Donald Trump led off a group of potential 2016 presidential candidates at the conservative Freedom Summit in Manchester Saturday by calling Obamacare “an absolute catastrophe. It has been the single greatest lie I’ve ever witnessed and I’ve been in politics and watching politics for a long time.”
“Our country has got to be brought back, and it’s got to be brought back fast,” the New York business magnate told about 700 people who gathered for an event that will later feature Sens. Rand Paul ad Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.l
“We have deficits that are massive on a yearly basis and we don’t have the right people negotiating for us,” Trump said.
On trade he said, “Everybody is kicking our ass.” The Chinese “have no respect for our President and have no respect for our country.”
And Vladimir Putin, he said, “has been outsmarting our country at every single step.
Iraq, he said, is falling back into terrorist hands and, “Who’s taking the oil? China and Iran. We get nothing,” adding, “We should be the energy capital of the world,” he said.
Trump took aim at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s recent comment that illegal immigration is an “act of love.”
“That’s out there,” Trump said. Later, he told reporters, “Love is not the primary reason that people are breaking into this country illegally.”
Trump said that while the budget must be addressed, Americans are saying “don’t touch my Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.” He said U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, another potential 2016 contender who coincidentally was in first-caucus state Iowa this weekend, “is a nice person, but his stance is to knock the hell out of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”
“I would leave it alone, I don’t want to hurt people,” he said.
“We need,” said Trump, “somebody is going to make the deal for this country.”
Later, Trump told reporters that he will wait until after the November election to decide whether to run for President.
The decision will depend on “how the country is doing” not on whether Republicans regain control of the Senate, although he predicted that they will.