Real estate mogul and billionaire Donald Trump
confirmed Friday afternoon that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has placed several calls to him, and said Perry will soon be making a visit to New York City.
“I do have respect for Gov. Perry, and we have spoken on numerous occasions, that’s right,” Trump told Fox News host Neil Cavuto. “He’ll be coming to New York soon.”
Trump said in recent days he has received several calls from Perry. “We’ve spoken quite a bit. I like him and I respect him,” Trump said.
Trump, who for the time being has pulled his name out of the GOP presidential sweepstakes, defended Perry’s performance on the campaign trail, saying he thinks Perry “is doing a great campaign.”
Trump said Perry’s much-criticized remark that it would be “treasonous” for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to pump more money into the economy was no gaffe.
“You know, I sort of have to smile when they say, ‘Oh jeez, some of the statements weren’t proper.’ I think those statements were absolutely what people want to hear. People are tired of political correctness, which doesn’t get anybody anywhere.
“It was a figure of speech and they try to make it like it was a gaffe. That wasn’t a gaffe,” he said. “And let me tell you something, [Perry] picked up plenty of votes with that particular statement -- other than with the media.”
Trump told Cavuto he has received calls from other GOP contenders as well.
“Well, they’ve all been calling,” Trump said. “You know, we have a group of people that like what I say, I guess. And they have been calling, and I have a lot of respect for a lot of them. I have great respect for some of them.”
Trump, who some believe is weighing a possible third-party candidacy, also said 2012 could be the year that a viable third-party candidate emerges.
“I think a third party could absolutely happen. I really do,” Trump replied. “I wouldn’t have said that maybe two or three years ago. But people truly dislike the Democrats, they truly dislike the leadership, they truly dislike the Republicans, and they’re not happy with the deals that were made recently in Congress with the committee and all of the nonsense they’re doing, instead of just cutting the hell out of expenses.
“I’m not saying it’s an easy go, but I think a third party could absolutely happen -- if it’s the right person. It’s got to be absolutely the right person. And it really has to be someone that’s either really very wealthy, or has access to a lot of money.”
Cavuto’s responded: “That’s you! That’s you!”
Trump then conceded: “Well, I do qualify on those scores, that’s true.”
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