As Donald Trump considers a run for president in 2012, Time magazine reports in its April 25 edition that he has been speaking regularly with “a force in conservative circles” — Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy.
And a new Time
article about Trump’s potential candidacy — headlined “Trump’s Political Reality Show: Will the Donald Really Run for President?” — begins by citing Newsmax’s online poll of Trump’s 2012 prospects.
Trump, the magazine article begins, “holds up fresh evidence of his greatness. ‘This thing just came out,” Trump says, waving a 2012 Republican primary poll from the website Newsmax.com. ‘This is Trump.’”
The Newsmax-sponsored Internet poll has become an online sensation with more than 841,000 Americans participating. The non-scientific survey reveals that, when Trump faces off against the best and the brightest GOP contenders for 2012, he takes 57 percent of the vote in a field including Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney. His closest competitor is Romney, with 9 percent of the vote.
Donald Trump with Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy during Trump's recent visit to Newsmax headquarters in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Time continues: “He points to a bar graph showing the 57 percent of voters who support his unannounced campaign for president. Then he points below. ‘These are the people,’ he says, referring to established politicians such as Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and
Haley Barbour, none of whom garners even 10 percent. ‘A little crazy, right?’”
Trump says he has not yet agreed to renew his “Celebrity Apprentice” reality TV show because he is seriously considering tossing his hat in the GOP ring for 2012.
“I have a big decision to make,” he tells Time.
But he has already been working behind the scenes to lay the groundwork for a possible run, Time reports.
“He has been chatting up the new head of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, and speaking regularly to Christopher Ruddy, the proprietor of Newsmax and a force in conservative circles, who happens to be a member of Trump’s opulent Palm Beach, Fla., club Mar-a-Lago.”
Trump has also been “reconnoitering” with Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster who declares: “He can win.”
And Time acknowledges: “There are signs he is striking a chord in the relative vacuum of the 2012 Republican campaign.”
For those who consider Trump a Johnny-come-lately to the political stage, Time points out that as long ago as 1987, he took out full-page newspaper ads criticizing the federal government’s coddling of OPEC, a theme he is vigorously pushing today.
“The world is laughing at America’s politicians,” he asserted in the ad.
That sentiment is echoed in his Time interview: “This country is a laughingstock for the rest of the world.”
In his Time interview, Trump again focuses on OPEC, saying the United States should threaten to withdraw military cover for the cartel’s members unless they lower the price of oil.
He declares that as president he would not have bombed Libya unless he was sure the U.S. could keep Libya’s oil afterward. He says he would impose a 25 percent tariff on all Chinese imports unless Beijing adjusts its currency in relation to the dollar, and would make South Korea “pay us for protection” against North Korea.
Time asks: “But could Trump actually corral Washington?”
A hint might lie in the Newsmax poll he cites, which found that in a head-to-head run against the incumbent president, 13 percent of respondents would vote for Barack Obama, 17 would vote for another candidate — and 68 percent would cast their ballot for Donald Trump.
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