Thursday, April 14, 2011

Donald Trump president bid splits Republicans

This March 31, 2011 file photo shows Donald Trump talking to the press. The real estate mogul currently enjoys 19 per cent support among Republican voters, according to a CNN poll. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK - RUNNING on a populist message of isolationism and spite for President Barack Obama 'the foreigner,' billionaire businessman Donald Trump is romping to early polling glory in the White House race.

In less than a month, the 64-year-old known best for his multiple marriages, garish skyscrapers and reality TV show, has jumped from 10 to 19 per cent support among Republican voters, tying with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, according to a CNN poll released this week.

That puts the real estate mogul with the signature comb-over ahead of a crowded field of more established potential Republican contenders, including conservative Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin (12 per cent) and Mitt Romney, the ex-governor of Massachusetts (11 per cent).

But more than four in 10 Republicans said they would not like to see the real estate mogul enter the 2012 race, the poll found.

Ranked the 420th wealthiest person this year by Forbes magazine with US$2.7 billion (S$3.4 billion), the man nicknamed 'The Donald' is nonetheless vowing to ask voters for campaign donations, just like other candidates.

'I think it's important for voters to invest in the direction of the country,' Mr Trump told USA Today in an interview on Tuesday. Yet that claim came after Mr Trump repeatedly indicated he is willing to dip into US$600 million of his personal fortune to run for the highest office in the land. 'Part of the beauty of me is I'm very rich,' he told ABC's Good Morning in America last month. 
-- AFP

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