Real estate Tycoon Donald Trump said Wednesday that he's "more serious" about running for president in 2016.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Trump, who publicly toyed with the idea of a presidential bid in 2012, said he feels compelled to run because the nation needs him.
"Everybody feels I'm doing this just to have fun or because it's good for the brand," Trump reportedly told the Post yesterday. "Well, it's not fun. I'm not doing this for enjoyment. I'm doing this because the country is in serious trouble."
The 68-year-old media personality, who aligns himself with the GOP, has already retained an election attorney. He has also supposedly hired staffers in key primary states.
In the past, Trump has expressed fiscal conservative ideologies and has openly embraced the tea party.
"I'm a believer in the tea party because what they want is what's really right for this country," Trump once told CNN's Piers Morgan. "I mean, our country is in a freefall and these are great American people. Sometimes severe, sometimes not so severe, but they do want what's good for the country."
Currently, there are several names being tossed around as potential candidates for the GOP leadership. They include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, 2012 GOP contender Rick Santorum, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, among others.
Last month, "The Apprentice" star took aim at Bush, the son of former U.S. President George Bush Sr. and the younger brother of former President George W. Bush.
While attending a conservative summit hosted by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, in Des Moines, Trump criticized the former Florida governor as well as former U.S. presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
"The last thing we need is another Bush," Trump said while speaking at the Iowa Freedom Summit. He also said Romney, who was also considering a 2016 run up until last month, should abandon his dreams of being president because he "choked" the last time he ran.
Last week on the "Saturday Night Live" 40th anniversary special, former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin joked about teaming up with Trump for a 2016 White House bid. Days later the business magnate was asked whether he would actually consider running with Palin on his ticket but he dodged the question entirely.
"I thought … I think she was … I think she's a terrific person," stammered Trump. "I think she looked totally beautiful last night and everybody was talking about how beautiful she looked and I was honored by the skit."
In 2011 Trump made headlines for obsessively questioning Obama's place of birth following claims that he was not born in the United States. Obama later released a photo copy of his long-form birth certificate to settle the rumors.
Trump once opened up about his Christian faith, and identified as being a Presbyterian.
"I believe in God. I am Christian. I think the Bible is certainly, it is the book. It is the thing," Trump once told Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody. "I'm a Protestant, I'm a Presbyterian. And you know, I've had a good relationship with the church over the years. I think religion is a wonderful thing. I think my religion is a wonderful religion."