Obamacare is "a disaster," Donald Trump said Friday, but he still believes in "healthcare for everybody" and he doesn't think that stance will cause him problems in the upcoming GOP primaries.
"That's where I may be a little bit different from the [other] people," the real estate magnate told MSNBC's "Morning Joe"
program. "You can't let the people in this country, the people without the money and resources, to go without healthcare."
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His position on Friday's show wasn't much different from that of 1999, when he was considering a run for the White House on the Reform Party ticket and told CNN host Larry King that he was "quite liberal" on healthcare.
"I said I’m conservative, generally speaking, I’m conservative, and even very conservative," Trump told King in response to a question about a "patients' bill of rights," reports BuzzFeed
"But I’m quite liberal and getting much more liberal on healthcare and other things. I really say: What’s the purpose of a country if you’re not going to have defensive and healthcare?" he told King. "If you can’t take care of your sick in the country, forget it, it’s all over. I mean, it’s no good.
"So I’m very liberal when it comes to healthcare. I believe in universal healthcare. I believe in whatever it takes to make people well and better."
And on Friday, 16 years after his interview with King, Trump reiterated that point.
"You can't let the people in this country that are the poor people, the people without the money and resources go without healthcare," Trump told the MSNBC program. "I just can't even imagine. You're sick and you can't even go to a doctor. I say one thing, can you not let 25 percent of the people of the country because they have no money go without something?"
He continued that a deal has to be worked out with hospitals "to take care of those people that can't really take care of themselves. I'm very strong on that."
And he said he doesn't think that stance will be a problem, even among staunch conservatives.
"If it's not, that's a problem for me," Trump said Friday. "I don't think it will be. I make that speech in front of very conservative audiences and I get a standing ovation when I say that."
In other matters, Trump called for making changes in gun-free zones and in policies that do not allow the nation's military to be armed while on domestic bases.
"These four soldiers, highly decorated in one instance, they're not allowed to have guns," Trump said of the Marines killed on Thursday in Tennessee in an act being investigated as a possible domestic terrorism case. "So they were sitting there and just targets for this guy, for this madman."
Trump called for ending such gun-free zones, and allowing "the people that are trained specialists to not sit there without guns, so some wack job like this can come in and shoot them."
Friday's interview also turned to politics, including a question about whether Trump will release his college records from the Wharton School of Business: "I'm very proud of my record there. I was an excellent student. I will certainly think about it."
He also declared that while other politicians may have pollsters, that's not a direction he's heading toward.
"You can't run the country like that," Trump said. "I can afford pollsters much more than anybody times 100, but I don't want to have a pollster. You know, if the pollster was so good, maybe he'd be running, but I do my own research."
But people like fellow GOP contender Jeb Bush rely on pollsters, and "are afraid to say anything without going to the pollster and having it tested. That's why Jeb Bush couldn't answer a simple question on Iraq."
He then went on to talk about his online feud with Sen. John McCain, who said Trump brings out "crazies" to his appearances.
"Let me tell you, I supported John McCain, but he let us down because he lost," said Trump. "I supported him and raised a lot of money for him. And I'm a loyalist. I'm a person that if somebody is with me, I'm with that person."
But McCain was "very disloyal to me, No. 2. And the Biltmore had 15,000 people come. They weren't crazies, they were great Americans. I know crazies, believe me."
Trump has taken to his Twitter account to attack McCain, including calling him a "dummy":
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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