In his first speech since the Republican presidential debates last week, Republican front-runner and real estate mogul Donald Trump touched on a range of topics -- from China to Mexico to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush -- before ridiculing the appointment of Caroline Kennedy as the American ambassador to Japan. Kennedy, according to Trump, only really got her ambassador gig because she was a wealthy, connected woman.
Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy and relative of many other people who have held public office in the United States, has served as the U.S. ambassador to Japan since 2013. Before that, she graduated from Columbia Law School and stumped frequently in 2008 and 2012 for President Barack Obama. Trump later contrasted the character of people like himself to her, saying that he and people who share his values stay up worrying and "toss and turn and toss and turn, and we're thinking through the night." Kennedy, by contrast, simply asked for the job, Trump said.
Trump focused quite a bit on China during the speech and when addressing reporters before his comments. He said that China was taking American jobs through currency manipulation -- the country devalued the Yuan at a record rate on Tuesday -- and that "Jeb Bush will not be able to negotiate against China. Jeb Bush will not be able to negotiate against Mexico...We need a wall."
Charlie LeDuff gets a Q to Trump about Mexico. "The wall is 30 feet tall. Home Depot makes 32-foot ladders. How high do we build the wall?"
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) August 11, 2015
When asked how he would address racial tension in the country, Trump prescribed jobs and "cheerleading."
He also said that he "will be great on women's health issues. I cherish women," in spite of recent criticism -- including a very pointed question during the debates when Fox moderator Megyn Kelly asked him about past references to women as "pigs."
Trump has been polling at the top of the Republican field for quite some time now and has maintained that lead through the raucus debates last week. In an average of recent polls by Real Clear Politics, Trump takes in nearly 23 percent of the vote. Bush, his closest rival, gets 12 percent.