NEW YORK (AP) — It’s shaping up to be an interesting Republican field of contenders for the 2016 presidential race.
There is the top-tier, a group that includes former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who formally launched his candidacy on Monday. There are the single-issue candidates such as South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who talks about national security and little else. There are even the quixotic underdogs, such as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, ambitious against all odds.
And then there is Donald Trump who officially announced he’s running to a crowd of supporters gathered at Trump Tower Tuesday morning
“I am officially running for president of the United States and we are going to make our country great again,” he told the cheering crowd, many of whom were holding signs saying “I Believe In Trump!”
As a businessman, a reality television star and a master of self-promotion, Trump is positioned to have a greater impact on the early months of the Republican presidential primary contest than many GOP leaders would like.
In his speech to supporters, Trump took on China, immigration, Obamacare and the economy, saying, “I will be the greatest jobs president God ever created.”
Trump is required to release a personal financial disclosure that would reveal intimate details about his personal finances. The disclosure would include his net worth, sources of income, liabilities and assets. He would have to reveal the same information for his wife and dependent children.
Trump was ready to do so. On Tuesday, he also shared details about his personal finances that he said revealed a net worth of $8.7 billion and more than $9 billion in assets.
“I’m really rich,” he said.
The financial disclosure, required of all candidates for president, was thought to be the final obstacle blocking Trump from launching a 2016 campaign.
Based on guidelines recently announced by the television networks, Trump could play a prominent role in the upcoming nationally televised Republican debate in August.
Those who rank in the top 10 in national polls, and Trump currently does, although he’s close to the bottom, will earn a place on the debate stage. That could place Trump in a debate alongside leading candidates such as Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Trump has teased presidential runs before, and always backed out. But there are signs that he’s more serious this time around.
After forming a presidential exploratory committee in March, Trump says he has hired political operatives on the ground in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. He has also been a frequent visitor to the early voting states in recent months.
Perhaps most significantly, he said he would not renew his contract with NBC for his reality show, “The Apprentice.” He cannot appear on the network and run for president at the same time.
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