Donald J. Trump has a story he liked to tell early in his campaign to win Florida.
The first time he told it, he had 144 days to go before the Florida primary. He was in front of hundreds of people at a rally at Trump National Doral, which was fitting because the story is all about how he bought the South Florida golf resort in the summer of 2012.
The story goes that he and his daughter Ivanka walked into closing with a contract to buy Doral for $170 million. But when it came time to do the deal, Trump told the crowd, he got the sudden urge to show off.
There he was, Trump said, staring across the bargaining table at the other dealmakers, who all were beautiful men, “like from a movie, better looking than Tom Cruise,” and who were wearing red suspenders and had gone to the best schools. And what did Trump do? He started ranting like a lunatic about the terrible shape the property was in.
Within about two minutes, Trump told the crowd, the movie stars in red suspenders took $20 million off the price tag. He got the place for just $150 million. And then he tore it down and built it up again.