During a surprise appearance before conservative activists Thursday, Donald Trump said he's considering running for president because America has become the "laughing stock of the world."

The celebrity businessman said he would decide by June whether he will seek the GOP nomination. He cited his success in business and his anger that countries like China are pulling ahead of the United States in some areas as reasons for potentially seeking the presidency.

"America today is missing quality leadership and foreign countries have quickly realized this," he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference. "The world is treating us without respect."

Part of the reason for the lack of leadership is that many potential candidates are unwilling to go through the intense scrutiny of running for public office, Trump said.

Whether the real estate mogul, who has enjoyed a colorful life, is willing to go through that same scrutiny remains to be seen. It's certain, though, that if he runs, Trump will be a magnet for press coverage.

That's partly because of his trademark New York bravado, which was on display Thursday to the chagrin of some in the audience.

"I have a reputation for telling it like it is," Trump said. "I've won a lot of great victories [and I] may be willing to put that to work."

During his address, several people chanted for Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who was a dark horse presidential candidate in 2008.

Trump said Paul could never win. "He's just [got] zero chance of getting elected," said Trump.

Some people started booing Trump, who was nonplussed.

"I'm also well acquianted with winning and that's what this country needs right now."

He said he was pro-life, against gun control and would fight to end "Obamacare" and replace it with something else.

"If I decide to run, I will not be raising taxes," he said, but would raise funds from other countries that "are screwing us."