Donald Trump dives in to presidential fray

Campaign 2016
by Leigh Jones
Posted 6/16/15, 01:00 pm

Billionaire CEO and reality star Donald Trump wants to be the leader of the free world, too.

This morning, at a Manhattan skyscraper emblazoned with his name, the business mogul announced his 2016 campaign for U.S. president. Trump has dabbled in politics before, but has never been taken as seriously as other candidates. He hinted at a presidential run in 2012, but backed out. 

“I am officially running for president of the United States,” Trump told a crowd of supporters and journalists Tuesday. “We are going to make our country great again.” 

Trump, 69, formed an exploratory committee in March and has spent time stumping in early voting states in recent months. But now that he’s made his candidacy official, he will have to make financial disclosures that will reveal how much he’s worth. Estimates indicate his financial assets total $9 billion. Trump will have to release similar disclosures for his wife and dependent children.

The Trump platform likely will focus on strengthening free markets and improving the economy through pro-business policies. Born in Queens, N.Y., Trump inherited his father’s successful real estate busines in 1972. He has become one of the best-known American businessmen, thanks in part to his popular reality TV show, The Apprentice. He canceled the show’s upcoming season ahead of his campaign announcement. In addition to his real estate holdings, Trump owns a resort chain and clothing and fragrance lines.

Based in part on his name recognition, Trump polls higher than other, more serious, candidates in the likely field of 20 GOP hopefuls. Because of that, he could earn a coveted spot in the first Republican debate, to be televised on Fox News. The cable channel announced last month it would only invite the top 10 candidates based on current polls. Because the field is so deep, many potential contenders for the nomination will be left out.

“Selfishly, the networks would put me on because I get great ratings,” Trump said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.

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