After hearing Hillary Clinton’s claim to have left the White House “dead broke,” is it refreshing to hear Donald Trump say, “I have a Gucci store that’s worth more than [Mitt] Romney”?
No it is not. Trump’s bragging is as distasteful as Hillary’s poor-mouthing.
Some say “it’s not bragging if you can do it.” Actually, that’s exactly what bragging is. If you can’t do it, it’s lying.
It has been suggested that Trump does lie about, or at least misstate, his net worth. Forbes estimates Trump’s wealth at around $4 billion, while Trump has said he’s worth $10 billion. Now, as part of his bid for the presidency, he’s about to release a disclosure statement that reportedly will put the total at around $9 billion.
According to Washington Post reporters Robert Costa and Matra Gold, Trump has “bristled” at those who dispute his estimates of his wealth. More than bristling, he sued a New York Times reporter who, in 2005, wrote that Trump was probably worth between $150 and $250 million. The suit was dismissed.
It may be impossible to assess Trump’s wealth with any confidence. According to the Post, “even the most aggressive auditors have found it challenging” to do so because “his assets and liabilities are so intricately complex, entwined with public subsidies and opaque private partnerships.” (Emphasis added)
It’s also challenging to figure out why we should care how much Trump is worth. It’s enough to know that he’s been wildly successful in business (but is without experience in public office). Why does it matter how many times (if any) he could buy and sell Mitt Romney?
What’s revealing here isn’t Trump’s net worth, but rather his seeming obsession with it. To be fair, Trump compared his wealth to Romney’s in the context of asserting that he’s “the most successful person ever to run for the presidency.”
I’d give the nod to George Washington, if you count him as having “run.” Otherwise, I’d probably say Dwight Eisenhower.
Republican voters admire success, but I doubt that they accept Trump’s definition of it, or admire his kind of braggadocio.
Current polling puts Trump on the bubble when it comes to Fox News’ unfortunate cut-off for who can participate in its August candidate debate. I’ll be rooting for Trump to fall on the wrong side of the line.
Perhaps his ill-advised Gucci store comparison to Romney will help bring this about.