Core issues and criticism
Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President of the US on 16th of June, 2015. The announcement took place at his residence and business headquarters, the Trump Tower in New York.
Donald Trump introduced his campaign slogan – “Make America Great Again” – and talked about the issues he would tackle as president, simultaneously defining his stance on these issues. He declared himself against undocumented immigration, free trade, federal debt, terrorism, “political correctness”, and the fake-news media. Moreover, he made a pledge to build a “great wall” on the southern border with Mexico, which would stop illegal immigrants.
He sparked controversy from the beginning by associating Mexican immigrants with criminals, saying that Mexico sends murderers and rapists across the border to the US.
By 2015, Trump had been a favorite in conservative circles for a few years. This was partly due to the fact that he was a promoter of the “birther” theory against then-President Barack Obama. This conspiracy theory challenged Obama’s legitimacy as a president, stating that he was not born in the US, but in Africa. According to the Constitution, Obama could not be President in the US if he was born in another country.
Trump demanded that Obama release his original certificate to prove his birth place, and when Obama did so, Trump questioned its authenticity. He gave up on supporting the claim that Obama was born in Africa only weeks before the 2016 election, when the polls showed him behind other candidates, and blamed his opponent Hillary Clinton for starting the birther rumors.
Despite being a conservative favorite, few people took Trump’s candidacy seriously at first. He was criticized and ridiculed by opponents, political commentators, the media, and even by some members of the Republican Party. Those who did not believe that Trump was an appropriate...