Donald Trump: Living by "Art of the Deal" as campaign playbook

Donald Trump talks about business deals the way a proud father boasts of his wonderful, amazing children: Trump adores deals. They are his pride and his joy. He only wants the biggest, the best, the greatest. And he loves making the deal -- it's the thrust of his pitch to Americans -- that he'll make the best deals for the country.

In 1987, Trump wrote a book dedicated to the process, called "The Art of the Deal."

"If you ask me exactly what the deals I'm about to describe all add up to in the end, I'm not sure I have a very good answer," he wrote. "Except that I've had a very good time making them."

Nearly 30 years later he's applying his deal-making playbook to his campaign for the presidency.

From his promise to build a wall along the United States' southern border -- and his posturing that he would make Mexico foot the bill -- to the insults he spews at rivals, Trump's campaign hews closely to the way he crafts a deal.

Here are some plays we've seen during the Republican primary race, plucked right from the pages of "Art of the Deal":

Chapter 2:

"The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people's fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular."

Promising the "biggest" and the "greatest" and the "most spectacular" is a stock line in nearly every Donald Trump campaign speech going back to his campaign announcement.

Last year, Trump pledged to build the "Great Wall of Trump" along the U.S.-Mexico border in order to keep any undocumented immigrants from crossing into the country.

"I will build a great wall," Trump said last June when he first publicly declared he was running for the presidency. "And nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I'll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border."

In a "60 Minutes" interview in September, Trump added that the wall would have a "tremendous, beautiful, wide-open door."

"Nice, big door," he said. "We want people to come into the country."

Using another play from his book (Chapter 2: "I believe in spending what you have to. But I also believe in not spending more than you should."), Trump later guaranteed that he would get Mexico to pay for the wall.

Chapter 3:

"My philosophy has always been that if you ever catch someone stealing, you have to go after him very hard, even if it costs you ten times more than he stole."

After Iowa's kickoff caucuses in February, Trump did not take kindly to his second-place finish behind rival Ted Cruz.

He tweeted out that Cruz "didn't win Iowa, he stole it" and called for a redo of the entire caucus process "based on the fraud committed" by the Texas senator:

Since then, Trump has hit Cruz as "Lyin' Ted," a "cheater," a "choker," and a "nasty guy" on Twitter. And after Cruz won another caucus contest this month -- this time in Utah -- Trump went after the Texas senator's wife, Heidi Cruz.


Chapter 6:

"I worried about the growing opposition, but publicly my posture was to take the offensive and concede nothing to my critics."

Watch a few clips from Donald Trump's debate performances and it becomes instantly clear that Trump does indeed "concede nothing."

"He's wrong, he's wrong," Trump repeatedly said of Ted Cruz during the Republicans' sixth Republican debate, when faced with Cruz's argument that he was legally able to run for the presidency despite his Canadian birth.

During another debate, hosted by Fox News in March, Republican candidates clocked in with 23 uses of the word "wrong" on stage. Trump uttered 19 of them.

And instead of going on the defensive and providing actual evidence against his rivals' claims, Trump pulls rhetorical maneuvers like this, from one CNN-Telemundo debate:

"Rubio: Let me just say -- let me finish the statement. This is important.

Trump: You haven't hired one person, you liar.

Rubio: He hired workers from Poland. And he had to pay a million dollars or so in a judgment from...

Trump: That's wrong. That's wrong. Totally wrong.

Rubio: That's a fact. People can look it up. I'm sure people are Googling it right now. Look it up. 'Trump Polish workers,' you'll see a million dollars for hiring illegal workers on one of his projects. He did it.

Rubio: That happened.

Trump: I've hired tens of thousands of people over my lifetime. Tens of thousands...

Rubio: Many from other countries instead of hiring Americans.

Trump: Be quiet. Just be quiet."

Chapter 2:

"I also protect myself by being flexible. I never get too attached to one deal or one approach.

Earlier this month, Trump responded to a report suggesting his tone on immigration was a little softer in a meeting he had with the New York Times editorial board.

"Everything's negotiable," he said when Fox News' Sean Hannity asked Trump to explain the report. "Everything. By the way, it is negotiable. Things are negotiable. I'll be honest with you. You know, I'll make the wall two feet shorter or something."

Over the last few months, Trump has been dogged on his evolving stance on abortion rights, which he once supported. On Wednesday, Donald Trump answered a question on banning abortions during a taped interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes.

"I am against. I am pro-life. Yes. I am pro-life," Trump told Hayes.

When asked how he would outlaw abortion, Trump said: "You know, you'll go back to a position like they had where people perhaps will go to illegal places...But you have to ban it."

He went on to say that "there has to be some form of punishment."

Matthews asked: "For the women [who have abortions]?"

"Yes," Trump said.

Later that day, Trump issued an official statement: "This issue is unclear and should be put back into the states for determination. Like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions, which I have outlined numerous times," he said.

Less than two hours after that, Trump sent another: "If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman," Trump said. "The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed -- like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions."

He has backpedaled similarly on other issues, including foreign worker visas (where he said of his policy stance, during one Fox News debate, "I'm changing it and I'm softening the position") and using torture as an interrogation technique on accused terrorists.

Chapter 12:

"I never had a master plan. I just got fed up one day and decided to do something about it."

Trump 2016 in a nutshell.