US presidential candidate Donald Trump publishes new book: Crippled America

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up a copy of his new book at news conference to promote it in New York City on Monday.
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up a copy of his new book at news conference to promote it in New York City on Monday. PHOTO: REUTERS

NE W YORK (AFP) - Donald Trump published a book about the ills of America to another media frenzy Tuesday, signing copies for fans, insulting his rivals on the campaign trail and telling Americans to elect him president.

Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, offers the everyday reader his take on the problems facing the country and why they should elect him to the White House to fix them.

He invited the world media to Trump Tower to welcome its launch before signing copies for excited fans who queued for hours and travelled from far and wide in the hope of meeting him, as he tops the polls, less than 100 days before the first statewide nominating contests.

"I think I'm going to get the nomination and win the White House. I think beating Hillary Clinton is going to be easy because her record is so bad," he announced, deftly fielding questions, and dishing out jokes and insults at the expense of the other candidates.

Jeb Bush is a poor messenger who falls asleep at the podium, Marco Rubio is "over rated" with discredited personal finances and a "disaster with credit cards" and Ben Carson lacks energy, he said.

The manifesto runs to a modest 169 pages, then finishes with three extra pages about his personal finances and another 17-page section entitled "about the author". It is on sale as a hardback for US$25.

Its release comes a week after the former reality TV star was accused, with his closest rival retired neurosurgeon Carson, of peddling "fantasy" economic policies at the Republican debate.

The billionaire glowers on the cover, by his own admission a "terrible, horrible, nasty picture" that was chosen to reflect his "anger and unhappiness" about the current state of US affairs.

Trump said he was donating all profits from the book - which he told reporters was "selling like hotcakes" - to a multitude of causes.

Several hundred fans queued to have their copies signed, many of them leafing through the book, others wearing his Make America Great Again campaign hat and one woman even clutching a Trump doll.

Lorie Shockley, a nurse from Ohio, said she drove eight hours with her boyfriend last night and will drive straight back home, just to get Trump to sign two copies of his book, one for her and one for her son.

"I think it's like historic, it's pretty unbelievable," she said at the prospect of meeting him.

"I'm anti-establishment," she said. Trump's no nonsense message about what is wrong with career politicians appeals to her.

"Even if he doesn't make it, I still think that he has changed the dynamics of politics and what's going on right now in our country."

Marcel, a German tourist on his first trip to New York, was combining the Trump event with the Statue of Liberty and a basketball game.

"I think it's easy to read," he said. "Maybe it will be getting more concrete when I read it further, but right at the moment not in-depth analysis I would say."

The tome fleshes out Trump's politics in 17 chapters, under headlines such as "Health Care Is Making Us All Sick" and "The Right To Bear Arms," mixed with copious grandstanding about his business acumen.

There are pictures of his photogenic family, an angelic-looking Trump as a child, one from his first communion and meeting the late president Ronald Reagan (a "great guy"), but half the illustrations are technicolor pictures of his real-estate projects.

The businessman waxes lyrical on his tried and tested themes: an economy overtaken by China, simplifying the tax code, making a better, affordable health care system and ending illegal immigration.

He stands by his controversial pledge to build a wall along the Mexico border - citing as inspiration Israel's security barrier in the West Bank and saying Europeans also wanted walls to stop immigrants.

In a chapter on foreign policy, he calls the world "a terrible mess" and calls for the defeat of the self-proclaimed ISIS extremist group - without spelling out how - quipping that their forces "probably wouldn't even fill the Yankee Stadium".

The book is published by Threshold Editions, a conservative imprint of Simon and Schuster, that has previously edited work by Republican hawk former US vice president Dick Cheney.