Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign in a way that only Donald Trump could pull off.
Speaking in the marble atrium in the ostentatious Manhattan skyscraper that bears his name, Trump delivered a meandering announcement of his 2016 presidential campaign. Despite having a prepared speech that was released by his campaign exploratory committee to the press, Trump proved himself to be a bigger fan of freestyling.
His speech careened all over the map, jumping from Trump’s disdain for Obamacare (and pretty much everything else about the current U.S. president) to a denounciation of his Republican rivals to a rant about China’s economy. It differed in every imaginable way from his prepared remarks.
Take a look at the speech that never was — a succinct, four-page script circulated by the communications department of the Donald J. Trump Exploratory Committee.
Trump’s actual speech ran over an hour.
And when he deviated from the script, things got weird.
“When Mexico sends it’s people, they’re not sending their best… they’re sending people that have lost of problems,” he said in one of the first memorable off-the-cuff remarks that let watchers know this would not be your average campaign talk. “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime they’re rapists.”
His free-flowing speech continued from there, yielding equally as outrageous remarks about China, U.S. infrastructure, and more questionable Mexico comments. Here’s a sampling:
“I’ll be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”
The job creation idea carried throughout both Trump’s prepared and off-the-cuff speeches, but his written copy was more toned down. “It is time to stop sending jobs overseas through bad foreign trade deals” is a little different then divine job creation.
Trump mentioned “third world country” several times during his announcement. The phrase did not appear in the prepared speech, though he did make a brief mention of a need to “invest in our infrastructure.”
“I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.”
Trump’s prepared speech made more more mellow commentary on some general U.S. foreign policy issues, but he was still pretty big on closing off Mexico, even in the prepared speech. In the written copy, he makes reference to building a wall along the border, but makes no mention of Mexico paying for it.
Trump also made sure to talk about his favorite topic — money — reminding the world, “I’m really rich.”
His prepared remarks on finances were slightly less alienating, offering up a call to “close loopholes for Wall Street and create far more opportunities for small businesses.” But not making mention of his own personal wealth ($8.7 billion dollars to be exact.)
At one point, Trump invited President Obama to leave the Oval Office early, suggesting that he instead play golf at one of the courses he owns near Washington, D.C. “If he’d like to play that’s fine. I would love him to leave early and play,” Trump said.
The prepared speech still strikes a very anti-Obama tone, though the golf joke was not in it. He instead had planned to lamented, “Our President truly doesn’t have a clue!”
With 11 other Republicans already in the running for the party’s vote, Trump is throwing his hat into a very crowded ring.
But even if he appears a long shot, Trump could be part of the televised Republican debate on Fox in August, which will include the top 10 candidates as they rank in national polls. Trump currently holds a place at the bottom of that list.
As of Tuesday, Trump joins Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, who are all in the running for the Republican nomination.
“I am a really nice person,” Trump said during his speech on Tuesday. “But this is an election that’s going to be based on competence.”