Donald Trump recalls with chagrin that he supported Barack Obama for president in 2008, but says he now realizes that those moving hope-and-change speeches were nothing more than rhetoric.
"I was his biggest cheerleader," the multibillionaire businessman told Sean Hannity on his Fox TV show Tuesday night. "If you go back three years, I'm saying, 'Do a great job.' I wanted him to do a great job. I still want him to do a great job.”
However, Trump said, “It's not going to happen because the first thing you'd have to do is end Obamacare. Businesses are going to close down because of Obamacare."
The U.S. economy is a disaster, and the White House is to blame, Trump said.
"I thought he was a positive person, always," Trump said of candidate Obama. "I thought he'd be like a cheerleader for the country. I think he is creating a class warfare that is a very dangerous thing for the country."
And the country "is blowing up" because it's so deeply divided, he said.
"I've never seen this country in this kind of trouble before, and a true leader wouldn't let that happen," he said.
The president is fomenting the festering financial situation because "the only way he's probably going to get elected is to do that," Trump said. "We were respected by the world as a power. We're not respected anymore. They laugh at us."
Trump said he is so intent on restoring that respect that he still considers jumping back into the presidential race himself. After seriously considering the idea last spring, he opted not to seek the GOP nod in May, opting instead to keep his day job, as well as his highly successful “Apprentice” TV shows.
"I love what I'm doing, Sean," Trump told Hannity. "I just love building buildings . . . but I love the country even more, and if I see that the wrong candidate is picked . . . I would do something."
Trump has met with several of the Republican candidates and said he likes them all.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is a very, very competent guy," he said. "He's done the best at the debates."
As for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, "I'm amazed that he hasn't done better at the debates," he told Hannity. "He's a different guy one-on-one than he is in the debates. His weakness is with the tea party, and they just aren't going for him yet. I think they might. I think, ultimately, everybody wants somebody that's going to beat Obama."
Trump said he plans to endorse a candidate before the primaries and revealed that he is leaning toward one in particular — but would not say whom.
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