Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump stepped away from the campaign trail to open a hotel in Washington, D.C., but politics wasn't too far away.
In a speech at the opening of his new hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, Trump linked its success to his presidential ambitions directly,
“Today is a metaphor for what we can accomplish for this country,” he said.
Read a full transcript of his remarks.
TRUMP: Thank you, everybody. I appreciate it. Thank you.
(APPLAUSE) Thank you, Melania, Tiffany, Laura (ph). Thank you very much.
We are very proud of our company. We've built one of the great real estate companies of the world. But it seems very insignificant compared to what we're doing now. And as soon as we're finished cutting the ribbon, I'm off to North Carolina, New Hampshire, and back down to Florida.
(inaudible) we're doing very well.
With the notable exception of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, this is the most coveted piece of real estate in Washington, D.C. -- the best location. I'm honored to be here today to support my family and especially my daughter Ivanka for her dedication to this project. She worked so hard.
I'm also honored to have a chance to thank the incredible team of people who brought our vision for Washington's historic Old Post Office to life, including hundreds of construction workers, electricians, maintenance workers, and so many others who helped make this project a reality. They're really the important ones.
A project like this demonstrates what is possible when a team works together for a totally common purpose. It also shows how to work with our government and to get things done.
My theme today is five words: under budget and head of schedule. That's what we do -- under budget and ahead of schedule.
So important. We don't hear those words too often in government, but you will. Our agreement with the government required completion of the project by 2018. We were dramatically ahead of schedule on this project and under budget. We turned a property that had been neglected for decades, and which was losing huge sums of money for the federal government, into a major revenue producer and job creator.
This is what I want to do for our country. And this is what we're working so hard to do.
Right now, just about everything our government touches is broken or they break it. It's always over-budget, behind schedule, and simply nothing works. Look at the Veterans Administration, where new hospitals come in hundreds of millions of dollars over-budget. And yet our brave veterans still don't get anywhere near the kind of care they need or deserve.
TRUMP: Look at our decaying infrastructure. Look at our aging military equipment. Our military is so depleted, despite having the greatest people on Earth. I mean, they are the greatest people in our military, but it's so depleted.
The tax code is broken, the education system is broken. We spend the most for any -- of any country on education and we get bad results. And so many parts of our country and in a state of disrepair. And now, it was just announced yesterday that Obamacare is in free fall (ph), with premiums going up massively in places like the great state of Arizona, going up over 100 percent in cost. Unaffordable, unusable and doesn't work, even if you can afford it.
The American people know what this election is about and they see it every time they get their health care bills in the mailbox or ride down a highway that's broken or go to an airport that looks like it's from a third-world country.
Remember Hillary said herself it was called Hillarycare before it was called Obamacare. She made that statement not too long ago, now she's trying to withdrawal that statement. She wants to withdrawal that statement so badly (inaudible).
By the way, congratulations, Newt, on last night. That was an amazing interview.
It was an amazing -- we don't play games, Newt, right? We don't play games.
I love my life in business and I've loved getting to share my dreams with my family. It's an incredible family. And Melania, I want to thank you very much. You have been amazing.
My job is to look at undeveloped spaces and imagine what they could be. These are spaces that have no hope, have no future, but you need imagination and you need the ability to get them done and to unlock their potential and to unlock the potential of the people working on those spaces and on those projects. And we have so many things we can do for our country.
But others have (ph) only dead ends, I've dreamed of the amazing possibilities that we have. That's why government has turned to me in the past to fix projects that had gone nowhere, that were considered total disasters. Whether it's turning a landfill at Ferry Point after many, many years of (inaudible) work, in the Bronx, New York into a world-class golf course that's now open and doing unbelievable business, or revitalizing the facade of the great Grand Central Terminal or building and saving (inaudible) in Central Park after eight years of futility and spending massive amounts of money and getting it done in four months for a very small amount of money.
So many different things. Today (ph) is a metaphor for what we can accomplish for this country, same kind of thing. This building is a historic landmark, a true American original. It had all of the ingredients of greatness, but it had been neglected and left to deteriorate (ph) for many, many decades. It sat there so beautiful and so empty and it was falling into a very, very bad state of condition. It had the foundation for success, all of the elements were here.
Our job was to restore its former glory, honor its heritage, but also to imagine a brand new and exciting vision for the future, to create a new place for people and families to come together, and (ph) a magnificent place at that.
TRUMP: I've been very lucky and I've led a great life. Now, I want to give back to the country which I love so much and has been so good to me. I want to go into the inner cities, the poorer rural communities, and the failing schools and I want to work with a national plan of revitalization.
I'm tired of the excuses from our politicians. I'm tired of being told what cannot be done. I'm tired of people asking Americans to defer their dreams to another day, but really what they mean is to another decade. Enough waiting. The time is now. We can achieve our goals for this country and we can do so more quickly than anyone ever thought possible.
There is nothing we cannot accomplish. The United States is great. It's great. Its people are great. There is no task or project too great. There is no dream outside of our reach. Don't ever let anyone tell you it can't be done. The future lies with the dreamers, not the cynics and the critics.
Everywhere I go in this country, all I see is untapped potential waiting to be set free. And the biggest element of all is our incredible people -- the people of this country. They're just waiting. They're waiting and waiting, and I think maybe now their time has come.
But (inaudible) realize never that the potential we continue to put in our faith, in the faith of our country, and we have to say the word "never" will always have to be taken out, because we have such tremendous potential. We have to choose the most optimistic path. We have to choose to believe not our politicians that in many cases truly don't know what they're doing, but to believe in ourselves and in our country.
If we do that, anything is possible. I'm asking America to join me in dreaming big and bold and dream for wonderful things in our future. Let's close the history books on the failures in Washington and let's open a new chapter of success and prosperity for all of our people.
We have a divided nation, a seriously divided nation. All of our people. That is how we will truly make America great again.
Thank you very much. I greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
(APPLAUSE) So we're now going to the lobby. This is ballroom, brand new. This was where the old shopping center was, which was not a part of the building. We made it a part of the building. And this is now the largest luxury ballroom in Washington. And great (ph), we're going into the lobby. We're going to cut a ribbon. Then I'm going to North Carolina.