Trump: Santorum 'Did Not Land a Blow'

Thursday, 23 Feb 2012 04:59 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Donald Trump said surprising presidential front-runner Rick Santorum “missed a great opportunity” in Wednesday night’s Republican debate because he didn’t show decisive leadership. The real estate mogul — who has endorsed Mitt Romney and has hinted he might enter the GOP race if Santorum is the nominee — also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren the former Pennsylvania senator “did not land a blow.”
 
“Well, I think he missed a great opportunity — he was sort of ready to go and he never got it off. And I have to say I really believe — not because I endorsed him, but I really believe that Mitt Romney had a very, very good night,” Trump said. “He was decisive, he was quick, he was sharp. He knew what he was talking about — and I really think he had a great night.

“So I think that, you know, it was a great opportunity that [Santorum] had — and he certainly didn’t do poorly, but he didn’t knock it out of the park, and I think he had to,” he said. “Not a blow. I mean, there wasn’t a blow. It looked like there were some moments where he was about to, and it just never happened. So I would say he certainly did not land a blow.”

Trump also said former House speaker Newt Gingrich did well in the CNN debate and “came across very well.”

“I thought his thoughts were big — I think he thinks big — I also think he’s a natural debater, always has been,” Trump said. “He’s been really good. I mean, he had the two debates which, frankly, were not like him, which were the ones that were very decisively won by Mitt Romney.

“But generally speaking, I think he's a very, very good debater,” he continued. “I think his thoughts were large and they were good. and I really — for instance, his thoughts on immigration I think were interesting, good and well delivered.”

Van Susteren asked Trump whether he thought people have watched the vast number of GOP debates to determine who wins or to see how the candidates stand on issues important to the nation. Trump answered actually neither.

“I think a lot of people are watching to see if there’s a train wreck — if you want to know the truth — like an auto race. They say that’s not why they go, but that probably is down deep why they go,” Trump said. “And there was no train wreck tonight. There wasn’t a problem. But I think some did better than others, but I think Mitt Romney really did the best.”

Van Susteren then noted that except for Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the candidates on the debate floor seemed to be very hawkish when it came to dealing with the possibility of a nuclear Iran and the atrocities occurring in Syria. She asked whether Trump believed — if elected — Santorum, Romney, or Gingrich would take military action against Iran

“Well, certainly, it would sound that way. And I’m not sure that that has to be done immediately because sanctions do have at least an impact, maybe not as major an impact as you’d like,” Trump said. “And, you know, it’s sort of interesting: If we had the right negotiator right now in office, which we don’t, you don’t have to go to war.

"We have all the cards. We have every single card there is, and the right person would get them to the table and get every single thing you’d want without the war.”

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