Donald Trump is a shark when it comes to doing business. We see it when we crowd around our TV sets to find out which person he’ll boot off this week’s episode of The Apprentice with his signature phrase, “you’re fired!” Now that Trump is a possible presidential candidate, he’s become an excellent example of a person who relies on his past reputation as a cutthroat executive to gain political support.
In interviews, Trump repeats his newest catchphrase, “it’s all about the messenger.” Clearly the man knows that he is intimidating, and, despite some recent campaign flubs, Trump’s reputation as a tough, seasoned and strategic businessman has earned him a significant following.
As of April 15th, Trump led the Republican presidential primary race by 9% according to a Public Policy Poll . Trump earned 26 percent, followed by Mike Huckabee (17%), Mitt Romney (15%), Newt Gingrich (11%), and Sarah Palin (8%). Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty took 5% or less, each.
As a probable presidential candidate, Trump’s reputation will be truly put to the test like never before. As a frequent guest on news shows, Trump has created controversy in some recent interviews.
Trump admitted that he would steal oil in Iraq thus committing the war crime more technically called “pillaging” by the 1907 Hague Convention. Trump has talked about his plan to take the oil of other nations on two occasions: once in an interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley and again with ABC’s George Stephonopoulos, saying, “We go into Iraq. We have spent thus far, $1.5 trillion. We could have rebuilt half of the United States. $1.5 trillion. And we’re going to then leave. So, in the old days, you know when you had a war, to the victor belong the spoils. You go in. You win the war and you take it… You’re not stealing anything. You’re taking—we’re reimbursing ourselves—at least, at a minimum, and I say more. We’re taking back $1.5 trillion to reimburse ourselves.”
Trump has also invested in the conspiracy theory that Obama may not have been born in the United States. In this clip from an interview with Stephonopoulos, Trump claims that his investigators “can’t believe what they’re finding” but refuses to reveal any detail.
Obama released his official birth certificate, which proved that he was born in Hawaii, and Trump is “very proud” to have played such a large part in the decision. Trump has stated that he will have it analyzed by experts before accepting its authenticity. The whole ordeal makes him seem a bit paranoid.
Despite his declaration that he would commit war crimes and his conspiracy theories about Obama’s birthplace, Trump’s reputation for building industry in a declining economy has convinced people that he might be the right man to become President of the United States.
This example goes to show how a strong reputation can carry a man through a rough patch. Trump has used his reputation as a rough-and-tough businessman to propel himself from real-estate developer, to reality TV star, to possible presidential candidate. He has it right when he says “It’s all about the messenger.” The poll results prove that Trump knows his reputation and how to use it.