US real estate mogul Donald Trump announces 2016 presidential candidacy

US real estate magnate and TV personality Donald Trump is the 12th high-profile Republican to announce his presidential nomination candidacy. More are expected to join the 2016 race in the coming weeks.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff
Donald Trump

The Trump family. (AP/Richard Drew)

A day after Jeb Bush declared his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump announced he is joining the ever-growing list of GOP presidential hopefuls.

Trump, the flamboyant US real estate magnate and television personality who says his net worth is about $9 billion, has announced what is perceived to be a longshot bid for the presidency.

Known in the US as “The Donald,” Trump is a celebrity, a businessman and a master of self-promotion. He will be entering an increasingly crowded presidential race competing for the party’s nomination, including well-known names such as Bush, who is the son and brother of two former US presidents.

Trump is the 12th high-profile Republican to enter the 2016 race, with more expected to join in the coming weeks.

Trump has teased presidential runs before, but has always backed out.

Trump made the announcement Tuesday in New York City before a small crowd of supporters, some wearing campaign shirts saying, “Make America Great Again!” and “No More Career Politicians.” In his well-known bombastic style, he mixed boasts about his wealth with promises to defeat effortlessly the Islamic State group (ISIS) and negotiate trade deals with China.

“Sadly, the American dream is dead,” Trump stated . “But if I get elected president, I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we will make America great again.”

In a 40-minute speech on diverse topics, he also boasted about his ability to fortify the border with Mexico in order to prevent “rapists” from entering the US, saying “nobody builds walls better than me.” He also invited President Barack Obama to play golf at one of his courses.

While not viewed as a front-runner, Trump is doing just well enough in early public opinion polls that he may earn a place on stage during the Republican presidential primary debates, which will include the top 10 candidates.

After the rally, Trump flew to Des Moines, Iowa, to meet supporters at a rally in the Midwestern state whose caucuses launch the state-by-state nominating contests.

Trump’s announcement drew immediate scorn online from a series of Republicans, who fear he will turn an otherwise serious Republican primary contest into “a circus.”

“I just apologized to my toddler for bringing him up in a country where Donald Trump runs for Prez, gets better than two percent in the polls,” veteran Republican strategist Liz Mair tweeted.

The Democratic National Committee was just as sarcastic on Twitter, saying that Trump “adds some much needed seriousness that has been lacking” from the Republican Party.

As part of the campaign, Trump is required to reveal his net worth, sources of income, liabilities and assets, as well as the same information for his wife and dependent children.

Trump has withdrawn from “The Celebrity Apprentice,” the TV reality show that he could not continue once he announced his candidacy.

Singer Neil Young, a Canadian whose song “Rockin’ in the Free World” was part of Trump’s announcement, issued a statement saying it was an unauthorized use and that Young supported Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic nomination.