Potential presidential candidate Donald Trump says that, although the killing of Osama bin Laden puts a plus sign in President Barack Obama’s ledger, the fiscal crisis will be the main issue in the 2012 election. Trump also said Monday on Fox News that, if he runs in 2012, it will be as a Republican, because his conservative stances would bleed votes from the GOP candidate if he ran as an independent.
“The fact is that I think the economy is going to supersede everything. Yes, we’re happy that bin Laden has been caught — bad guy,” Trump said. “That’s really great news. The bottom line, however, is eventually, people want to see what’s going to happen with gasoline. They want to be able to drive to their local supermarket and buy food, which they can’t do.
“The dollar has been so weakened that inflation’s going to go through the roof,” he said. “And by the way, right after the election, if the wrong person gets in, interest rates are going to go through the roof. They’re keeping artificially low interest rates and an artificially low dollar.”
Trump was asked about reports that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says China is making progress toward a more flexible exchange rate.
“Well, I think I’ve been the first one to bring up China,” Trump said. “You know, the problem with politics — and the nice part, I think, is that I haven’t been a politician, although I’ve been dealing with politicians all my life — the problem is, when you come up with an idea, come up with a major thought, if other people like it, they just take it over and they can claim it.
“Nobody has hit China harder than Donald Trump over the last couple of months,” he added. “And now, all of a sudden, Geithner and all these other people are talking about China, and basically, their manipulation of their currency in order to take jobs and manufacture all of our things. But nobody hit China like I hit China. And now, all of a sudden, the administration's going after them.”
Trump also noted that he has long contended that bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan.
“I also said bin Laden is in Pakistan — and I’ve been saying that,” he said. “I said it on Bill O’Reilly’s show — I said it on Neil Cavuto’s show. I said, he’s in Pakistan and we should immediately stop giving them $3.2 billion each year virtually every year, $3.2 billion, until they hand him over.
“Now, anybody that thinks that Pakistan didn’t know where bin Laden was, they cannot be very serious people,” Trump said. “So a lot of these things I’ve been saying.”
Trump was asked what he would do about Pakistan if he were president.
“Look, the big problem, in my opinion, with Pakistan, they have nuclear weapons,” Trump said. “And I would say, you don’t get your $3.2 billion or more this year unless you get rid of the nuclear weapons.”
Trump was then asked if he does run for president, would he run as a Republican or as an independent.
“As to me running as an independent — a lot of people want me to run as an independent,” Trump said. “The problem is, I’m very conservative. If I ran as an independent, I would take tremendous votes away from the Republican candidate. That would assure Obama’s election, and that would not be a good thing.”
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