Real Estate Mogul Donald Trump emphatically says President Barack Obama has replaced Jimmy Carter “as the worst president in the history of this country.”
Trump also told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Thursday that polls show he is either tied or can beat Obama in 2012 — and the Newsmax poll was “the best of all.”
Hannity observed that recent surveys have Trump at the top of the pack of potential Republican candidates, and the ongoing Newsmax poll
— which says when Trump faces off against the best and the brightest GOP contenders for 2012, he takes 57 percent of the vote — has him a clear winner.
“That was the best of all,” Trump said of the Newsmax poll, noting that in a CNN poll, “I'm in first place with Gov. [Mike] Huckabee, who is a good guy, by the way . . . really is a terrific guy.
“You know, you are supposed to compete against people you see — I do much better when I don't like the people,” he said. “But I happen to like him — and I like a couple of the other candidates.”
Hannity noted that White House senior adviser David Plouffe has said Trump has “zero chance” against the president, and asked why Trump has called himself Obama’s worst nightmare.
“Well, I understand him, I understand what is going on — I understand the mindset,” Trump said. “They do not want to run against me — I get it,” noting the CNN poll also showed him tied with Obama; the Newsmax poll shows Trump winning that race.
“I was the one that was tied, statistically tied with Obama — the only Republican that was statistically tied with Obama — and I haven't even done anything,” he said. “You know, I haven't said I'm running — one of the pollsters actually said that one of the reasons I don't go even higher is a lot of people don't think I'm running — they think I'm having a good time talking to people like you.
“But the fact is, a lot of people in the polls don't vote for me, because they think I'm just having a good time,” Trump continued. “They think that I'm promoting ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ which I'm absolutely not — and you just told me how good the ratings are in ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ — I don't need this.”
Hannity asked why Trump thought his numbers were so high.
“Well, I think I'm known as a really good business man — and I am,” Trump said. “And by the way, if I run, I will have to disclose my opinion finances, and my finances are phenomenal —much better than anyone knows.
“You know, they know I'm rich — I've done a great job — I've made a lot of great decisions,” Trump said. “And that will be disclosed if and when I decide to run. And I actually look forward to that — It will be I think a very positive thing.”
Hannity asked Trump whether he would run as an independent if he did not get the GOP nod as he had hinted at in previous interviews.
“I didn't say that — I said I would certainly think about that — because the question was what happens if you don't get the nomination?” Trump said. “And this was also before the new polls came out that showed me leading. But they said, what happens if you don't get it? Would you consider running? I said yes, I would consider running as an independent.”
Trump added he would not run as an independent unless he was sure he could win, because if he lost, he would still get “a tremendous amount of votes and I would take them all from the Republican Party, which would be terrible.”
“So, unless I thought I could win, really win as an independent, I would not do that,” he said. “Because I wouldn't want to come in second or third place — and Obama ends up winning.”
Trump also noted Obama is obviously running hard for re-election, as his Wednesday deficit speech had nothing to do with the nation’s soaring national debt and was strictly political.
“I watched that speech yesterday — I thought it was an outrage,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “That wasn't a speech on [the] deficit, that was a political speech — that means he's running — and that was his first speech. I thought it was ridiculous; [about] raising taxes, and really not . . . anything having to do with the deficit
“And look, he's been a horrible president,” Trump continued. “I always said the worst president was Jimmy Carter. Guess what? Jimmy Carter goes to second place. Barack Obama has been the worst president ever in the history of this country — Barack Obama is number one.”
Hannity then noted that Trump describes himself as a conservative and asked what that means to him.
“Well, I think I have great values. I love this country — I feel so strongly about this country,” Trump said, adding his values reflect those of the tea party.
“I really relate to the tea party people,” he said. “Somebody was asking me — in fact every reporter asks me — what do you think of the tea party? I said, ‘I think they are great. They are workers — they love the country.’
“And you know, their greatest service has been — and this is very simple — they've made everyone think. They were the first that brought up the deficit,” Trump continued.
“We were just riding this deficit, borrowing more and more money — they were the first ones that really made both Democrats and Republicans think.”
“So, I think the tea party has served an unbelievable and performed an unbelievable function.”
Noting that Trump said he liked Huckabee, Hannity asked Trump what he thought of the rest of the field of potential GOP 2012 candidates.
“You know, I have a problem — they've treated me so nicely — I have such a problem, everyone said such nice things. I saw [former Sen. Rick] Santorum said something nice.” Trump replied.
“[Former House Speaker] Newt Gingrich last month joined my club in Washington. A little before he heard about this, in all fairness . . . I mean, so, I wish I didn't like him — does that make sense?” he said. “They are all saying these nice things about me — I have a hard time. I watched [former Minnesota Gov. Tim] Pawlenty the other day — I don't know him, but he said these wonderful things.
“Look, I think I'm a great negotiator. I think I will do a better job than anybody because I'm really a great negotiator — I know how to negotiate, I know how people are ripping us off — I know why they're ripping us off, and I know how to solve the problem,” Trump continued. “And as far as yesterday is concerned and what is going on over the last couple of days, the numbers aren't as bad as you are thinking.
"Because what is happening is, if you take away $300 billion — where China is ripping us [off] — and you take away Colombia, and you take away virtually every nation in the world, who is making a huge — let's use the word profit on the United States — when you start equalizing that . . . the numbers aren't as bad as what you are seeing.”
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