Donald Trump declared earlier this year that “you have to be wealthy in order to be great,“ while promising to add wealth to the country.
The comment from the billionaire businessman and presumptive GOP presidential nominee came during a speech in North Dakota while touting his economic ideas and decrying the “stealth tax“ of crime in a speech on energy.
“There's one more thing that we must do to make America wealthy again, and you have to be wealthy in order to be great, I'm sorry to say,“ Trump said during his speech in Bismarck.
After entertaining an audience member who yelled about building a wall on the nation's southern border, Trump continued, “We have to make our communities safe again.“
“Violent crime is rising in our major cities across the country. This is totally unacceptable,“ he said.
“It undermines their schools, slashes the value of their homes and drives away their jobs,“ he continued. “Crime is a stealth tax, it's a stealth tax on the poor.“
“To those living in fear, I say: Help is coming, it's coming soon,“ Trump said. “A Trump administration will return law and order to America.“
He added that security “should be enjoyed by all“ and not just the wealthiest and most powerful individuals.
Still, the sound bite of Trump on the importance of wealth in determining greatness is likely to find its way into attack ads from his opponents. An aide to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton quickly highlighted the remark:
Thing the Republican nominee for president just said: “You have to be wealthy in order to be great, I’m sorry to say.”