NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Real estate mogul Donald Trump said he is officially joining the list of Republican presidential contenders for 2016.
Trump made the announcement 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 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 Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who formally launched his candidacy on Monday.
But the latest Monmouth University poll Monday found that undecided is the most popular response when Republican voters nationwide are asked who they support as their party’s leader.
“You would be hard pressed to look at these results and identify an emerging top tier in the Republican field, let alone a so-called front runner,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.
After forming a presidential exploratory committee in March, Trump said he 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.
He also 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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