Donald Trump bailed out TV news operations struggling to flood the zone with today’s New Hampshire primary voting – only so much you can do to make parka’d lines at polling places look sexy and only so many different ways to say voter turnout is expected to be a record – when he finally announced his estimated cost of that wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
“The wall is probably $8 billion, which is a tiny fraction of the money that we lose with Mexico,” he told MSNBC’s Tamron Hall in the middle of Granite State voting. Trump said he came to that number by “multiplying the number of miles by a certain number.”
“I’m taking price per square foot and price per square, you know, per mile, and it’s a very simple calculation,” Trump said, adding he would build about 1,000 miles of border wall along the 2,000-mile long border, because natural barriers would do the trick without a wall in portions of the border.
This number is a drop in the bucket compared to the figure MSNBC’s cable cousin CNBC came up with back in October. Citing various sources and studies, CNBC estimated the actual cost for Trump’s border wall — which it estimated would run roughly 1,300 miles — could be as high as $16 million per mile, with a total price tag of $15 billion-$25 billion.
Trump is expected to win New Hampshire primary voting, after finishing second in Iowa caucuses, so it seems appropriate to pick today to release his estimated price of his wall. Trump in the summer launched his presidential campaign off The Wall: “I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively,” he said controversially, as he announced his candidacy in June, ending decades of flirtation. “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words,” he added.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon recently mocked Trump’s pledge to make Mexico pay for the wall, CNN noted today in its coverage of Trump’s $8B news.
“Mexican people, we are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall, and they need to know that,” Calderon has been quoted as saying. “And it’s going to be completely useless.”
Responded Trump on MSNBC today: “You tell them, ‘You’re going to pay for it.’ … Mexico makes a fortune. Mexico is going to pay. And I heard [Calderon] said that we will not pay. Guess what? The wall just got higher.”