Billionaire Donald Trump's continues to pressure the Republican Party to find a great candidate to challenge President Barack Obama — with the threat that he will jump back in the race as an independent next year if he finds the GOP nominee lacking.
Trump repeated that warning during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Tuesday, although he gave kudos to Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachman for her showing in the GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire Monday.
“Well, I’d love for the Republicans to choose somebody who is great — so far, I’m not seeing it, I have to be honest with you, Sean,” the real estate mogul said. “But I would love for them to choose somebody who is great . . . because it is totally vital to get [Obama] out of office — he’s a terrible president, he’s doing a terrible job — and I don’t think he has any concept [of] what he’s doing.
“If the Republicans put in somebody that I think won’t win — and is not going to be very good, based on my feeling — and also, if the economy continues to do badly, which I think it will continue to do badly, because our people in Washington have no idea, they don’t have a clue what is going on,” he said. “So, if the economy is bad and the Republicans put in a person that I think is wrong, I will run as an independent.”
Trump said he would wait until May 2012 to decide, and by then it would be too late to seek the GOP nomination again, so he would take the independent route. Hannity wondered whether Trump is concerned that he might split the anti-Obama vote.
“I think two things would happen: I would win or Obama would win — I don’t think the Republican could win,” Trump said.
Hannity asked Trump, who decided in late May to abandon his own pursuit of the presidential prize, his impressions of Republican hopefuls after the New Hampshire debate Monday.
“Well, I thought last night Michele Bachmann did very well — she looked very good. And I thought she did a very good job,” Trump said. “I will say this: [Tim] Pawlenty, who is a nice guy, but he was given a softball — it was like, oh, hit it out of the park — having to do with Romney’s, you know, whole thing with Medicare.
“And he was given, you know, just a softball and he didn’t take it,” Trump continued. “And yet, on Sunday, on Chris Wallace’s show, he gave a nice answer. I don't understand what happened. I don't understand it. All of a sudden he decided to go soft.”
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