Real estate mogul and television personality Donald Trump announced his 2016 presidential campaign Tuesday morning.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for president of the United States and we are going to make our country great again!” Trump declared.
Trump made the announcement at the eponymous Trump Tower in New York City.
“Our country is in serious trouble. We don’t have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don’t have them. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let’s say China in a trade deal?” he asked his supporters to open his remarks. “I beat China all the time. All the time.”
In his wind-ranging announcement speech, Trump also aggressively challenged his foes in the 2016 race and repeatedly said he is the only one who can fix the country.
“They will never make America great again. They don’t even have a chance. They’re controlled fully by the lobbyists, by the donors, and by the special interests — fully!” Trump said. “Our country needs a truly great leader and we need a truly great leader now. We need a leader that wrote ‘The Art of the Deal.’ We need a leader that can bring back our jobs.”
The Republican businessman flirted with previous campaigns for higher office without ultimately running, so his potential 2016 bid was met with skepticism in political circles.
However, Trump took a number of steps that suggest he could be much more serious this time around, including hiring staffers in key primary states, forming a political fundraising committee, and setting plans to release financial disclosure documents indicating his net worth is $9 billion.