- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The time has come for the Republican Party to close the deal. I believe Mitt Romney is the best choice for the presidency. Let me tell you why.

To begin with, like me, Mitt is a businessman, not a career politician. In other words, he’s accomplished far more in his life than collecting campaign cash from special-interest groups and making promises at press conferences with the help of a teleprompter.

Mitt played an instrumental role in starting or managing such job-creating giants as Domino’s Pizza, the Sports Authority, Staples and many other firms. He single-handedly saved the 2002 Winter Olympic Games from financial ruin and turned it into one of the best competitions in living memory. Amazingly, he governed blue-state Massachusetts as a conservative, balancing its out-of-whack budget while cutting taxes, feats carried out despite a Democratic-controlled legislature.

Mitt has what it takes to turn the country around. And he has laid out a plan to do just that.

Right now, China is cleaning America’s clock. The Chinese are building the world’s largest airports, biggest ports, a powerful military and the best of everything. And we’re paying for it all by purchasing their products. We’re buying everything they make because they keep their currency artificially low, giving them an annual windfall of some $250 billion. They are holding the yuan at a level at which it is impossible for us to compete.

Mitt Romney not only understands all this, he has thought through the policies we need to begin to set things right. Unless China changes direction, he has pledged to have the Treasury Department designate China as a currency manipulator on Day One of his administration. We can then impose duties on China’s unfairly priced products. The Chinese will get the message faster than an ICBM. As Mitt has said, “We don’t want a trade war, but neither can we accept our current trade surrender.”

Fixing our trade relations with China is just one part of Mitt’s comprehensive plan to get America back in gear. The Obama administration seems to have accepted record high unemployment as the new normal. But it is not acceptable to me, and it is not acceptable to Mitt that nearly 24 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed or no longer even looking for work. Mitt’s jobs plan will create millions of jobs over four years, and I will be out there myself doing some of the hiring.

Some people call Mitt’s jobs plan conservative. I happen to know something about creating jobs, and I call it common sense. Middle-income Americans deserve far better than the slow-growth and no-growth policies President Obama has put in place. They need a president who will make it possible for all Americans to get a bigger slice of a growing pie rather than crumbs handed out by Washington. Mitt understands that government needs to get out of the way if American business is to do what it does best: innovate, make the products that people around the world want to buy, and hire American workers.

Right now, government regulations cost us annually $1.75 trillion. They constitute a stealth tax that is larger than the amount the Internal Revenue Service collects every year from corporations and individuals combined. In just three years, Mr. Obama has added hugely to the annual regulatory bill. Mitt is going to pare that back and make sure every single regulation has benefits that outweigh costs and that they don’t kill U.S. jobs.

Mitt also is going to rein in Mr. Obama’s out-of-control spending and bring the federal budget back into balance. He’s laid out the government programs that he’s going to eliminate and cut. He’s determined to trim the bloated federal workforce. That’s going to take a lot of hard work and the negotiating skills of a successful businessman. It’s precisely why we need someone with Mitt’s financial background and business experience to run the country.

True, Mitt Romney does have his shortcomings: He’s never built a Mitt Romney Tower in New York City or 12 Mitt Romney championship golf courses. Not everyone can be a Donald Trump. However, over the course of Mitt’s distinguished career, he has built other kinds of enduring monuments of accomplishment that have earned my highest regard. Mitt Romney is no one’s apprentice; he’s fully ready to step into the nation’s top job as the next president of the United States.

Donald J. Trump is president and CEO of the Trump Organization.