Trump Believers: 'Donald, We Need You'

Trump rally
Donald Trump formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination at the Trump Tower in New York City on Tuesday. Brendan McDermid/Reuters

From his own skyscraper on Fifth Avenue in New York City, billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump on Tuesday promised to "make America great again," if he wins the 2016 presidential campaign. He said he will be "the greatest jobs president that God ever created."

"If I get elected president, I will bring [the American dream] back bigger and better and stronger than ever before. We will make America great again," he said to a rallying crowd.

Trump, 69, who has flirted with a presidential campaign for almost three decades, followed through with that intent for the first time on Tuesday and announced his presidential bid.

A group of fans who called themselves the "Trump believers" attended the late-morning rally wearing white T-shirts with blue and red letters and pins that read: "Trump, Make America Great Again." Many of them held signs and bumper stickers that showed their support for Trump, now the 16th candidate in the election. Most of them noted Trump's business experience as an appealing characteristic for the country's next leader.

Outside the Trump Tower on Tuesday, Alaina Ables, of Philadelphia, held a sign that read: "Donald, we need you."

"He is an inspiration when it comes to business," Ables told Newsweek.

"I like his business ethics. I like what he brings to the table," said Femi Owolabi, of New York City. "I like his confidence. A man without confidence is not a man."

Frank Scavonne, of Brooklyn, New York, said he became a Trump fan about six months ago, admiring what he called the businessman's savvy awareness and sharp tongue. But he said he always kept track of Trump because he's "overexposed."

"It wasn't so much about him, but it was about his attitude of business and financial status," Scavonne said. "He says what he means and means what he says."

Elle Simone, of New York City, said Trump has the power, intelligence and problem-solving skills to succeed as president.

"Just give him a chance. I really feel like he will deliver," she said.

Trump, also a reality TV star, has been a member of both the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as declared himself an independent. Among his lengthy remarks on Tuesday, Trump questioned how the other GOP candidates will be able to fight the Islamic State, or ISIS, and called the United States "a dumping ground for everybody else's problems."

"Our country is in serious trouble. We don't have victories anymore," Trump told the crowd. "When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let's say, China in a trade deal? They kill us. I beat China all the time."

"When do we beat Mexico at the border? They're laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they're beating us economically," he added.

He also mentioned Obamacare, Common Core education and the quality of his golf courses.

A crowd of reporters gathered outside the tower as the event ended around noon. Many confused tourists and other passersby audibly questioned the cluster of people. One foreign couple told Newsweek their knowledge of Trump didn't extend past his role as host of Celebrity Apprentice, a reality TV show. A family of four from Boston, walking past the tower, was stunned to hear of Trump's announcement.

"It's kind of ridiculous and just for publicity," said Dylan Weater. "He's trying to be in the spotlight, as always."

Previously, Trump began visiting and hiring staff in early voting states and formed a presidential exploratory committee. His assets are valued at about $8.7 billion, according to his committee, which released the number on Tuesday. If he wins the presidential bid, Trump will be required to disclose information about his sources of income, assets and net worth.

"I don't need anybody's money," he said. "I'm really rich."

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