Donald Trump: 'I Will Decide By June' on Presidential Bid

Donald Trump made the usual egotists of political sphere look like pikers Thursday in an electrifying speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference that drew cheers, boos, hoots and applause -- and saw the man know on TV as "The Donald" proclaim himself a holder of conservative values and a potential 2012 presidential contender.

"While I am not at this time a candidate for the presidency, I will decide by June," the wealthy New York businessman said, declaring himself fed up with the way America has become "a whipping post for the world."

"They are not treating us properly," he said. "The United States is becoming a laughing stock of the world... I deal with people from China. I deal with people from Mexico. They cannot believe what they are getting away with," he said.

Trump said he'd have some hesitation about running, as a successful businessman who has made many enemies along the way. But he also said that such hesitations on the part of other was what had led the U.S. to have the weak leadership it has today.

"People who have been in wars leave themselves open to criticism by the many they have beaten," he said, adding later: "Most very successful people don't want to be scrutinized or abused."

And Trump laid claim to the mantle of conservatism. "I am pro-life. Against gun control... I will fight to end Obamacare and replace it with something that makes sense to people in business and not bankrupt the country. If I decide to run, I will not be raising taxes. We will be taking in hundreds of billions of dollars from other countries that are screwing us ... and we'll rebuild our country so that we can be proud. Our country will be great again," he said.

Trump also couldn't resist the opportunity to tweak some of the people in the audience. "By the way, Ron Paul cannot get elected. I'm sorry," he said,to a mix of cheers and boos. "Honestly, he has just zero chance of getting elected."

Thumbnail image credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Presented by

Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In