Donald Trump scathingly attacked Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare overhaul plan, warning that the timing of the proposal will lead to a “Republican disaster” in the 2012 elections.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, the billionaire businessman, who considered running for the Republican presidential nomination next year, says he might run as an independent if the GOP doesn’t nominate the right person to defeat President Obama.
And he declares that Sarah Palin would be a “strong candidate” if she decides to run for president.
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Trump says he would consider launching an independent presidential campaign “if Republicans continue to self-destruct, and they are self-destructing.
“It’s this whole crazy situation with what they’re doing with Medicare. Why did it have to be brought out at this point? It should never have been brought out. They should have sat back and let Obama come up with a plan. They could criticize it. They could negotiate.
“In New York state, in a district where it’s almost impossible for a Democrat to win, a Democrat easily won because of this whole Ryan plan.
“He had no right, Paul Ryan, to come out with this plan so early. Look at the havoc it is going to wreak in the 2012 elections. The elections are going to be, in my opinion, a Republican disaster because of this plan. Something has to be done.
“And on top of it, so many of his fellow Republican friends voted for it. They’re all going to be in trouble. Paul Ryan could be in trouble. I think it was absolutely a mistake. And it really doesn’t balance the budget. So I think the Republicans have made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I’m not talking about the plan, I’m talking about the timing.
“When I look at what the Republicans are doing, when I look at the way they are self-destructing, I am very disappointed. And if they pick the wrong candidate — I have 11 months to go in terms of a very lucrative contract with NBC because of the great success of ‘The Apprentice’ — if they don’t pick the right person in my opinion, if they don’t pick somebody who’s going to beat Obama, which is imperative for this country, I would certainly consider running as an independent.”
Trump tells Newsmax that a better strategy would be to target the “fraud, waste and abuse” in Medicare instead of proposing Ryan’s drastic overhaul.
“The Democrats are going to say very strongly that this plan is destroying Medicare. Republicans are going to have to sit back and think really quickly because they’re going to be losing a lot of elections.”
He adds that, “if you bring the economy back you solve every problem. And the economy right now is terrible and getting worse.”
Trump also discussed a recent conversation he had with former Alaska Gov. Palin.
“I asked her if she is going to run, and I don’t think at this point she knows,” Trump says.
“She really is torn. She’d like to run in certain ways and maybe in other ways, she wouldn’t.
“I think she’d be a very strong candidate, and I really look forward to seeing what she’s going to be doing.”
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