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Posted at 4:03 PM ET, 02/10/2011

Trump riles CPAC crowd, will announce presidential intentions by June

By Aaron Blake

Donald Trump said Thursday that he will announce whether he will run for president by June. But while he weighs his options, The Donald is going to have some fun.

Despite saying he was not yet a candidate, Trump sounded every bit the part during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, playing up his credentials in not-so-humble terms.

Speaking to a packed and rowdy room that was decidedly mixed about Trump's presence at the conference (boos were scattered before, during and after the speech), Trump pointed to his successful business record. He noted the "billions of dollars" he has made and suggested it be a "scorecard" for how good a candidate he might be.

Trump noted that Businessweek Magazine has ranked him one of the top businessmen in America and that he attended the "best business school."

"A little different than you've been hearing," Trump said of his boasting. "But this is the kind of person the country needs.

"I have a lot of great victories, and I may be willing to put that to work."

Trump also had some choice words for the field of potential Republican candidates, saying he wished there were a clear choice in the field . When supporters of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) suggested their candidate was the man, Trump was blunt.

"Ron Paul cannot get elected," he said. After a chorus of boos, Trump didn't back down, repeating the statement, while saying that he likes Paul.

By happenstance, the crowd was even more full of Paul supporters than usual, because Paul's son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), was scheduled to speak after Trump.

Trump told the audience that he is against abortion rights and gun control and said he would fight to repeal President Obama's health care bill.

"If I decided to run, I will not be raising taxes, we'll be taking [back] hundreds of billions of dollars from other countries that are screwing us, we'll be creating vast numbers of productive jobs, and we'll rebuild out country so that we can be proud," Trump said. "Our country will be great again."

By Aaron Blake  | February 10, 2011; 4:03 PM ET
 
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