Donald Trump Courts Tea Party Voters In Florida

Political observers are paying more attention to what Donald Trump is saying and doing these days. The millionaire real estate mogul and reality television star is considering a GOP presidential bid. He appeared over the weekend at a Tea Party rally in South Florida.

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SARAH GONZALEZ: I'm Sarah Gonzalez in Boca Raton, Florida, where Donald Trump spoke at the Tax Day Tea Party rally on Saturday. Trump has been broadly hinting that he'll announce his candidacy for U.S. president in June, after his reality TV show contract ends.

At this rally, Donald Trump gave Tea Partiers a glimpse into his potential platform.

Mr. DONALD TRUMP (Chairman/CEO, Trump Organization): I am pro-life.

(Soundbite of cheering and applause)

Mr. TRUMP: I'm against gun control.

(Soundbite of cheering and applause)

Mr. TRUMP: I will fight and get rid of Obamacare, which is a total disaster.

(Soundbite of cheering and applause)

GONZALEZ: Trump answered questions from the crowd and criticized President Obama's leadership and foreign policy. He argued that other countries view the United States as weak and, with his trademark bravado, says he's just the guy to change that.

Mr. TRUMP: In New York, I know all of the great businesspeople. And they're vicious, ruthless, horrible human beings, in many cases.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. TRUMP: And I want them negotiating for me. I don't want a diplomat. You know what they learn? How to be nice people. I don't want nice people.

GONZALEZ: Mark Pilling attended the rally, even though he says he's not a Tea Party member. Pilling says he didn't think Donald Trump was serious about running for president until after he heard him speak. He says he now doesn't think this is a publicity stunt, as many others do - though Pilling is still skeptical, and more than a bit cynical.

Mr. MARK PILLING: You know, when he's mentioning, oh, I know all these leaders. I know, I sit with them. I - you know, it doesn't impress me. It says to me that's the guy I got to watch out for. Sadly to say, the American people are sheep, and they will follow the Trojan horse on the left, and they'll follow the Trojan horse on the right.

GONZALEZ: A few hundred people attended this rally, many holding signs supporting Donald Trump.

A recent Wall Street Journal poll shows him as the Tea Party members' top choice to run for president in 2012.

Sarah Gonzalez, NPR News, Boca Raton, Florida.

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