News / USA

US Republicans Divided on Trump Presidential Run

Billionaire Donald Trump speaks to a crowd at the 2011 Palm Beach County Tax Day Tea Party at Sanborn Square in Boca Raton, Florida, April 16, 2011
Billionaire Donald Trump speaks to a crowd at the 2011 Palm Beach County Tax Day Tea Party at Sanborn Square in Boca Raton, Florida, April 16, 2011

New York real estate mogul and television celebrity Donald Trump is getting a lot of attention in the United States as he flirts with the idea of running in the Republican Party’s presidential primaries next year.  But the prospect of a Trump candidacy for the White House is already dividing Republicans.

Advantage as celebrity

Donald Trump has a major advantage over some of his Republican rivals in that his television show has made him an instantly recognizable celebrity.

That has helped Trump soar to near the top of several recent public opinion polls gauging early support among several Republicans considering a run for president next year.

Trump is showing support among activists of the Tea Party movement, who are most concerned with cutting the federal budget deficit and reducing the size of the central government.

Support of Tea Party

Trump spoke at a recent Tea Party rally in Florida.

"The world is laughing at us.  They are laughing at our leaders.  They are taking advantage of us, and it is a disgrace," he said. "If I run and win, our country will be respected again and China, OPEC and all of the many nations that are ripping off this great country of ours will be dealt with very, very differently."

Trump says he will decide on a presidential bid by June.  In the meantime, some Republicans like Trump’s brash style and believe that he stands out in the slowly developing field of Republican candidates.

"He is honest and says what is on his mind, and I don’t feel like he is lying to me, or trying to pull the wool over my head," said a woman, who attended Trump’s speech in Florida.

Challenging Obama's birth place

Donald Trump poses outside his Chicago offices and his 92-story residential tower underconstruction on the Chicago River in this, April 10, 2006, file photo.
Donald Trump poses outside his Chicago offices and his 92-story residential tower underconstruction on the Chicago River in this, April 10, 2006, file photo.

Trump is also causing a stir by challenging the legitimacy of President Obama’s birth certificate, which says the president was born in Hawaii in 1961.

"Obama is unwilling or unable to show his birth certificate," he said.

State officials in Hawaii have authenticated the birth document, and two local newspapers printed birth announcements within days of Obama’s birth.  The U.S. Constitution says only natural born citizens of the United States are eligible to be president.

Several prominent Republicans have criticized Trump’s focus on the birth certificate as foolish and counter-productive.

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is also considering a run for president next year. She told ABC’s Good Morning America that she is convinced that the president’s birth documents are genuine.

"Well then, that should settle it," said Bachmann. "I take the president at his word."

Trump's political ability questioned

Trump’s focus on the so-called ‘birther’ issue is only one reason why some prominent Republicans are speaking out against his candidacy.

Former Utah Senator Bob Bennett supports former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for president, though Romney has yet to formally announce his candidacy.

Bennett says the interest in Trump by some Republicans reflects a degree of unhappiness with the possible contenders who are signaling interest in running next year.

"There is no unanimity as we have often seen before," he said. "There is no obvious frontrunner.  Now, they are saying, 'well, let’s try a new face.'  Certainly, the latest one in terms of Donald Trump demonstrates absolutely no understanding whatsoever of what it would take to be president of the United States."

The latest CBS News/New York Times poll found that 56 percent of Republicans surveyed were not enthusiastic about any of the potential Republican contenders.

Trump - potential liability for party

Republican analysts predict that if Trump does run, his business record and personal past will be carefully scrutinized by the news media and rival candidates, including his past statements in favor of abortion rights and some tax increases.

Former Oklahoma Congressman Mickey Edwards is now with the Aspen Institute in Washington.

"I don’t think Donald Trump should be taken seriously, but he does," said Edwards. "And he has now changed his position on almost everything to move much farther to the right, because it doesn’t matter about the general [presidential] election. First you have to get through the [Republican[ primaries."

Will Trump run?

Many political experts question whether Trump will even run in the end.

"He is an outspoken, populist, well-known guy.  And so he is appealing in some ways for an electorate that is looking around for somebody new," said John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. "But I think that his time here, his moment in the sun, is going to be relatively short.  He may run. He may be part of the field.  But his likelihood of winning is pretty small."

In the CBS News/New York Times poll, 72 percent of voters said they do not think Donald Trump is a serious candidate.  The survey also showed Republicans are split on a Trump candidacy.  Thirty-five percent viewed Trump favorably, 32 percent viewed him unfavorably and 33 percent were either undecided or did not know enough about him to form an opinion.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid