On a backdrop of American flags, anti-Obama signs and women dressed up like Betsy Ross, Palm Beach millionaire businessman Donald Trump spoke to Tea Party supporters in Boca Raton on Saturday, April 16 with the promise that he was seriously considering a run for President of the United States in 2012.
Trump had no problem playing with the crowd of about 3000 who egged him on at several points during his speech with his birther comments about President Obamanot being born in this country, Obama’s poor negotiating skills, as well as the decline in American schools and infrastructure. Also speaking at the event were Florida State Coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots and Chairman of the South Florida Tea PartyEverett Wilkinson; Congressman Allen West, former Republican minority leader Adam Hasner; Republican Chair Sid Dinerstein; Palm Beach Councilman Bill Diamond; Wellington business woman Gina Rascati, and a number of other supporters, including Tea Party supporters from England and Italy.
The crowd also got a chance to listen to a mix of entertainment that appealed to a baby boomer crowd and slightly younger, including Tito Puente Jr., Florida Atlantic University students singing Arlo Guthrie songs and another band performing Fleetwood Mac. The theme of the day emphasized the multicultural diversity and acceptance of the Tea Party with blacks and whites performing together on the small stage at Sanborn Square near Mizner Park in Boca Raton.
There were people walking around with signs that said Trump/West 2012. Radio talk show host Joyce Kaufman served as the emcee for the event that day and introduced the speakers and performers.
Kaufman spoke about how the Tea party movement was disparaged as being racist and bigoted but that the Tea party movement in Florida had sent a Cuban and a black man to the White house.
“From the racist and bigoted south, we gave Washington a Cuban and a black man,” said Kaufman.
Congressman Allen West (R-22), spoke of the honor he felt representing the people in his District, and also about the key differences between him and other Democratic leaders in Washington, including President Obama. West also spoke about the recent budget process, and how he felt it didn’t go far enough in cutting back the deficit but instead was increasing it.
“We have a spiraling debt because of your spending policies and programs,” West said about the administration’s current policies. “We are already hearing that they want to have a bill to come before him to raise the debt ceiling. He goes on to say that we will all need to make sacrifices. I’m sick and tired of people saying that they need the American people to make sacrifices. Washington needs to make sacrifices. We are right now 24% of our Gross Domestic Product. We need to bring it down to 20% of our GDP because historically that’s where it has been. That’s the only way we can get the deficit turned around.”
Trump spoke about the shortfalls in the current administration, and how he felt he was qualified to run in 2012 with his business sense and acumen, and sharp negotiating skills.
He also did not shy away from bringing up the issue of Obama’s birth certificate nor the fact that he felt that the United States was falling behind its counterparts in the world’s landscape. He praised the group of tea party folks in attendance for making both Democrats and Republicans think. Trump also praised Florida Governor Rick Scott for doing a great job during his first months in office but that Scott had a lot of work to do.
“The United States has become the laughing stock and whipping post for the rest of the world,” said Trump. “The world is laughing at us, and they are laughing at our leaders, and it’s a disgrace. Countries like China, India, South Korea, Mexico and the OPEC nations view our leaders as weak and ineffective, and we have repeatedly and unfortunately been taken advantage of. We have to take our country back. We need people that win, and we don’t need people who lose all the time. I never lived my life with a view towards running for office. I am a successful businessman and not a politician.”
“We are spending billions of dollars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya,” said Trump. “I want this money to be spent rebuilding the United States.”
“I think it’s great that he’s running,” said Joshua Leibowitz, who was attending the event. “Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing but just how to screw people out of jobs.”
Another attendee at the event, Jerry Hochfelsen, of Ft. Lauderdale, said he was a real fan of Trump and that was why he made a three hundred t- shirts in support of Trump and why he was giving them away.
“Who not to head the country than someone who has had financial troubles, but a business or two go bankrupt and come back,” he said. “He’s a billionaire. You need someone with the experience. We need a captain. Our ship of state is floundering, and we’re going to sink. We need a captain at the helm who can save us, and I think he’s got the qualifications.”