In 1999, Trump filed an exploratory committee to seek the nomination of the Reform Party for the 2000 presidential election.[354][355] A July 1999 poll matching him against likely Republican nominee George W. Bush and likely Democratic nominee Al Gore showed Trump with seven percent support.[356] Trump eventually dropped out of the race, but still went on to win the Reform Party primaries in California and Michigan.[357][358] After his run, Trump left the party due to the involvement of David Duke, Pat Buchanan, and Lenora Fulani.[354] Trump also considered running for president in 2004.[359] In 2005, Trump said that he voted for George W. Bush.[360] In 2008, he endorsed Republican John McCain for president.[361]
On November 8, 2016, Mr. Trump was elected President in the largest Electoral College landslide for a Republican in 28 years. Mr. Trump won more than 2,600 counties nationwide, the most since President Ronald Reagan in 1984. And he received the votes of more than 62 million Americans, the most ever for a Republican candidate. These voters, in delivering a truly national victory and historic moment, rallied behind Mr. Trump’s commitment to rebuilding our country and disrupting the political status quo that had failed to deliver results.
Trump operated golf courses in several countries.[193] He hosted several boxing matches at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, including Mike Tyson's 1988 heavyweight championship fight against Michael Spinks.[195] He also acted as a financial advisor to Mike Tyson.[196] In 1989 and 1990, Trump lent his name to the Tour de Trump cycling stage race, which was an attempt to create an American equivalent of European races such as the Tour de France or the Giro d'Italia.[197]
On June 16, 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States at Trump Tower in Manhattan. In the speech, Trump discussed illegal immigration, offshoring of American jobs, the U.S. national debt, and Islamic terrorism, which all remained large priorities during the campaign. He also announced his campaign slogan: "Make America Great Again".[297][296] Trump said his wealth would make him immune to pressure from campaign donors.[376] He declared that he was funding his own campaign,[377] but according to The Atlantic, "Trump's claims of self-funding have always been dubious at best and actively misleading at worst."[378]
If the next presidential election were held today, there's a decent chance that President Trump would be re-elected. Despite his litany of scandals and his abysmally low (yet stable) approval rating, he is benefiting enormously from a strong economy. The GDP experienced 4.2 percent growth in the second quarter of 2018, the unemployment rate is now at an 18-year low, and the stock market is booming. In perhaps the best news for Trump, one of the strongest indicators of an incumbent president's re-election prospects, consumer confidence, is at its highest level since 2000.
Or what about Oprah Winfrey? She’s dipped her toe into politics before, backing Mr. Obama during the 2008 Democratic primaries. And after the conservative columnist John Podhoretz recently called her the Democrats’ best hope in 2020 (“If you need to set a thief to catch a thief, you need a star — a grand, outsized, fearless star whom Trump can neither intimidate nor outshine — to catch a star”), Ms. Winfrey seemed open to the idea. She tweeted the article with the message to Mr. Podhoretz: “Thanks for your vote of confidence!”
The paradox of the Trump campaign is that its biggest asset, Trump, is also at times its most intractable—a weapon that threatens, at any moment, to blow up in its face. He’s a constant critic of his own operation. “Trump trusts absolutely nobody,” a former top West Wing official told me. That includes Stepien and DeStefano. In recent months, Trump has complained to aides that he’s not being well served by the White House political operation, according to multiple Republicans who’ve spoken with Trump. Trump has told people he questions DeStefano’s loyalty after DeStefano developed a close relationship with the president’s long-suffering chief of staff and nemesis, John Kelly. “Trump openly questions Johnny,” a former official told me. “He asks people, ‘Is he to be trusted?’” A source said Trump has also complained that Stepien is too cautious because Stepien was among advisers who told Trump not to take sides in Republican primary elections.
While previous presidents had held rallies in the early days of their presidency to garner support for legislation, such rallies differed from those held by Trump in that they were funded by the White House rather than by campaign committees.[24][25] One of the advantages of having his campaign committee fund the events is that organizers can more discriminately screen attendees, refusing entry to non-supporters.[26] Trump's February rally in Melbourne, Florida was the earliest campaign rally for an incumbent president.[27][28]
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