At a Novi, Mich., dinner, featured speaker Donald Trump brought out the largest crowd the event has seen: 2,300 people.
The number was double last year’s turnout at the Oakland County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner, when former presidential candidate Rick Santorum spoke.
Trump mulled a run for president last year against Barack Obama, but ultimately didn’t enter the race. And when asked before the dinner if he’d consider a political run, he said it was “highly unlikely.”
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“Everybody tells me, ‘Please run for president. Please run for president.’ I would be much happier if a great and competent person came along,” Trump told the attendees. “I’d be happy if President Obama did a great job. I’m a Republican, but before anything, I love this country. I would love to see somebody come in who is going to be great.”
The mogul predicted that Hillary Clinton will be the Democrats’ front-runner and a formidable opponent in the next presidential race, but didn’t venture a guess at a Republican candidate. He did say that Republicans must make a careful choice. “If they don’t pick the right person, it will be a landslide.”
Mark Winter, spokesman for the Lincoln Day Dinner, said it was the highest turnout the event has ever seen, even in other Lincoln Day dinners across the country.
“Love (Trump) or hate him, people want to see him,” said Winter. “I think there’s an entertainment factor that’s different than having somebody stand up and just spout political views.”
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