Saturday, July 30, 2016
My Account  | Login
Nashua-BoireFieldAirport;69.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nskc.png;2016-07-30 03:41:58
pic1
pic2
pic3
pic4
pic5
pic6
pic7
pic8
pic9
pic10
pic11
pic12
pic13
pic14
pic15
pic16
  • photo by Don Himsel


    Donald Trump jokes with Robert La Mattina, owner of Tokyo Joe's School of Self Defense in Nashua, New Hampshire while touring a Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce business expo at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire Monday, May 11 2011.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Donald Trump signed a book for former alderman Paula Johnson during his visit to the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Radisson in Nashua.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Donald Trump is surrounded by photographers and well-wishers at

    the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Radisson in Nashua.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Donald Trump was the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Radisson in Nashua.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Donald Trump was the guest of honor at the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Radisson in Nashua.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    It was a fill house at the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Radisson in Nashua where Donald Trump addressed the crowd.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Donald Trump speaks at the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Radisson in Nashua Monday, May 11 2011.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Donald Trump speaks at the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Radisson in Nashua Monday, May 11 2011.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Donald Trump was the guest of honor at the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Radisson in Nashua.
  • photo by Don Himsel


    Donald Trump pauses for a souvenir photo with an admirer while on a stop at a Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce business expo at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire Monday, May 11 2011.
  • photo by Don Himsel


    Donald Trump signs aurographs outside of a Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce business expo at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire Monday, May 11 2011.
  • photo by Don Himsel


    Donald Trump waves as he leaves a Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce business expo at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire Monday, May 11 2011.
  • photo by Don Himsel


    Donald Trump moves through the booths of a Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce business expo at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire Monday, May 11 2011.
  • photo by Don Himsel


    Donald Trump moves through the booths of a Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce business expo at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire Monday, May 11 2011.
  • photo by Don Himsel


    Donald Trump moves through the booths of a Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce business expo at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire Monday, May 11 2011.
Thursday, May 12, 2011

Trump previews decision, talks policy

NASHUA – New York billionaire/reality TV show host Donald Trump said he’s “pretty close” to deciding whether to mount a Republican campaign for president but admits it won’t be an easy call.

“I am enjoying my life to be honest. I built a good company, have a very successful TV show, but the country comes first,” Trump said in a brief interview after a whirlwind three hours at the Radisson Hotel Nashua.

Trump will stick to his plans to decide soon after the last episode of the hit NBC-TV series “Celebrity Apprentice” on May 22.

“I’ll do it by the first of June,” Trump added. “I’m pretty close.”

During a 45-minute address to the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce’s “Nashua Expo” luncheon, Trump dropped no obvious hints about his plans.

But this outspoken, nonapologetic business magnate tried to set himself up as the ultimate outsider if he enters a crowded field for the right to take on President Barack Obama in November 2012.

“So I am thinking about running. I must tell you it’s tough,” Trump said near the conclusion of his speech.

“I am anti-establishment and that includes the Republicans. I am very anti-establishment, and I say what I think.”

Trump compared politics to an exclusive club that doesn’t welcome members who criticize the elite.

“I think even the Republicans don’t like it because I’m not in that club,” Trump said.

“That club is not going to make us a great country again.”

Some leading Republicans have panned Trump’s early performance. Former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove called Trump a “joke candidate” for harping on whether President Barack Obama falsified his birth in the U.S.

Obama lampooned Trump repeatedly at the White House Correspondents Dinner earlier this month.

A national poll Tuesday concluded Trump had fallen from first in a GOP survey with 26 percent support to tied for fifth with 8 percent this week.

“Donald Trump had a meteoric rise to the top of the GOP presidential field and has fallen back down just as quickly,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling.

Trump conceded he was not prepared for such a rude awakening to the early rough and tumble.

“All of my life, I have heard that very successful people cannot run for high office. I have just heard it many times,” Trump said.

“Nobody said it was going to be easy, but I had no idea I would get hammered the way I got hammered over the last three or four weeks. I think it is a complement; I’m not sure.”

The health of the nation’s economy depends on who occupies the White House in January 2013, Trump declared.

“I honestly believe that the upcoming election is one of the most important elections ever in this country’s history,” Trump said.

“We have a chance to be great; we have a chance to be an unbelievable power again and I am talking from an economic standpoint.”

Trump vowed to be a truth teller if he does enter the race.

“Now, if I run and if I win – and that’s a big if – this country will be great again, this country will be rich again and maybe most of all, this country will be respected again,” Trump said.

The speech was his first policy address during his second visit to the first-in-the-nation primary state. It was part Succeed in Business 101 lecture, part political polemic and part stand-up comedy.

Only Trump, who over the decades has bought and revived distressed hotels, casinos, golf courses and other resorts, could even make light of his venue.

Trump couldn’t resist a playful jab at the owners of the Radisson Hotel that closed very briefly due to temporary, financial difficulty two months ago.

“By the way, I heard this hotel is in trouble,” Trump deadpanned.

“I love things that are in trouble; that’s what I like to buy.”

Trump took on the caution of political speech, alluding to the tough interviews of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay that yielded intelligence leading to the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Trump said bin Laden would not have been caught or killed without what he first called “enhanced interrogation.”

“We are so politically correct. Nobody wants to say it, nobody wants to use the word. Isn’t another word for that torture?” Trump asked rhetorically.

Pakistan is no trusted ally of the U.S., and Trump offered a simple ultimatum about the future of the $2.4 billion in U.S. foreign aid.

“They desperately need our money,” Trump said.

“We don’t give them any money unless they get rid of their nuclear weapons.”

As for the war in Iraq, Trump suggested the $1.5 trillion cost was a waste of money unseating and killing dictator Saddam Hussein, who played no role in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“He did not knock down the World Trade Center; had nothing to do with it. Frankly what he did do is kill terrorists,” Trump declared.

“You could not be a terrorist in Iraq; he would kill you.

“Now Iraq is the Harvard of terrorism. You want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq.”

The U.S. should not apologize by going after Iraq’s significant oil reserves to cover war costs and help families of wounded or dead American soldiers.

“I say this: at a minimum, we get our money back and we pay each one of the families of those soldiers who died a couple of millions dollars and give our badly wounded a lot of money,” Trump said.

“We pay those families back.”

Marie Mayotte, a Hudson business owner and the parent of a soldier who did four, six-month deployments in Iraq between 2003-05, thanked Trump.

She asked Trump the temperament question that has many observers wondering if he has the humility and consensus-building skills to be successful in elective politics.

“If you do enter the political arena, the art of compromise is something that is kind of important. Is that a skill you will develop or something you will tap into your inner nice guy at some point?” she asked.

Trump said too much compromise on Capitol Hill has led to record deficits, a depleted U.S. dollar and slumping respect of foreign leaders around the world.

“There has been so much compromise, and in the end we have more debt than ever,” Trump said.

“We need not compromise, we need smart people and we need good people and maybe we need lame duck people.”

Mayotte offered a wistful wish about the two who should face off to win Trump’s infamous, chilling job interviews on “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

“I hope the two Jo(h)ns go head to head,” she said, referring to country singer John Rich and hip hop star Lil Jon.

Trump thought she was talking about the GOP presidential field.

“I was thinking; I didn’t know there were two Johns running,” Trump said, joking.

After the speech, Trump briskly walked through three exhibit booths at the Nashua Expo under heavy personal security that kept the pool press out of earshot for much of his exchanges with potential voters.

Michael Shaheen of Nashua, who works for the Tulley car dealership, said he read all of Trump’s books, never missed an episode of the NBC-TV series and begged for a picture.

“If you run, give me a call because I want to work on your campaign,” Shaheen said.

Trump turned to his media adviser, Michael Cohen, and said, “He wants to work with me. Get his name.”

Trump then bought Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce raffle tickets with a crisp $100 bill.

Adam Brownstein, 13, of Nashua, walked up to Trump and calmly shook his hand.

Trump asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up.”

Brownstein answered, “I want to be an actor on SNL (Saturday Night Live).”

The Nashua teen said he hopes Trump runs.

“I think he’d be a good candidate. He’s run a good company and he forced the president to show his birth certificate. That’s leadership,” Brownstein said.

But when a martial arts expert tried to entice Trump to break a board with his bare fist, the New York billionaire thought a minute about it and then sheepishly turned down the invite.

Kevin Landrigan can be reached at 321-7040 or klandrigan@nashuatelegraph.com.