New York -- Just days after turning in his Republican membership card and secret decoder ring, real estate developer Donald Trump has launched his own personal political party.
"It's called the Trumpets, because I'm a guy who likes to toot his own horn," Trump told a crowd of reporters at a hastily arranged press briefing. "Plus, Trumpets is a play on my name. So it shows how clever I am and that I have a sense of humor -- a man of the people. I think the voters will like that."
Only weeks ago, Trump offered to host a debate featuring all of the Republican presidential hopefuls. But most declined his invitation, citing dentist appointments, IRS audits and "a good chance of rain" on the scheduled date.
Trump was further stung by Republican Party leaders and analysts who described his planned event as a circus or a sideshow.
"I thought my choice of Gary Busey as moderator was a good one," he said. "But they didn't want a host who was smarter than their candidates.
"The Republicans wouldn't let me play in their game, so now I'm starting my own," the Donald declared.
Trump stopped just short of announcing his third-party candidacy, however. "I'm not saying I'm running, people," he said. "But If I were a presidential candidate, you'd see a campaign that achieves the highest ratings in the history of politics."
Trump explained that he would hire the staff of his reality TV show, The Apprentice, to run his campaign. "As far as I'm concerned I'm already the boss and everyone else is my apprentice. So I would go to China and tell them: 'You're fired. From now on Americans are making the iPhones.'
"And I would go to Europe and tell that ugly German broad to start bailing or else you're outta here."
Asked to outline his domestic policy, Trump says he favors what he calls The Universal Plan. "It addresses all the issues: the deficit, immigration, unemployment, with one simple law," Trump said. "Anyone who is not making at least $40,000 a year will be fired. We want to reserve America for paying customers."