Tea party aficionados will "pick up the banner" for Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, real estate mogul Donald Trump says.
Trump voiced that assessment during a Fox News interview Thursday night, several hours after he endorsed the former Massachusetts governor in Las Vegas in the run-up to the Nevada GOP caucuses on Saturday.
"People wanted my endorsement," Trump told host Greta Van Susteren. "You saw what happened today — and the hoopla,” he said of the folderol when he announced his endorsement during a news conference at Trump International hotel.
“Well, I think it's hoopla because they do respect my opinion," said Trump, who had considered running for the GOP nomination until opting to concentrate instead on his businesses and “Apprentice” reality show franchise.
During the past several months, Trump said, he has learned more about Romney and believes the candidate is "not the status quo," and "really is a little bit different."
Trump said he believes Romney will "probably beat Obama" in November, but he said the story might be playing out differently if Hillary Clinton had been elected president in 2008. If Clinton, now secretary of State for Obama, had been elected as commander in chief, it would have resulted in a "more unified country," Trump said.
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