Politics

Donald Trump Launches Self-Funded 2016 Presidential Campaign

| by Will Hagle

Donald Trump is running for president. At this point, the real estate mogul’s White House aspirations have become routine — he first explored the possibility of launching a campaign in 1987. Trump has never shied away from voicing his political opinions — especially those regarding Obama’s birth certificate — and it seems like his name is mentioned as a possible candidate every time another election rolls around.

Today, in a speech delivered at his own Trump Tower in New York, Trump made the announcement that he will join the growing list of 2016 presidential candidates. “Ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for president of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again,” Trump said, according to CNN. Trump’s vague plans for his presidency align with the more hawkish ideals of the Republican Party, including being “tougher on ISIS,” repealing Obamacare, and enacting a stricter immigration policy.  

Trump also reportedly read the crowd his net worth to the nearest thousandth dollar, bluntly stating, “I’m really rich.” While candidates like Hillary Clinton have attempted to avoid the fact that they’re super rich in order to connect with the common voter — also an unsuccessful tactic of Romney’s during the last election — Trump believes his status as one of the world’s richest individuals gives him a leg up on his competitors. No matter his actual net worth (he listed it as near $9 billion, Forbes estimates it’s closer to $4 billion), it’s clear that Trump will be one of the wealthiest candidates in the 2016 race.

No matter how you feel about Trump’s stances on political issues, it’s tough to argue with the fact that he’s a massively successful leader and businessman. He has enough money to self-fund his campaign, an act which he claims will help him avoid the special interest groups that currently control Washington. “I don’t need anybody’s money. I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors. I don’t care,” Trump said in his announcement speech. It’s an interesting idea that a wealthy candidate like Trump could reform the nation through his own monetary influence — although it’s hardly an answer to the problems the political system has. Yet Trump's bluntness about his financial status, as well as his refusal to bow to the influence of corporate interest, are surprisingly refreshing.

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Trump is a long shot candidate. He’s more known as a reality TV star than a serious political contender. He's joining a crowded field of Republican contenders, and he'll have difficulty convincing voters his business success matches the political experience of his opponents. Now that Trump's officially launched a presidential bid, however, it will be intriguing to watch how far his straight-shooting political rhetoric and self-funded campaign can take him.

Sources: CNN, Forbes, The Washington Post

Image Source: CNN