Just for Fun: A Review of Trump’s Escalator Speech
Jan 20, 2021
RUSH: I asked Cookie today, I said, “Let’s go back. Let’s have some fun today. Let’s go back to the escalator speech in 2015.”
Trump and Melania come down the escalator and he announced his candidacy. We’re gonna relive that, and also Trump had an absolutely great farewell address yesterday. Got segments of that that you need to hear if you missed it. So we’ve got that.
RUSH: We’re gonna go back to 2015, folks. I thought this would be fun to do. June 16th, 2015, Donald Trump has announced that he’s got a big announcement. He’s at Trump Tower. He’s coming down the escalator. Everybody is wondering what is going on. The rumors are he’s gonna announce a run for the presidency. Other people say, no way. He’s not gonna run for the presidency. There’s no way. He doesn’t want to do that. He’s just gonna do something publicity-oriented to try to gin up interest in his TV show, The Apprentice, but he’s not gonna run.
Then the moment of truth came. The music blared, the lights shone, and there at the top of the escalator Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, they hop on board the escalator, and they ride down to the microphones where Trump announced that he is indeed, or was, a candidate for president of the United States. Let’s listen again.
TRUMP: Our country is in serious trouble. We don’t have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don’t have ’em. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let’s say, China in a trade deal? They kill us. I beat China all the time. When did we beat Japan at anything? They send their cars over by the millions. And what do we do? When was the last time you saw a Chevrolet in Tokyo? It doesn’t exist, folks. They beat us all the time. When do we beat Mexico at the border? They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity.
RUSH: All right. And people were beginning to whisper to themselves and buzz to themselves. Bzz bzz bzz bzz. What is this? We’re not used to politicians talking like this. This is unreal. This guy can’t be serious. And the initial reaction was, “See? I told you. He’s not running for president. Nobody seriously running for president would get even close to talking this way.” But Trump kept talking.
TRUMP: I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. I tell you that. I don’t need anybody’s money. I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich, I’ll tell you that. And, by the way, I’m not even saying that in a bragging — that’s the kind of mind-set, that’s the kind of thinking you need for this country. ‘Cause we gotta make the country rich. It sounds crass. Somebody said, “Oh, that’s crass.” It’s not crass.
RUSH: He’s reacting to an audience member. “Man, that’s really crass to tell everybody you’re rich.” I’m laughing myself silly in this one because he went through it two or three times. “By the way, I’m really rich. I am really — I’m gonna show you in a second.” And he did in a matter of time whip out some paperwork to prove that he’s really rich. And so people said, “Well, he can’t be serious. I mean, nobody seriously running for president would brag about how rich they are. It just isn’t done. So whatever Trump’s doing, he’s not really running,” they said. I said, “No. I think you had better reexamine what you’re fearing.” Now, this next bite, this is what set the world on fire, when he said that Mexico does not send their best people to the United States.
TRUMP: They’re sending people that have lots of problems. And they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some I assume are good people. But I speak to border guards, and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people. It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over south and Latin America, and it’s coming probably, probably from the Middle East. But we don’t know ’cause we have no protection and we have no competence. We don’t know what’s happening.
RUSH: And that’s when people, “Whoa. What in the name, is this guy serious?” And some people started, “We hope he’s serious. We hope he’s serious. This is the way people have been hoping Washington would look at illegal immigration for decades.”
RUSH: We go back to the two remaining sound bites we have from the Trump elevator press conference. Here’s the first and the last two.
TRUMP: I would build a great wall — and nobody builds walls American me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall, mark my words. Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump. Nobody. I will find within our military, I will find the General Patton or I will find General MacArthur, I will find the right guy, I will find the guy that’s going to take that military and make it really work.
RUSH: Oh, man, this was resonating. And now here’s the last bite we have. Said he was running to make the country great again.
TRUMP: All of my life I’ve heard that a truly successful person, a really, really successful person, and even modestly successful, cannot run for public office. Just can’t happen. And yet that’s the kind of mind-set that you need to make this country great again. So, ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for president of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again.
RUSH: And there it was. And that’s when the gauntlet came down, and that’s when the left went batty. Now, at this stage they weren’t quite sure what to make of this. This is so unconventional. You didn’t run for president by going out and insulting Mexicans and doing things like this. So they weren’t convinced he was serious. There might be something else going on. So they were laughing about it. Trump was funny in this announcement. I, on June 6, the same day, here’s what I said in reviewing Trump’s little speech.
RUSH ARCHIVE: This is gonna resonate with a lot of people. I guarantee you. And the Drive-Bys are gonna pooh-pooh it. They’re gonna relegate it to the carnival characteristics of a campaign. Do not misunderstand this. It is gonna resonate.
RUSH: That same day, June 16th, 2015. I’ve said on this program that I thought he could win within two weeks of this speech, maybe even sooner. And that was my first comment. And I have seen some of the analyst commentary on Fox and MSNBC. And they all thought it was just ridiculously funny and unserious and what’s Trump really up to. I was saying this is gonna resonate with people. This is gonna resonate with a lot of people, I guarantee you he’s gonna run.