Paul Steinhauser: With bombast, Trump takes big step towards 2016 run
CONCORD - Donald Trump is going where he's never gone before.
The real estate mogul and reality TV star - who's flirted in the past with runs for the White House - Wednesday announced he was launching a presidential exploratory committee.
But a leading New Hampshire Republican consultant remains skeptical of Trump.
Trump's announcement comes one day before he arrives in New Hampshire. While in the first-in-the-nation primary state, Trump will sit down for an interview with NH1 News. He will also meet with local veterans and business leaders, and will attend a reception at the Amherst home of state Rep. Steve Stepanek, which NH1 was first to report last month
While Trump has flirted with bids for the GOP presidential nomination in the past, including the 2012 cycle, this time he is taking more concrete steps. Trump has hired veteran political strategists, including New Hampshire based Corey Lewandowski, who most recently served as a top official at Americans For Prosperity.
In a statement obtained by NH1 News early Wednesday morning announcing the "Donald J. Trump Presidential Exploratory Committee," Trump said "Americans deserve better than what they get from their politicians --- who are all talk and no action! I have built a great company, created thousands of jobs and built a tremendous net worth with some of the finest and most prestigious assets in the world --- and very little debt! All Americans deserve the same opportunity."
"I am the only one who can make America truly great again!" Trump added.
Lewandowski, in a statement, said that Trump "looks forward to meeting with Americans across the country and sharing those solutions to the serious problems we are facing."
Tom Rath, a former New Hampshire attorney general and longtime leading GOP consultant who was a top adviser to Mitt Romney's 2008 and 2012 presidential bids, isn't convinced a Trump campaign will thrive in the Granite State.
"I don't' think in the end of the day that's a candidacy that's designed to go the long run. It will be attention getting. They'll be tons of press. They'll be a lot of play. But at the end of the day I'd be surprised if he even got to five or six points in the polling," Rath told NH1
"I may be totally wrong. He may have an appeal that over arches everything, but being president is more than telling would be celebrities that they're fired,"Rath added.