As 2016 hopefuls flock to early caucus states, Donald Trump told an Iowa audience not to count him out -- at least not until he makes his decision about running early next year.
"Well we're gonna see what happens," Trump said at a press conference with Rep. Steve King in Iowa, according to a Des Moines Register video. "We'll see who's running, we're going to see what happens first of all in the next month because that's going to be very interesting and after that we'll make a decision sometime after the beginning of the year."
Trump, who teased a 2012 presidential run and has been highly critical of President Barack Obama, called the 2016 presidential election "unbelievably important." Trump has said before that he would consider a 2016 run for the presidency, but this appears to be the first time he has publicly set a timeline to make the decision.
"We're so far behind the 8-ball, good isn't good enough. We need a great president the next time," Trump said.
Citing a sized-down U.S. military and global threats, Trump said the U.S. is "laughed at all over the world" and said the next president should be "very smart and very tough."
"We need a great one," Trump said. "I want to see someone who's going to make our country great again."
And while the next president doesn't need to be someone from the private sector, the billionaire real estate magnate said "it might help."
Trump also weighed in on the Ebola outbreak, repeating his call for a ban on travelers from West Africa, the epicenter of the epidemic and criticizing the president's Ebola czar pick of White House insider Ron Klain, whom Trump called the "Ebola spin czar."
"It's the wrong person," Trump said, the Des Moines Register reported. "Do we need more people? Do we need more bureaucracy?"