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Donald Trump on Principles & Values

2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President


Stoked Tea Party suspicions about Obama's legitimacy

The freewheeling anti-Obama paranoia expressed at the Tea Party rallies has been widely reported. Various articles have quoted Tea Party members saying that Obama is a secret Muslim, a foreigner, a Socialist, a Communist, a Nazi--or maybe all of the above! Obama the un-American is the overarching theme. Stoked by demagogues like Donald Trump, the claim about President Obama's otherness and illegitimacy reached its apogee in "Birtherist" claims that Obama was not really born in the US. In our interviews, the tone was of course more measured than in public rallies, but we heard variations of all the possible epithets for Obama.

Obama is perceived by many Tea Partiers as a foreigner, an invader pretending to be an American, a 5th columnist. Obama's past as a community organizer is taken as evidence that he works on behalf of the undeserving poor and wishes to mobilize government resources on their behalf.

Source: The Remaking of Republican Conservatism, p. 78-79 , Jan 2, 2012

No more morning in America; we'll be mourning FOR America

If we keep on this path, if we reelect Barack Obama, the America we leave our kids and grandkids won't look like the American we were blessed to grow up in. The American Dream will be in hock. The shining city on the hill will start to look like an inner-city wreck. It won't be working in America, as President Reagan put it. We'll be mourning for America, an America that was lost on Obama's watch. The dollar will fall as the world's international currency. Our economy will collapse again (something I believe is a very real danger and risk: a double dip recession that could turn into a depression). And China will replace American as the world's number one economic power.

But it doesn't have to be this way. If we get tough and make the hard choices, we can make America a rich nation--and respected--once again.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 4 , Dec 5, 2011

5-point plan to return America to her former greatness

    We can return America to her former greatness if we get tough and act smart.
  1. It starts with China and OPEC. The hundreds of billions of dollars they steal from us each year must end right away. That one action alone will result in a windfall to help us pay down our debt and meet our commitments.
  2. Next, we enforce a zero-tolerance policy for the kind of brainless government waste that we've all become far too accustomed to from Washington.
  3. We go after the criminals and con artists who are defrauding taxpayers of $243 billion every year in Medicare fraud and billions more in other kinds of fraud, such as the disability racket.
  4. We must save Social Security through economic success.
  5. We need to put Americans back to work and kick the community organizer out of office so we can instill some fiscal sanity in Washington.
We do those five things and we will pass along to our kids and grandkids not only a government they can afford, but also one they can be proud of.
Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 82-83 , Dec 5, 2011

USA is the greatest force for freedom world has ever known

Maybe my biggest beef with Obama is his view that there's nothing special or exceptional about America--that we're no different than any other country. Our country is the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known. We have big hearts, big brains, and big guts--and we use all three. In the past our free market capitalist system has created more wealth and prosperity than any government-controlled economy could ever dream of doing. Because of that wealth, we give more in charity than any other country, and twice as much as the second most generous nation.

We need a leader who will get tough, get smart, and get America working again. I believe America is worth fighting for, I believe America has nothing to apologize for. I believe America can get back her greatness. But we need a tough leader for tough times--someone who isn't afraid to do hard things.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p.155-156 , Dec 5, 2011

Bad students (like Obama) shouldn't go to Harvard

If there were any doubts about the racial animus driving Donald Trump's attacks on Barack Obama, Trump questioned how Obama could possibly have been admitted to Ivy League schools, since Trump "heard" Obama was a "terrible student." Trump said he was investigating the issue, whatever that means, just as he claims to have dispatched investigators to Hawaii in order to find the president's famous birth certificate.

"How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?" Trump said. "I'm thinking about it, I'm certainly looking into it. Let him show his records." By charging that Obama was not admitted based on merit, Trump is suggesting that Obama was admitted because he is black. In GOP politics, attacking racial minorities as the underachieving beneficiaries of affirmative action is a very old move. Trump is blatantly attacking Obama's teenage qualifications for college--a topic so obscure, it was a non-issue in Obama's exhaustive, two-year-long presidential campaign.

Source: Ari Melberon in The Nation, "Coded Racism" , Apr 27, 2011

One hour to produce my birth certificate; Obama should too

Trump has released the certificate the hospital where he was born gave his parents. The US Constitution stipulates three requirements for the Presidency--among them that a President be a "natural born" citizen. Trump's statement: "It took me one hour to get my birth certificate. It's inconceivable that, after four years of questioning, the president still hasn't produced his birth certificate. I'm just asking Pres. Obama to show the public his birth certificate. Why's he making an issue out of this?"
Source: DraftTrump2012.com website , Feb 28, 2011

If I run & win, our country will be great again

I can tell you this, if I run and if I win, this country will be respected again.

If I decided to run, I will not be raising taxes, we'll be taking back hundreds of billions of dollars from other countries that are screwing us, we'll be creating vast numbers of productive jobs, and we'll rebuild our country so that we can be proud. Our country will be great again.

Source: Speech at 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 10, 2011

Never give up; look at the solution, not the problem

Here's the Top Ten list I give when I speak at colleges:
  1. Never give up! Do not settle for remaining in your comfort zone..
  2. Be passionate! If you love what you're doing, it will never seem like work.
  3. Be focused! Ask yourself: What should I be thinking about right now? Shut out interference.
  4. Keep your momentum! Listen, apply and move forward. Do not procrastinate.
  5. See yourself as victorious! That will focus you in the right direction.
  6. Be tenacious! Being stubborn can work wonders.
  7. Be lucky! The old saying, "The harder I work, the luckier I get" is absolutely right on.
  8. Believe in yourself! If you don't, no one else will either.
  9. Ask yourself: What am I pretending not to see? There may be some great opportunities right around you. Great adversity can turn into great victory.
  10. Look at the solution, not the problem. And never give up! Never never never give up. This thought deserves to be said (and remembered and applied) many times. It's that important.
Source: Never Give Up, by Donald Trump,p.165-166 , Jan 18, 2008

To negotiate well, prepare and know as much as possible

Negotiating is an art. There are nuances and finely honed techniques and rules to be aware of. Here are some of them:
Source: Never Give Up, by Donald Trump,p.167-168 , Jan 18, 2008

In the best negotiations, everyone wins

In summing up, I can say that negotiation is an art. All the arts require discipline, technique, and a dose of imagination to take them beyond the realm of the ordinary. Don't be an ordinary negotiator when you can be an extraordinary one. Devote time to this art and it can bring you enormous rewards.
Source: Never Give Up, by Donald Trump,p.168 , Jan 18, 2008

Failure is not permanent

I feel strongly about the importance of wholeness. It's a combination of all the components of life that makes us healthy, happy, and productive. To my mind, the opposite of wholeness is failure. If it happens, and sometimes it does, the best remedy is to move forward, to realize that failure is not PERMANENT, and to immediately focus in the right direction. Ultimately, a solution will show up.

I don't mean t sound like a faith leader, but there is something profound and yet simple about viewing failure as a lack of wholeness. I will also add, it's EFFECTIVE. Believing that a negative situation is temporary and wrong will give you the impetus to do something about it, to feel righteous and energetic about fixing it. Being unhappy and productive is simply not part of my game plan, and it shouldn't be part of yours, either.

Source: Never Give Up, by Donald Trump,p. 5-6 , Jan 18, 2008

Tell people youíre successful or they wonít know it

How to Get Rich.Thatís what I decided to call this book, because whenever I meet people, thatís usually what they want to know from me. You ask a baker how he makes bread. You ask a billionaire how he makes money.

A lot has happened to us all since 1987. Thatís the year The Art of the Deal became the bestselling business book of the decade. Business Rule #1: If you donít tell people about your success, they probably wonít know about it.

Business Rule #2: Keep it short, fast, and direct. The following pages will be straightforward and succinct, but donít let the brevity of these passages prevent you from savoring the profundity of the advice you are about to receive.

The Mother of All Advice: ďTrust in God and be true to yourself.Ē -Mary Trump, My Mother. When I look back, that was great advice, concise and wise at once. I didnít really get it at first, later I realized how comprehensive this is- how to keep your bases covered while thinking about the big picture.

Source: How to Get Rich, by Donald Trump, first chapter , Mar 23, 2004

Good management requires hiring good people

If you are careful when finding employees, management becomes a lot easier. I rely on a few key people to keep me informed. They know I trust them, and they do their best to keep that trust intact.

Good people equals good management and good management equals good people. They have to work together or they wonít work together for very long. Iíve seen excellent people get stuck in the mires of bad management. The good managers will eventually leave, followed by the good workers, & you will be left with a team that gets along because theyíre all mediocre. Save yourself time by getting the best people you can. Sometimes this can mean choosing attitude over experience and credentials. Use your creativity to come up with a good mix.

Creative people rarely need to be motivated-they have their own inner drive that refuses to be bored. They refuse to be complacent. They live on the edge, which is precisely what is needed to be successful and remain successful.

Source: How to Get Rich, by Donald Trump, first chapter , Mar 23, 2004

Lessons: stay focused on big picture

Keep the big picture in mind while attending to the daily details. This can seem like a balancing act, but it is absolutely necessary for success in running a company.

In the 1980s, I was riding high. Iíd become a major player in Manhattan, with many top-tier properties. I had a yacht, a plane, a bestselling book. In the late eighties, I lost focus. Iíd fly off to Europe to attend fashion shows, and I wasnít looking at the clothing. My lack of attention was killing my business.

That was a low point. Of the $9.2 billion I owed, Iíd personally guaranteed a billion dollars. I was a schmuck, but I was a lucky schmuck, and I wound up dealing with some understanding bankers who worked out a fair deal. After being the king of the eighties, I survived the early nineties, and by the mid-to-late nineties, I was thriving again. But I learned my lesson. I work as hard today as I did when I was a young developer in the 1970s. Donít make the mistake I did. Stay focused.

Source: How to Get Rich, by Donald Trump, first chapter , Mar 23, 2004

Surround yourself with people you can trust

Surround yourself with people you can trust. I often say itís good to be paranoid, but not when it comes to your home team. Ask God for a great assistant. No joke. A great one can make your life a whole lot easier-or, in my case, almost manageable.

My phones are so busy that I require two executive assistants, and they never stop. They alone handle, on the average, more than 1,250 calls a week. They are not only efficient and fast, but also very pleasant and beautiful young women. You donít have to be beautiful to work for me-just be good at your job. Iíve been accused of admiring beautiful women. I plead guilty. But when it comes to the workplace, anyone who is beautiful had better have brains, too. You need competent people with an inherent work ethic. Iím not a complacent person and I canít have a complacent staff. I move forward quickly and so must they.

Source: How to Get Rich, by Donald Trump, first chapter , Mar 23, 2004

3 principles: One term, two-fisted policies, zero excuses

I would center my presidency on three principles: one term, two-fisted policies, and no excuses. For voters it would be a business approach, and the best one available in the presidential marketplace. Iíd lead by example. And what I could also bring to the presidency is a new spirit, a great spirit that we havenít had in this country for a long time-the kind of spirit that built the American Dream.
Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.276 , Jul 2, 2000

Non-politicians are the wave of the future

Yes, I am considering a run for the presidency of the United States. I will run if I become convinced I can win. Two things are certain at this point, however: I believe non-politicians represent the wave of the future and if elected I would make the kind of president America needs in the new millennium.
Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 15-16 , Jul 2, 2000

In business & politics, stands for getting things done

I put people together, and when I feel I have the right team, I let them show me what they can do. When the bottom fell out of the real estate market, I survived because of the people I assembled. What saved Trump Organization was my willingness to step back and to let the people who work for me do their thing. Iíve taken the same approach in refining my political agendas. Iíve talked to people who seemed to have the right talent and ideas. Iíve read until I found authors who saw problems the way I do. Iíve based my political programs on this research. Iím also bringing a perspective to politics that most politicians donít have. Iíve built a multi-billion empire by using my intuition. Here Iím letting my instincts tell me how we have to work together to build the America we deserve. I stand for getting things done.
Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 33-35 , Jul 2, 2000

Burned by press too often to be available any more

Reporters whoíve interviewed me know Iím from the ďanything goesĒ school. I have nothing to hide, and no questions are off-limits as far as Iím concerned. I believed [in the past] that it was always best to give an interview, rather than making yourself unavailable, because that way you at least have some chance of getting your message across. I no longer believe this. Iíve been burned too many times by reporters who have a point to make and will make it-at my expense-no matter what I say.
Source: Surviving at the Top, p. 34-35 , Jul 2, 1990

Rules for surviving the perils of success

    Itís great to have good natural instincts, but even if you do, you may find thatís not enough. Over the years Iíve come up with certain rules for myself that are important for surviving the perils of success.
  1. Be disciplined. This is the first and most important rule. Long vacations, drinking, drugs-all of those things are bad for discipline because they interrupt your momentum.
  2. Be honest. Despite a brash and occasionally arrogant approach, I go by the book.
  3. Donít think youíre so smart that you can go it alone. I surround myself with good people, and then I give myself the luxury of trusting them.
  4. Be reachable. Although you run the risk of wasting a lot of time, the vast majority of people [writing] are nice people, and they deserve a response.
  5. Stay close to home. What got you to the top is usually what will keep you there.
  6. Be flexible. I keep white space on my calendar to allow myself to come up with ideas.
Source: Surviving at the Top, p. 40-44 , Jul 2, 1990

Separated from Ivana after long less-than-perfect marriage

Looking back [on my marriage with Ivana], I believe our breakup was inevitable. Why had I hung in there so long when things were just not what they should have been? Itís very uncharacteristic of me to act that way; Iím not one to let problems fester.

[The breakup] is by no means a snap judgment. Iíve discussed the situation with many people. I even thought, briefly, about approaching Ivana with the idea of an ďopen marriage.Ē But I realized there was something hypocritical and tawdry about such an arrangement that neither of us could live with-especially Ivana. Sheís too much of a lady.

It didnít matter that there was never a lot of yelling in the house-it was time to make the tough decisions and get on with the rest of our lives.

Source: Surviving at the Top, p. 46-50 , Jul 2, 1990

Toughness is equally strength, intelligence, & self-respect

I have a reputation for being tough, and Iíd like to think itís justified. Toughness, as I see it, is a quality made up of equal parts of strength, intelligence, and self-respect.

The opposite of toughness-weakness-makes me mad and sometimes turns my stomach. Iím not referring here to the kind of weakness that comes from being poor, sick, or disadvantaged. Iím talking about those people who can take a strong stand but just donít.

Toughness is pride, drive, commitment, and the courage to follow through on things you believe in, even when they are under attack. It is solving problems instead of letting them fester. It is being who you really are, even when society wants you to be somebody else. Toughness is walking away from things you want because, for one reason or another, acquiring them doesnít make sense. In business, toughness means playing by the rules but also putting those rules to work for you. It is looking at an adversary across the desk and saying, simply, No.

Source: Surviving at the Top, p.207-213 & 228 , Jul 2, 1990

Appealing to middle Americans leery of political elite

Trumpís tax plan [a one-time tax on assets to pay off the national debt] underscores his strategy of appealing to low- and middle-class Americans. Even amid an economic boom, Trump believes his class-conscious message will resonate with the millions of voters who are leery of Americaís economic and political elite. He also believes he has a rags-to-riches story that appeals to Americans who dream of following him into the gilded life.
Source: Associated Press, via The Enterprise (Brockton MA), p. A3 , Nov 9, 1999

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Page last updated: Mar 13, 2014