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Trump: ‘I’m really good at this stuff’

Last modified: 5/1/2015 6:03:38 PM
Touring the state yesterday and hinting that he’s close to announcing a run for president, Donald Trump confidently told awaiting crowds that his skill in business could solve an array of the country’s problems.

For instance, on the growing cost of entitlements, Trump said there’s no need to make cuts if you can instead make more money. Another straight-shooter and potential Republican candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, risked unpopularity when he argued for trimming entitlements in New Hampshire two weeks ago.

Trump, a celebrity business magnate and author, said when other candidates talk about making cuts, “they don’t have any money coming in.”

“You want to take care of the waste and abuse and the fraud. That, everybody wants to do. But I’m the only person that will say I will have so much money coming in from doing it properly – from making great deals with other countries that are just taking us like we’re a bunch of babies and you’re taking the candy out of the baby’s pocket – we’ll have so much that I will not cut Social Security. I’m the only one that says that,” Trump said.

Trump alleged that China and Japan were involved in currency manipulation that caused American companies to be unable to compete. He said he would levy high taxes against foreign competitors manipulating currency to benefit domestic companies and restore jobs.

He would say to China, “We’re going to charge you 25 percent tax on every single product that comes into this country, and if you don’t behave, we’re going to charge you 42” percent, which is “the real number . . . you have to charge them to make up for the manipulation that they’ve been doing,” he said.

On Iran, Trump said he would walk away from a bad nuclear deal and slap sanctions on the country until it came back to the negotiating table and accepted something more favorable to the United States. He said “the right person” could ask that the four Americans being detained in Iran be let go because “you don’t want them, we do want them, it’d be a great symbol,” he said.

“They’d let them go, but if they didn’t, I wouldn’t negotiate with them because they’d be unreasonable . . . I’d say, ‘Fellas, if you can’t do that, we’re not making a deal,’ and I’d triple up those sanctions. They wouldn’t be able to breathe the sanctions would be so tough, and they’d come back to the table.”

“They’d come back and we’d make a great deal, instead of a stupid deal that’s going to lead to nuclear proliferation,” he said.

In his 3 p.m. stop at New England College, which was advertised as a town hall-style meeting, Trump spoke for more than 45 minutes, then took questions for 12 minutes. He then went directly to the Snowshoe Club in Concord for a similar appearance, without media availability after either event.

Trump referenced his work in real estate development when tackling the issue of immigration.

“I would build the greatest wall between our country and Mexico that you ever saw. It would be not penetrable. It would be impossible to get over. It would even look good, and I’d have Mexico pay for the full amount of the cost because they’ve been screwing us so badly for so many years, I would make sure that they pay for every penny of it,” he said, noting that Mexico is “the new China.”

In one of five questions he took at NEC, Trump was asked about his views on climate change. He said: “There’s possibly a change in the weather. I personally think it’s the weather,” then began to rail on “the evening newscasts.”

He ceded that there was one climate change issue worth worrying about: “Nuclear holocaust. You want to see climate change? That’s climate change, okay?”

Otherwise, he wondered aloud about the prevalence of climate change discussions, “Where’s the money being made? Somebody’s making a lot of money,” and noted, “I have friends that live in New England, and they’re still waiting for the snow to melt. They can’t get out of their houses.”

Asher MacLeod, a junior education major, cited polling data the he said showed a majority of New Hampshire voters won’t approve of a candidate who opposes gay marriage. Trump, saying he favors “traditional marriage,” said that the issue wouldn’t gain him points with young voters, while maintaining overall that there’s a 50/50 split among the American people.

MacLeod, who is gay, wanted to ask follow-up questions, but wasn’t given the chance. He said he felt Trump wanted to steer away from social issues in front of the college crowd and instead had “a lot of focus on China, Mexico, no social issues.”

“Nuclear climate change? What is that?” he asked.

“It’s pretty disappointing that someone who’s all about making America great again isn’t about including the younger generations in that,” said Morgan Simmons, a freshman theater major.

Anthony Boame, who is studying pre-law and creative writing, said he felt Trump’s business acumen might help him successfully implement seemingly simplistic ideas.

“That’s the thing about a businessman – even if it’s a bluff . . . you fake it till you make it, literally,” Boame said.

“I just like the fact that he can really help the economy, that’s the biggest thing.”

After the Snowshoe Club event, Robert Jursik characterized Trump’s speech as “entertaining” and said that Trump “may be hopelessly naive about what can happen because Donald Trump says so.”

“The thing about government is it’s got to be a compromise. It’s easy for a CEO of company to say I want my company to do this and that. It’ll be done. But it’s a whole other game when you’ve got to deal with an opposing party, opposing leadership and conflicting political ideas,” he said.

“I appreciate that he’s upset and wants to get things done, but you can’t be CEO of the United States,” he said. “When you are somebody who’s used to, ‘I want to build a building there,’ and it goes up, you can do that. But that’s not American government,” he said.

Trump, for his part, argued: “I’m really good at this stuff.”



(Nick Reid can be reached at 369-3325 or nreid@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @NickBReid.)


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