WASHINGTON — The Rev. Franklin Graham, whose father advised several U.S. presidents, says in an interview to be broadcast Sunday that he may back Donald Trump for president if the real estate tycoon decides to make a bid for the White House in 2012.
Graham also told ABC television that he doubted
former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin would join the field of candidates aiming to unseat President Barack Obama.
Asked whether Trump might be his preferred candidate, Graham told ABC's "This Week" program: "Sure, yes."
"When I first saw that he was getting in, I thought, 'Well, this has got to be a joke,'" ABC quoted Graham as saying. "But the more you listen to him, the more you say to yourself, you know, maybe this guy's right."
The flamboyant businessman has attacked Obama repeatedly in recent weeks — notably repeating the debunked claim that the president was not born in the United States — and suggested he could make a White House run.
Recent public opinion polls have found Trump at the top of the pack of Republicans with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Asked about Romney, Graham replied: "No question he is a very capable person, he's proven himself" but did not endorse him, according to an account of the interview that ABC released.
Graham, whose father, the Rev. Billy Graham, has met with U.S. presidents of both major parties in the Oval Office since 1950, said he doubts that Palin would run for the White House.
"I think she likes speaking on the issues, and I agree with many of the issues that she brings up," Graham told ABC. "I don't see her as running for president."