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|Alexander Bolton||October 27th 2013|
Donald Trump, who pegs his net worth at $10 billion, said on Sunday that he would spend whatever it takes to win the GOP nomination if he decides to run for the White House in 2016.
Trump visited Iowa this weekend to speak at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames along with former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), two other potential White House hopefuls. Trump flirted with a presidential run in 2012 and later helped Mitt Romney win the GOP nomination.
If he ran in 2016, he said he would spare no expense. “If I made a decision, I'd spend a lot,” he said in an interview with ABC News, acknowledging the race would likely cost half a billion dollars or more. “If I did it, I’d spend whatever it took.”
Trump touted his credentials at a speech to conservative activists in Ames, stressing that he favors restricting abortion rights, promoting heterosexual marriage and protecting the Second Amendment. He said Saturday that Republicans need to nominate the “perfect” candidate if they are to defeat Hillary Clinton, the expected Democratic nominee, in three years. “If they don’t pick the right person, and I mean the right person, perfect, it’s got to be the perfect person, they are going to get drubbed in the 2016 election,” he said.
On ABC, Trump gave a quick summary of the likely Republican candidates in 2016. He associated Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) with “immigration” and Cruz with the fight to defund ObamaCare. He described Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) as “interesting” and praised New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) as a “wonderful guy.” Trump said House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) could be hurt by his proposal to drastically curb Medicare spending. “It's a tough road he's got to hoe,” he said. When asked what word sprang to mind in describing himself, Trump simply replied: “Smart.”
Alexander Bolton is the Senate reporter for "The Hill" from whence this article is reprinted.