The Trump stump

NEW YORK — In a slew of interviews in recent months with ABC News, Fox News, CNN and even the BBC, Donald Trump has made no secret of the fact that he’s seriously considering a presidential bid in 2012.

In an interview with ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos, Trump described himself as a Republican, and said that if he decided to run, it would be as a Republican. He added, “I’m going to make a decision probably by June.”

This isn’t the first time for Trump. He launched an exploratory committee in 1999 for a possible presidential bid as an independent candidate in 2000, and was mentioned as a possible running mate for George H.W. Bush in 1988. But he said his interest now is rooted in his alarm over the economy and the diminishment of America’s status in the world. “I’m looking at this country and what’s happened in terms of respect,” Trump told Stephanopoulos. Chinese business counterparts, he said, “laugh at us. They’re making the products we used to make in this country.” 

Thus, Trump said he’d push for a more assertive stance with China, which he declared is gaining the upper hand in manufacturing and job creation. “The problem is our jobs have left this country,” Trump told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren. “Between China and other places, we just don’t make product anymore. ... We’re losing our jobs to other countries, and you’re not going to solve unemployment unless something very, very stringent is done,” Trump said.

Trump’s solution: “I would tax Chinese products. People say, ‘That’s not free trade.’ We don’t have free trade now. We have a country ... that is ripping us [off]” by manipulating its currency to make Chinese goods cheaper for American companies and consumers to buy than U.S. goods, he asserted.

An informal poll of Internet users who have visited found support for the idea. Of the nearly 30,000 people who have responded to the question, “Should Donald Trump enter the 2012 presidential race?” two-thirds (67%) have responded in the affirmative. An almost equal number (66%) of those who responded to the survey also indicated they would vote for him.

However, a poll on told an opposite story, with 75% of the 387 online users who voted saying a Trump presidency would be bad for retail pharmacy.

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