Real estate mogul Donald Trump insists he could have defeated President Barack Obama in 2012, and regrets that he didn't run for office.
"I was leading in every poll...I regret that I didn't stay in," Trump told The Des Moines Register
on Friday, a night before he was to speak on Saturday's Iowa Freedom Summit
, an event attracting numerous GOP presidential hopefuls.
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"I would've won the race against (President Barack) Obama," Trump continued. "He would've been easy. Hillary [Clinton] is tougher to beat than Obama, but Hillary is very beatable."
Trump further said former Govs. Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush are doomed to lose the GOP nomination.
He noted that Bush, a former Florida governor, is trying to raise $15 million before deciding to seek the nomination.
But that kind of price tag doesn't worry Trump.
"If I do it, I'll be self-funding, so that solves that problem. Which is nice," he said.
Trump has mulled a White House bid several times, including considering a run as an independent in 2000 and then hinting in 2008 and 2012, but he has never officially run. On Friday, he said it's too early to say if 2016 will be the year, but he'll make a decision before June.
He said in 2012 he decided not to run because he was still under contract for his reality show, "The Apprentice," but that contract will expire after this season, he noted, and he hasn't signed a new one.
On Friday, Trump would not say which potential candidate for 2016 he prefers, but said he thinks Romney would make a mistake by running for a third term.
"He failed. He choked," Trump said of Romney's 2012 loss to Obama. "He's like a deal-maker that didn't close the deal. He shouldn't be running again. He had a great opportunity to win against a president that was absolutely lame, and he didn't do it."
He also does not favor Bush, despite his family legacy, telling the paper that "frankly we've had enough of the Bushes. We're bushed out."
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