PORTSMOUTH, N.H., April 27, 2011 -- Donald Trump descended on this crucial early primary state on Wednesday and promptly declared victory.
"I'm very proud of myself because I've accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish," Trump told a gaggle of local and national reporters who assembled in an airport hangar here Wednesday morning.
Speaking shortly after the White House released a copy of President Obama's long-form birth certificate, Trump was eager to take credit.
"I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role in hopefully getting rid of this issue," he said, adding that he would have to see whether the document "checks out."
Trump spent the next seven hours on a whirlwind tour of the Seacoast area of this state, which holds the nation's first primary, swooping into a roadside diner and, later, leading a raucous walk around downtown Portsmouth, signing autographs and stopping by local businesses along the way.
"Who else gets this crowd? Does anybody else get this crowd?" Trump boasted as he emerged from a high-dollar fundraiser organized by the New Hampshire Republican Party at an exclusive club in this seaside town. "I don't think so," he said, answering his own question.
The trip was vintage Trump. He touched down in a helicopter emblazoned with his name, the same one sometimes seen in episodes of his television series, "The Apprentice." A three-car motorcade -- two black SUVs and a stretch limousine -- ferried him around town.
A hundred or more spectators lined the streets of Portsmouth waiting for Trump to emerge from the private, $1,000-a-plate fundraising lunch, including local business owner Gayle Wade, who was eager to snap a picture.
"I have always adored Donald Trump," said Wade, a long-time resident of New Hampshire and a registered Republican.
But when asked whether she would support the billionaire real estate mogul if he ran for president, she smiled.
"Who knows? Probably not," she said. "He's a good businessman, but I think it probably takes more than that to be president."
Other Granite State voters were more optimistic about Trump's presidential chances.
Kelly Shrimpton, who got a glimpse of Trump when he stopped at the Roundabout Diner not far from the airport, said she would consider voting for him.
"He is a smart man," Shrimpton said. "He has done well for himself he has a lot of input in the country. I think he could be a good candidate."
At the diner where Trump shook hands with residents and posed for photos, Flip Hudson, who said he voted for Obama in 2008, expressed a willingness to back Trump in 2012.
"I trust him more than I would some of the politicians," he said, "you just don't know where they are coming from."
To hear Trump tell it, his trip here, his first as a potential presidential candidate to an early nominating state, was a mere formality. He told reporters at the ABC News affiliate WMUR that he has already made up his mind about whether or not to run.
"I know in my mind, yes," Trump said. "I know what I am going to do."
He said on Wednesday that he intends to keep his promise to make an announcement about his presidential intentions before June.
A parade of onlookers accompanied by a throng of reporters and television cameras followed Trump for several blocks around Portsmouth Wednesday afternoon as the reality television star ducked into the Federal Cigar shop, Popovers on the Square, a cafe, and Bellman's Jewelers.
"Mr. Trump, can I get a signature," one person shouted.
Some brought baseballs for him to sign, others shoved scraps of paper in his hand. Another said: "Thanks for getting that birth certificate." A small group briefly chanted: "Run Donald, run!"
At one point, Trump held up a copy of Wednesday's Wall Street Journal front page, pointing to the headline, "Karzai Told to Dump U.S."
"This bum says dump the United States," Trump said. "With all those lives. Those guys -- I'll tell you what -- they ought to be ashamed of themselves."
Trump was equally critical of America's policy toward China in remarks he delivered earlier in the day to workers at Wilcox Industries, a defense contracting firm.
"China is raping this country," he said, complaining that the Obama administration has let the U.S. fall behind the Asian superpower.
James Teetzel, the founder and CEO of Wilcox who attended the fundraiser with Trump along with his wife, said that he would not endorse a candidate until later in the primary season, but expressed admiration for Trump's entrepreneurial know-how.
"At this stage in our economy, we need someone with a set of balls who's going to make decisions that are right for our country, not special interest groups," Teetzel said in an interview with ABC News.
For those like Teetzel who liked what they saw on Trump's opening visit to New Hampshire this year, they will have another chance to meet the potential presidential contender in just a few weeks. Trump is slated to deliver a keynote address to the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce on May 11.
On Wednesday, however, he returned again and again to what he saw as an early win against President Obama.
"Oh by the way, I don't know if you heard? Did you hear?" he asked, referring to Wednesday morning's release of Obama's birth records. "I am so proud of myself. I got this guy to release his birth certificate. I'm really, really happy."
ABC News' Ann-Marie Dorning contributed reporting to this report.