Washington: When billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump looks in the mirror, he is starting to see the possibility of a US president staring back at him.
Trump did a round of TV interviews on Tuesday to talk about the possibility of making a presidential run in 2012.
"For the first time in my life, I`m actually thinking about it (running for president)," Trump, who declared himself a Republican, told Fox News Channel.
Asked by MSNBC when will he make his decision, Trump offered little.
"Well, I`ll make it over a period of time," he offered.
The 64-year-old, thrice-wed tycoon is a larger-than-life figure in the United States whose company operates a string of resorts and casinos.
Trump, sometimes known simply as "The Donald," nurtures his celebrity status by hosting a popular reality show on NBC, "The Apprentice," as well as "The Fabulous World of Golf" on the Golf Channel.
Trump told MSNBC "I`d love not do it," meaning run for president, but that the country has so many problems, such as the erosion of the manufacturing base to foreign competitors.
"The United States doesn`t really make things anymore," he said.
The Republican Party is looking at a dozen or so potential candidates for the right to challenge Democratic President Barack Obama in 2012, such as Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Trump did not rule out the possibility of running under the banner of the Tea Party, the conservative movement that so far is seen as a sub-group of the Republican Party but which some experts think could emerge as a third party.
"I am a Republican but have great respect for what the Tea Party has done because they have brought to light what`s going on. I mean, we have trillion-dollar deficits. ... The country is going bankrupt, let`s face it," he said.