A top adviser for President Obama dismisses him as a “sideshow.” Former Bush adviser Karl Rove calls him a “joke candidate.”

But that hasn’t stopped Donald Trump, who has captured national attention with his outspoken skepticism of Obama’s citizenship, from surging in early presidential polls. He leads all potential GOP presidential candidates by nine points in a Public Policy Polling survey released Friday. He trailed only Mitt Romney in a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released last week.

The real estate mogul and star of NBC’s “The Apprentice” says he’s encouraged by the polls, but won’t make an announcement about his plans for a presidential bid until June. Yet he’ll be in Florida this weekend to speak at a Tea Party Tax Day rally in his first political trip since he began making waves with talks of a possible presidential bid.

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