Is Trump In or Out?

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

We’ve never had a billionaire president. In fact, the closest we’ve gotten was Ross Perot in 1992. Although, every couple of election cycles, Donald Trump seems to flirt with the idea of running. However, it seems that during this cycle, Trump has gotten closer to becoming an official candidate than he ever has in the past. In the words of the Donald himself:

Trump: I’m the most successful person ever to run for president. I mean, off the record, Ross Perot isn’t successful like me. Romney was — I have a Gucci store that’s worth more money than Romney.

Hafner: You gotta give me that quote on the record. That’s amazing.

The Des Moines Register fact checked that statement, and, as it turns out, yes, Trump’s Gucci store has an estimated value that is more than Mitt Romney’s net worth. By some estimates, three times as much, a staggering “$701 million.” However, while his statement was true, it doesn’t exactly make him qualified to be President. Nonetheless, he’s been visiting the usual campaign spots and going through the motions that are expected from candidates for President. But Trump has done this before: in 2012 he went through the same process of visiting early primary states and hinting at a run before he ultimately decided that he was “not ready to leave the private sector.”

This time around, however, he’s gone even further with his flirtation with the presidency, as he has staffed up, and formed an exploratory committee. Trump even turned down a contract with NBC for another season of “The Apprentice.” However, as serious as he may appear this time around, the voters aren’t exactly getting fired up about a Trump 2016 campaign. In fact, in a recent Quinnipiac poll, 21 percent of GOP voters said they would “definitely would not support” Trump in the primary, while only 5 percent said they would vote for Trump if the election were “held today.” Trump has also turned in wildly unpopular favorability ratings in most, if not all, of the polls conducted to date.

Nonetheless, Trump has told MSNBC that: “In my own mind, I’ve decided, but I haven’t made it official – that’s for the 16th.”

As for the 16th, Trump promises a major announcement in front of his namesake, Trump Tower, in New York. Does this mean Trump is actually running this time? Clever money would tell you that he’s just using another race to self-promote his personal brand. However, as we saw in 2012, Trump doesn’t have to hire staff and form an exploratory committee to self-promote.  That said, it seems that Trump may actually be serious this time, so, to quote Trump’s own video announcing the event on the 16th: “Let’s see what happens.”

Joshua Pinho works for American Principles in Action.