Real estate tycoon, reality TV star and potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump started his campaign-style day in Iowa with a news conference aboard his personal 757 jet.
“Everybody wanted to see the plane, so I figured let’s come onto the plane,” Trump said once the cameras and reporters were assembled onboard the plane, which was parked after landing at the Des Moines Airport. “If you want, you can have a little tour after we’ve finished.”
Trump answered questions for more than 15 minutes on subjects ranging from foreign policy to his decision to say, ‘You’re fired!’ to Iowa native Shawn Johnson, the Olympic gold medalist who appeared on the most recent run of Trump’s “Apprentice” TV show. Trump cast himself as an empire builder who could “totally reverse” the country’s economic slide if he winds up in the Oval Office.
“Politicians are all talk, no action,” Trump said. “…Nothing gets done and our country goes to hell.”
Trump said he decided against running four years ago because he felt he should “be on top” of some pending construction deals. Now, Trump said his top executives and his adult children can run his businesses while he’s running for president.
“I love my business,” Trump said. “I love what I’m doing…and I built one of the great empires and it’s been over a fairly short period of time, but I love the country more and that’s why I’m doing it.”
And the plane? Trump told reporters it’s a made-in-the-USA symbol of his success.
“It’s a different kind of a campaign…What am I going to do, go out and rent a plane?” Trump said when asked about the plane’s significance. “…In the history of presidential politics, nobody will have planes like this and it cost me nothing, because I have it, so that’s an advantage.”
Trump was worried about some of the camera equipment hitting the ceiling of the plane, but it wound up being a tipped-over camera tripod that dinged a coffee table which caught Trump’s full attention as he let the camera crews go into the rear of the plane to take photos. Trump is speaking at Simpson College in Indianola at this hour. He’ll meet privately with Republican legislators and various party activists after that before headlining a fundraiser this evening in Des Moines for Polk County Republicans.
AUDIO of Trump’s Iowa news conference