During a visit to Washington this week, Donald Trump visited the site of a new hotel he’s building on Pennsylvania Avenue, slammed talk of presidential bids by Sen. Ted Cruz and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and said he was giving serious thought to running for president himself.
"We’re looking to do something really special," Trump said while giving a tour of a new luxury hotel he’s building at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., only blocks from the White House. When it opens ("in July 2016, if not sooner") it will become the ideal venue for administration officials and congressional leaders to meet "and make their deals, because that’s what has to happen," Trump told Jonathan Karl of ABC News.
A largely vacant old post office building is being transformed into a hotel with a 5,000-square-foot presidential suite and a ballroom with enough seating for 1,000 people.
Trump emphasized that the new hotel will be ready "in time for your wonderful ride down Pennsylvania Avenue" —
a reference to the January 2017 inaugural parade for the new president.
Trump said he is seriously considering his own 2016 presidential run.
"Look, I have great popularity, the polls all show great, great numbers," Trump said. "I am looking at it very, very seriously, and If I decide to do it, I will do it."
He continued his scathing criticism of Bush, who said Tuesday that he would "actively explore" a run for the White House.
"The last thing we need right now is another Bush," said Trump, who blasted former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.
"I think they both did a very terrible job," Trump said.
"I thought Bush was a terrible president. I thought he did a terrible job. He got us involved in Iraq, which we shouldn't have been in and frankly destabilized the entire Middle East and beyond. And I thought he did a terrible job and I thought his last month was a catastrophe because there was collapsing all over the place.
"I think Barack Obama was a step worse. I think we've had two terrible presidents."
Jeb Bush isn’t the only prospective Republican 2016 hopeful whose qualifications Trump is questioning. He said that Cruz, a Texas Republican, should be ruled out right away because he was born in Canada, even though he was a U.S. citizen at birth.
"He’s a friend of mine. I think he's a really nice guy. I've gotten to know him a little bit, but I think, if he's born in Canada, it's a problem, no question about it," Trump said.
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