Real estate mogul Donald Trump, who has already flirted with a run for the GOP nomination in 2012, says he would still consider running as an independent if he did not believe the Republican field was strong enough to beat President Barack Obama. Trump also said on Fox News Wednesday that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is underrated.
“No, I'm not out at all. I mean, if I — and look, I'm not a Ross Perot who goes in and then decides to go out. I never went in. You understand that, OK? I've never said that I was running. I said I was considering it, and seriously considering it,” Trump told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “And then I’ve watched these terrible mistakes made by the Republican Party. And I say — I use the word it’s a death wish.”
Trump was referring to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s release of the GOP budget plan that includes Medicare reform and noted the timing of the proposal was not good.
“I watched the terrible mistakes by the Republican Party — and in particular, when I look at, you know, Paul Ryan's timing of this horrible situation,” he said. “I can tell you that these Democrats are laughing all the way to the bank. They think they're going to end up taking over the House over it. And they certainly give Obama a big boost.
“So something has to be done with the timing — and all he had to do is nothing,” Trump said. “He could have sat back and let Obama come up with a plan and knock the hell out of the plan. Then the other day, I'm watching — I met him the other day — seems like a nice guy: Eric Cantor. And he said no money for the tornado! Now, the tornado victims have been decimated. And he's saying no money for — essentially, no money for the tornado, or he wants to get it back in 15 different ways.”
Trump said given his druthers “I'd love the Republicans to pick somebody fabulous who's going to beat Obama it's is one of the most important elections in the history of this country, who's going to beat — because we are over a cliff.”
He noted that Palin, whom he said he has respect for, asked him at dinner Tuesday whether he would consider running as an independent.
“Well, she did ask me about the — running as an independent. And I said, Look, if I don't see the right person running for the Republicans, I would certainly consider it,” Trump said. “And the beauty of that is, NBC pays me tens of millions of dollars to do the show. And I have a responsibility. You know, no matter how rich you are, it's still a lot of money. And it's, you know, very cool to have a top show on television. I mean, having a top show is pretty unusual. I mean, there aren't too many of them.
“So at the end of that, which is about this time next year, even sooner, I've fulfilled my obligations to NBC,” he said. “And I have plenty of time to make that decision as to whether or not I run as an independent. But it'll be very dependent on whom the Republican nominee is and also it'll be dependent on where the economy stands.”
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