New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has been highly critical of President Barack Obama in recent months, and the State of the Union address provided another opportunity for him to slam the president.
Mr. Trump has said the he is keeping his options open regarding his decision to run for president as a third party candidate in the fall, after he spent the majority of 2011 flirting with the idea of running for the Republican nomination in 2012.
He had a falling out with several of the Republican presidential candidates that refused to consider him worthy of hosting a proposed Newsmax presidential candidate debate in late December. That lead him to further consider running as an independent.
Since then, Mr. Trump has remained critical of the Republican presidential candidates, and has also used his Twitter account to voice his criticism of President Obama.
The star of “The Apprentice” reality television show also released a book in late 2011 entitled “Time to Get Tough,” giving his opinion of why the president’s policies have failed to restore the U.S. economy over the past three years. His posts on Twitter criticizing the president have often been accompanied by the hash tag #TimeToGetTough.
Prior to the SOTU speech, Mr. Trump echoed the sentiments of several Republican presidential candidates and members of Congress who claim that President Obama’s speech focused on “class warfare.” The White House released a preview of the president’s SOTU address over the weekend, which left many Republicans critical of the speech before it was read live to the nation.
“Class warfare” has been the common term used by Republicans to describe Mr. Obama’s push for an increase in taxes on wealthier Americans.
Throughout his SOTU address, the president spoke of tax reforms that would lead to more “economic fairness” for middle class Americans. Republicans have consistently referred to these references as promoting “class warfare” between middle class and wealthier Americans.
Mr. Trump also slammed the president for not mentioning the Keystone XL Pipeline project in his SOTU speech. Mr. Obama did make reference to decreasing American dependence on foreign oil, but made no mention of the Keystone project which Ohio Republican House Speaker John Boehner has said would create jobs and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.
“It is a shame Keystone wasn’t powered by solar panels and wind because then @BarackObama would have wasted billions on it,” tweeted Mr. Trump Tuesday.
Although the president said that he would like to reduce bureaucratic influence in the government during his SOTU speech, Mr. Trump strongly disagrees.
“All I heard in the SOTU was proposals for more govt, more spending and more bureaucrats. Very bad!” said Mr. Trump Wednesday via his Twitter account.
President Obama poked fun at Mr. Trump’s presidential candidacy hopes during last summer’s White House correspondent’s dinner. With the real estate mogul in attendance, Mr. Obama made light of his choices on “The Apprentice” and compared that to the choices he would have to make as president of the United States.
Mr. Obama drew laughter for his comments about Mr. Trump, who at that time had been leading the charge for the president to release his birth certificate and prove to Americans that was born in the U.S.
Following that exchange Mr. Trump continued to raise assumptions from the media that he was considering running for president.
A December Public Polling Policy poll of registered voters nationwide asked voters to select a candidate in a mock general election scenario featuring Mr. Trump, President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Mr. Trump finished the poll with 19 percent of the votes, and seemed to be encouraged by the results.
Mr. Trump has said that he will only run as a third party candidate if the Republican party does not select the “right candidate.”