Donald Trump is stirring himself up over a potential run for the presidency in 2012, by aggressively attacking President Obama on his trade policies, especially those toward China. Trump says the country has become the “laughing stock” of the world and that conservatives who would vote for him “see what is happening and they hate to see what is happening. We are no longer respected.”
Whether his incendiary rhetoric will resonate with Republican primary voters is something that Trump will have to test on his own. He will decide by June whether he will run, and much of that decision, he says, hinges on whether the economy is generating good jobs.
In various forums and television interviews over the past month, Trump has described a policy agenda that centers on dealing aggressively with China and OPEC. “Look at what China is doing to us. They’re just ripping us left and right,” he said on CNN in February. “They’re taking our jobs. What is going on is insane.”
Trump, who describes himself as “a very conservative Republican,” would put up a “tremendous amount” of his own money to run a presidential campaign — “hundreds of millions if I have to,” he said on Fox News in February.
He contends that the United States is broke and the economic situation could get out of control if something is not done soon. “You go to China and see these cities rising out of nothing,” he said. “Highways outside of New York are disgusting. They are like Third World countries. You go to LaGuardia, it’s like an airport from a Third World country. You go to China and other places in the Middle East, their airports are the most incredible things you’ve ever seen.” It is the United States that is building the Chinese cities and airports, he adds.
Trump is frustrated with Obama. He says the president does not “know what to do.” Obama looks to be a “foolish man” who “is heavily lobbied” by Chinese interests and is unwilling to address huge and growing trade imbalances.
“We have the wrong people in office,” says Trump. “America is missing quality leadership and foreign countries have quickly realized this. I deal with people from China, Mexico — they cannot believe what they are getting away with.”
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