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Thursday
Mar172011

Exclusive: Trump Would Spend $600 Million of His Money On Presidential Bid

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Real estate mogul and reality show star Donald Trump is mulling a presidential bid and says he'd be willing to spend $600 million of his own money to make it happen.

"I have much more than that," Trump, a Republican, told ABC News' Ashleigh Banfield in an interview that aired Wednesday on Good Morning America. "That's one of the nice things. I mean, part of the beauty of me is that I'm very rich. So if I need $600 million, I can put $600 million myself. That's a huge advantage. I must tell you, that's a huge advantage over the other candidates."

In a wide-ranging interview that took place last week aboard Trump's private aircraft, the always frank star of the hit show Celebrity Apprentice shared his opinion on the unrest in the Middle East, President Barack Obama, other potential Republican presidential contenders, the state of the American economy, actor Charlie Sheen's bizarre behavior and House Speaker John Boehner's tendency to tear up in public.

"I don't like the crying," he said of Boehner. "I do not like it. I don't understand it. I really like him as a person. I think the crying is an emotional thing that frankly, probably makes him a very nice man. But you know, I don't like to see it in a leader."

Trump says he'll make a decision on running "sometime prior to June," and said if he failed to clinch his party's nomination, he would consider running as an independent.

The billionaire said he didn't believe his wealth would alienate him from the voting public. In fact, he believed he'd do well with ordinary Americans.

"You know the funny thing, I don't get along with rich people. I get along with the middle class and the poor people better than I get along with the rich people," he added.

He said he believes people connect with him in part because of his status as a television personality, adding that President Ronald Reagan – who had been a movie star before he was elected – was one of "our greatest presidents."

Trump has mulled a presidential run twice before, but says he's never been as serious as he is now.

"I'm very, very disturbed by what's happening in this country," he told Banfield. "I love this country very much. And over the years, a lot of people have asked me whether or not I was going to run. They wanted me to run … But when I see the kind of things that our representatives are allowing to happen to this country, it just bothers me so much."

He says he's concerned about the lack of jobs and the threat that other countries' policies pose to the American economy, naming among those countries China, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. In the case of South Korea, Trump feels the U.S. spends money to put American troops on South Korean soil, effectively paying for another countries' protective forces.

"The country has never been in this condition," he said. "We've never been so weak. We've never been so vulnerable."

He spoke of Russia "telling us how many missiles we can make" – and weighed in on the recent spate of high-seas piracy.

"Give me an admiral and a couple of ships and [I'll] wipe them out of the sea so fast. Think of it," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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