheers, applause]  We'll be taking in hundreds of billions of dollars from other countries that are screwing us. [cheers, applause]  We'll be creating vast numbers of productive jobs. [cheers]  Thank you very much.  And we'll rebuild our country so that we can be proud.  Our country will be great again.  Thank you very much; it's an honor. [applause]

time: about 13m25s

Transcript copyright © 2011 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.