TIME Donald Trump

Donald Trump Brags His Way Through New Hampshire

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Great Bay Community College on February 4, 2016 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Andrew Burton—Getty Images Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Great Bay Community College on February 4, 2016 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

'I happen to be under-rated, by the way'

There are few things Donald Trump won’t brag about.

His crowds and poll numbers, of course, are favorites to highlight in his White House campaign. But even his accountants and lawyers, golf courses and hotels get shout-outs from the billionaire hopeful. Everything affiliated with him, it seems, is strictly top-drawer.

“Every once in a while, you like to brag a little big,” Trump said Thursday at a rally in Portsmouth, N.H. Yes. Yes, he does.

So far, voters have rewarded the former reality TV star with support. His confidence in himself and his bluster have only helped his cause. Never mind that his policy proposals are fairly thin on specifics. He confidently says they are the best.

His social safety nets? “We’re going to have great plans.” Health care? “I want to get you something great.” Education? “We will make it stronger and smarter than ever, ever, ever before.” Foreign affairs? “We’re going to have strong, strong borders. We’re going to have tremendous trade deals. I have men and women—they’re the best people in the world.”

Although Trump is known for his acidic language about his rivals or foes, some subjects earn high praise. “Wonderful, beautiful sailors” is how he describes the American sailors detained by Iran. His crowds, which far exceed any of his rivals, are particularly familiar brags. “They’re incredible people,” Trump said. The Iranian negotiators, he explains: “The Persians are great negotiators.”

Trump likes to remind his supporters of the financial disclosure he filed with his candidacy papers. “The biggest one ever filed by a factor of many times,” Trump said. “Some of these politicians file one page.” The documents show that he built a “great company.” To help him with those documents? “The best accounting firm in Washington. The best law firm in Washington.”

Trump, who made his billions in real estate, often points to his properties as evidence he could transform the country. “I have some of the great golf courses in the world,” he said, point to Scotland’s Turnberry. There, Trump said, was “the greatest tournament ever played.”

But perhaps betraying his long-term interest in politics—“an amazing journey,” he says of the campaign so far—Trump used an extended part of his appearance at a community college to brag about a Washington, D.C., hotel project he is cobbling together on Pennsylvania Avenue. “The best location. … Everybody wanted it,” he said of the Old Post Office. “It will be one of the great hotels in the world.”

He negotiated with the General Services Administration, the government’s landlord, to take control of the under-used property. “It was the hottest property in the history of the General Services Administration. … It was the most coveted asset.” Of the bureaucrats he negotiated? “They are very good. They’re excellent.”

Even in talking about his campaign, he cannot help but brag, despite a disappointing second-place finish in Iowa. “For this campaign, I have spent less money than anybody else and I’m No. 1 in every poll,” Trump said. “I’m No. 1 in New Hampshire. Can you keep them there? You’ll be so happy. You’ll be so proud of that decision. Believe me, you’ll be so proud.” He predicted “I’m going to do great” when New Hampshire votes on Feb. 9.

He pointed to his day spent scurrying through New Hampshire in his motorcade. “I had great meetings today,” he said. The police officers he met with? “They do such a great job.”

Trump confessed that some in the crowd might not know just how well he is doing. “I happen to be under-rated, by the way. It’s very good to be under-rated.” The only people who share that view are those who didn’t spent Thursday night being told by Trump of his superiority.

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