Trump On Stump? No Chance, He Says

Posted: September 03, 1987

Donald Trump denied yesterday that he was running for president, despite a spokesman's coy remarks when asked about Trump's full-page, politically oriented ads in yesterday's editions of the New York Times, Boston Globe and Washington Post. The spokesman told the New York Times: "There is absolutely no plan to run for mayor, governor or United States senator. He will not comment about the presidency."

Later yesterday, however, the billionaire developer-entrepreneur said, "I have no intention of running for president." He said he had run the ads - which cost him almost $95,000 and were headlined "There's nothing wrong with America's foreign policy that a little backbone can't cure" - because ''I'm tired of watching the United States get ripped off by other countries."

In the ads, Trump denounced the cost to the United States in "human lives and billions of dollars" of protecting the interests of other nations that refuse to contribute to those efforts. "Make Japan, Saudi Arabia and others pay for the protection we extend as allies. . . . Let's help our farmers, our sick, our homeless . . . ."

New Hampshire Gov. Mike Dunbar, a Republican, has started a "draft Donald Trump" campaign, and even though Trump, 41, has disavowed the move, he has said he would visit the state next month.

TOO-SOFT TUNES

Ray Charles, of all entertainers, was forced to cut a gig short in Charleston, W. Va., Tuesday night when he was faced with an unhappy audience. The trouble appears to have started when the rhythm-and-blues great, performing outdoors, amplified himself and his piano but refused to amplify the sound of his band, which included a 12-piece brass section. The crowd repeatedly chanted "Turn it up," tossed paper cups at the stage and shook the stands holding the amplifiers. Charles, who had contracted to play for 90 minutes, quit after 75.

BATTLE STATIONS!

Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham, who at first reacted mildly to news that he was being satirized in Doonesbury cartoon strips scheduled for publication next week, wasn't so tepid after seeing the strips in three Arizona papers that jumped the release date and published the six strips on Tuesday. "I don't see any mirth in it," Mecham told a Phoenix Kiwanis Club meeting Tuesday. ''They're not based on fact. They aren't funny." He says he's having his lawyer check out the series for a possible libel suit. The strips needle the governor about past references to blacks and homosexuals. Meanwhile, Universal Press Syndicate, distributor of the strip by Garry Trudeau, said it was considering action against the papers that jumped the gun. An editor for the Chandler Arizonan Tribune said that the decision had been made because Mecham was the target of a recall campaign, and the strips were thus "news, big news."

LEGAL ACTION

Johnny Carson is being sued for $5 million by a Long Island dentist who wrote the TV star an irate letter last year complaining about remarks about dentists that the comedian had made on his show. Carson read Dr. Michael Mendelson's letter on the air in April 1986, after which he cut loose with a flood of dentist jokes, including, "The only thing that smells worse than a dentist's breath is riding in a car pool with six wet grizzly bears." A Carson lawyer said he would seek to have the suit dismissed in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, adding, "We don't accept that there's been even slight harm."

Lee Greenwood, 44, the Country Music Association's male singer of the year in 1983 and 1985, filed for divorce Tuesday from his fourth wife, Melanie, in Nashville, citing cruel treatment. The couple, married in 1981, have no children.

GETTING OUT

Gregory Harrison, who played Gonzo on TV's Trapper John, M.D., checked out of the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., yesterday after undergoing treatment for an undisclosed chemical dependence. "If Gregory wants to say more about it now that's he's home, it's up to him," said his manager. Harrison, 37, entered the facility about four weeks ago.

THE ROYAL WATCH

Spain's King Carlos and Queen Sofia will visit the United States for eight days beginning Sept. 27, when they'll dine at the White House with President and Nancy Reagan. The Foreign Ministry in Madrid yesterday announced that the trip would fulfill a longtime desire of the king's to visit the Hispanic people of California, Texas and New Mexico.

The Netherlands' Queen Beatrix performed her first official duty yesterday since contracting a mild form of meningitis while vacationing in France early last month. The monarch received two new ambassadors at her palace in The Hague.

THE PAPAL WATCH

A problem came up with the Mass that Pope John Paul II was scheduled to celebrate Sept. 14 at Arizona State University's stadium in Tempe. See, the school's nickname is the Sun Devils, and there are cute little painted devils with pitchforks all over the 75,000-seat facility. But no problem - they'll all be covered with nice banners well before the Mass. Also, church officials are referring to the venue as ASU Stadium instead of by its commonly used name, Sun Devil Stadium.

In other papal-visit news, former California Gov. Jerry Brown will be a color commentator for coverage of the Pope's San Francisco visit on KGO-TV. Brown, 49, once studied to be a Jesuit priest. In L.A., actor Joseph Campanella and singers Sandi Patti, Deniece Williams and Placido Domingo will participate in a pre-Mass concert Sept. 15, and Ricardo Montalban and Ann Jillian will host a pre-Mass function the next day. "We are the people who live our faith day in and day out," said Jillian.

And forget what you read here Tuesday about the Pope and Nancy Reagan dropping plans to answer questions from pupils at L.A.'s Immaculate Conception Catholic School, for fear of embarrassing inquiries. The first lady's press secretary, Elaine Crispin, called yesterday to say that Newsweek's account was wrong and that the two had never wavered from their plan to submit to the kids' queries.

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