Donald Trump revs up his race for the White House on Tuesday, releasing a new book outlining the ills of modern-day America and telling voters why he should be president.
“Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again,” comes out as the billionaire real estate tycoon continues to top the polls, less than 100 days before the first statewide nominating contests.
The manifesto runs to a modest 169 pages, then finishes with three extra pages about his personal finances and another 17-page section entitled “about the author.” It is on sale as a hardback for $25.
The billionaire glowers on the cover, a pose by his own admission “so angry and so mean-looking” that was chosen to reflect his “anger and unhappiness” about the current state of US affairs.
Its release comes a week after the former reality TV star was accused, with his closest rival retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, of peddling “fantasy” economic policies at the Republican debate.
Neither is it being celebrated by an ordinary, bookstore launch party. Instead, he has invited the world media to a press conference at Trump Tower to be followed by a book signing from 12:00 pm (1700 GMT).
The tome fleshes out Trump’s politics in 17 chapters, under headlines such as “Health Care Is Making Us All Sick” and “The Right To Bear Arms,” mixed with copious grandstanding about his business acumen.
In it, he appeals directly to the American people, side-stepping the media and the political establishment, to set the record straight as the controversial mogul sees it.
There are pictures of his photogenic family, an angelic-looking Trump as a child, one from his first communion and meeting the late president Ronald Reagan (a “great guy”), but half the illustrations are technicolor pictures of his real-estate projects.
– ‘Terrible mess’ –
The businessman waxes lyrical on his tried and tested themes: an economy overtaken by China, simplifying the tax code, making a better, affordable health care system and ending illegal immigration.
Kicking off with a preface called “You Gotta Believe,” he is unrepentant for calling Mexicans rapists and drug dealers on the campaign trial, saying that illegal immigrants have taken jobs while more than 20 percent of Americans are un- or underemployed.
Trump stands by his controversial pledge to build a wall along the border — citing as inspiration Israel’s security barrier in the West Bank — “hugely succesful in stopping terrorists.”
In a chapter on foreign policy, he calls the world “a terrible mess” and quotes boxing legend Mike Tyson as saying “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
Trump calls for the defeat of the self-proclaimed Islamic State extremist group in Syria and Iraq — without spelling out how — quipping that their forces “probably wouldn’t even fill the Yankee Stadium.”
He outlines his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal and says that he wants to bill the British, Germans, Japanese, Saudis and South Koreans for some of the cost of hosting US military troops.
Trump disputes climate change as “hot air,” expresses support for fracking and roots for the right to bear arms, calling himself a nice guy and a “conservative Republican with a big heart.”
It is a treatise about what he stands for, peppered with personal anecdotes, love for his family and trumpeting his self-declared brilliance as a businessman worth more than $10 billion.
Trump recounts a telephone conversation with Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren, who cut ties with Trump for insulting Mexicans, allegedly as he waited to speak to a large crowd in New Hampshire.
Trump said it was an act of disloyalty.
“I’ve been told that many thousands of people cut up their Macy’s credit cards and mailed them back to the store because of this. The public gets it,” he wrote.
The book is published by Threshold Editions, a conservative imprint of Simon and Schuster, that has previously edited work by Republican hawk former US vice president Dick Cheney.