Trump: celebrity billionaire marching on the White House

By AFP
Published: May 4, 2016
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PHOTO: STONERSJOURNAL

PHOTO: STONERSJOURNAL

WASHINGTON DC: Donald Trump is a billionaire real estate tycoon with bravado to spare, a former reality television star who says winning is everything — and has his sights set on one of the biggest prizes on Earth.

To his fans, the Republican frontrunner is the definition of American success, the cut-throat tycoon who can magically fix all that ails a nation no longer sure of its place in the world, and home to an increasingly frustrated white working and middle class.

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To his critics, he is a racist demagogue or, at best, a buffoon with an orange perma-tan and wild hair who would either hand Hillary Clinton the presidency — or lead the world into unmitigated catastrophe.

Now, the most important victory of Trump’s fledgling political career is at hand, having all-but-seized the Republican Party mantle in one of the more extraordinary rises in the history of US politics.

What is clear is that Trump isn’t interested in following the traditional political playbook.

He insults women, Mexicans, Muslims, virtually everyone who crosses his path — including all 16 rivals for the party nomination.

He branded Jeb Bush “low-energy,” badgered “Little Marco” Rubio and relentlessly attacked Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted.”

And yet Trump’s tell-it-like-it-is bluntness, defiance of political correctness and disdain for the Washington establishment struck a chord.

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He promises to build a wall on the Mexican border, deport millions of illegal immigrants and stand up to China to “Make America Great Again.”

Jetting from rally to rally in his Boeing 757, he is treated like a rock star, sucking up as much TV coverage as the other candidates combined. Over the past year Trump has been provided with nearly $2 billion in free air time, according to a New York Times study.

Early in the campaign the question was: Can Trump translate his poll numbers into votes?

After an opening loss to Cruz in Iowa, Trump gained a head of steam that made him unstoppable, besting rivals in early states New Hampshire and South Carolina, snatching seven of 12 contests on March 1, and dominating in the last seven states including Indiana which voted Tuesday.

The question now becomes, how will Trump fare in the November election?

“I’ll bring people together,” he insisted this week.

Donald Trump was born June 14, 1946 in Queens, New York, the fourth of five children.

His father Fred was a wealthy real estate developer and son of German immigrants. His mother Mary was from Scotland.

Boisterous and unruly, young Donald was packed off to New York Military Academy, a private boarding school near West Point, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of business in 1968.

He worked for his father, who made money building and operating middle-income apartments in New York’s outer boroughs. But Queens and Brooklyn were never going to be enough for The Donald.

He shot off to big-league Manhattan, snapping up some of the country’s flashiest real estate, riding the wave of Reaganomics and coming to embody the swanky extravagance of the 1980s.

His true wealth is up for dispute. Trump told the Federal Election Commission he has more than $10 billion. Forbes insists it is no more than $4.5 billion.

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But there is barely a corner of Manhattan that the Trump Organization hasn’t conquered with luxury buildings. Its portfolio of hotels, golf courses, casinos and luxury estates straddles the world, from California to Mumbai.

He has written several best-selling business books and cemented his fame by starring in NBC reality series “The Apprentice,” which spawned “The Celebrity Apprentice” — until the network dumped him for offending Mexicans.

There were other business flops along the way. Four times between 1991 and 2009, his casino and hotel projects on the East Coast went bankrupt.

Best known until then for his three marriages, media stunts and for whipping up a frenzy over Barack Obama’s birth certificate, Trump’s White House bid was initially met by mirth.

But within weeks he sat atop the polls in a crowded Republican field, and there he remained. No matter who he insults, his admirers only love him all the more.

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He called Mexican immigrants rapists and implied that a Fox News anchor asked him difficult questions because she was menstruating.

He sparked international condemnation when he called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Hours before winning Indiana primary and knocking Cruz out of the race, he made the astonishing allegation that Cruz’s father Rafael was linked to president John F. Kennedy’s assassin.

And yet millions remain smitten by a man who promises he can translate personal success into a better country at large.

Previously a Democrat and an independent, Trump has ditched once-liberal views on gun control and abortion, lurching to the right and alienating moderate Republicans.

Trump has five children: three with his first wife Ivana, whom he divorced in 1992; a daughter with second wife Marla Maples; and a son with current wife Melania, a Slovenian-born model.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • SuperNeo
    May 4, 2016 - 10:56AM

    If he wins life for pakis are goong to be very difficult. Illegal asylum seeketswillbe thrown out usaRecommend

  • Sunil
    May 4, 2016 - 11:03AM

    Hope he lives up to expectations and delivers. Pakistan will have a lot to worry about.Recommend

  • Azi
    May 4, 2016 - 12:24PM

    @Sunil:

    Don’t worry. What makes you think he won’t target Indians in US too. Have you forgotten the cheap ways Indians who are not even qualified take American jobs by abusing H1s? Have you forgotten infosys law suit of 400 million? Trump is going to accelerate this too.

    Also you must know that many times Indians get mistaken for muslims. Since under him racism will once again be accepted how do you think they will not be effected?

    And one more thing, in almost every presidential rally, he has had violence b/w his own people. Under him even this will be a norm.

    So don’t you worry, celebrate while you can. Many Indians in US are also Muslims. Recommend

  • Asghar Schehbaz
    May 4, 2016 - 1:33PM

    Trump is the person, CIA keenly wants to see in White House to fulfill its so called ‘ New World Order’ , intellectuals warn that it can be a the Beginning of the End of gr8 America… its a real face of radicals with extreme policies 1st u have to demolish then construct n it hurts a lot,,,, r u ready Americans.Recommend

  • May 4, 2016 - 1:56PM

    @SuperNeo:
    Yes, and rundians will be having days of their lives.Recommend

  • Prada
    May 4, 2016 - 4:49PM

    The only way to deal with rogue nations is for a fearless US president to take them to task. Obama was too meek to deal with them. Recommend

  • Noble Tufail
    May 4, 2016 - 5:42PM

    Indian elected Modi and we are living with that .. If Americans elected Trump we still will be fine. Trump cannot turn America upside down .. the real life white house job is different than electoral speeches. We have better things to worry about. Recommend

  • G. Din
    May 4, 2016 - 5:44PM

    Republicans have mauled each other during the nomination process and the only man barely able to stand is Trump, handing him a Pyrrhic victory. Latest survey amongst Republican voters is that more than 50% feel scared at the prospect of a Trump Presidency. Couple that with women who hate his guts form about 55% of the electorate. He has alienated conservatives of his own party. The conclusion is obvious. You know that US is going to inaugurate its first female President, come January. I hope she is equal to the task of leading the Free World in an imminent WWIII in South China Sea. Having been witness to leadership of Indira Ghandy during the Bangladesh crisis, I am pretty sure she will rise to the occasion.Recommend

  • cueball
    May 4, 2016 - 8:48PM

    Everyone who has worked with Trump seems to think he’s an intelligent guy and far different than the brash individual portrayed in most news media outlets. Some would argue that his often outlandish statements are specifically designed to get free press ($2 Billion worth if you believe this article). His knowledge on foreign affairs isn’t great – but with a few exceptions that not different than most USA Presidential candidates including Obama, Reagan, Bush Jr, and Bill Clinton. He wants to enforce existing laws on immigration – that labels him as “anti Mexican”. He wants to ban Syrian refugees until USA govt put in place proper screening criteria – that labels him as anti Muslim. He believes that the USA has been on the short end on most “trade agreements” in order to placate large American international companies costing American jobs – something that even Hillary Clinton seems to agree with.
    .
    With Cruz out of the running I suspect you will see a tempered Trump – one who appears more Presidential and one who focuses on Hillary Clinton. Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    May 4, 2016 - 9:22PM

    Why blame DT for his views. hes merely supplying for the demand . he has come so far due to supports ( read … millions who share his views ) . Recommend

  • curious2
    May 4, 2016 - 9:51PM

    Many reader comments imply that Trump is going to target Pakistan – but those comments have little substance. Trump doesn’t reference Pakistan often and most of his comments seem to acknowledge that Pakistan is a nuclear power and USA should do everything in it’s power to try and maintain stability in Pakistan – going as far as implying that ongoing involvement in Afghanistan is associated with keeping bad guys from using Afghanistan to destabilize Pakistan. Yes – he has said he would pressure Pakistan to release Afridi – but that’s probably something Pakistan should do on it’s own since Pakistan has zero upside on keeping Afridi behind bars. Recommend

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