There's a "good chance" Donald Trump will run for president, he told me for an interview on "The Podium" radio show that aired Monday on WAAR radio.
Trump said that while "The Apprentice" wants him to continue doing the show for a 15th season, "I may have something else that's more important."
Referring to a 2016 run, Trump said: "There's a good chance I'm going to go for it. I'm looking at it very strongly. The country is being scoffed at all over the world. You look at what's going on and our military — they're not funding them properly and we're not fighting properly. We're not doing anything properly frankly, between Obamacare and all the other problems we have. It's something that I could straighten out so fast and so easy it's not that difficult. So I am looking at it very seriously."
He said the top three priorities of a Trump presidency would be maintaining a strong military, raising the country's morale, and finding a replacement for Obamacare.
Trump said he knows all of the potential GOP candidates that have signaled they may be running in 2016. "Well, I know them all, and because of the fact that I may be taking them on at some point, I probably shouldn't comment. Some of them have already come up to my office. This cycle, they're already starting the process. It's amazing because I'm saying, 'Well, wait a minute, I may be running, folks.'"
Trump also discussed Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's recent momentum in the 2016 GOP field, and I asked him whether he thought Walker could go the distance and become the nominee. "He could be, I mean, he could very well be because he did things in Wisconsin that were good," he said. "He has caught on. And we'll see whether or not that stays but it's very interesting."
Regarding other possible GOP contenders, Trump said he's not a fan of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and he doesn't think Texas Gov. Rick Perry could win. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul may also have a difficult time gaining traction, he said. He also said that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may have missed his opportunity three years ago given he has since developed problems with the bridge scandal.
On the recent beheadings by ISIS, Trump said it was like "living in medieval times. Hardest thing in the world to believe. We are not living in a civilized world. You used to read about this stuff in books that this is the way they treated people. Who would think in this age where with modern everything and even with the modern communication skills and talents of people that they would do this and do it openly and flaunt it."
He added: "Part of it is they have no respect for us. And this is going to go over to Europe before it gets to us." He said strong action needs to be taken and not just by the United States, but in a coalition with our allies.
Trump said if he were president he would be "extremely strong and extremely powerful" in the face of ISIS, adding, "They would come back wanting a solution very quickly — very, very quickly."
He said President Barack Obama hasn't been a leader, and on the subject of ISIS he has been a president who has not been willing to lead.
Trump also talked about the economic rise of China and Mexico and the ways they are surpassing the United States. "It was once unthinkable to think that China would be bigger than us," he said. "They're taking their currency and they're going to devalue it again so that we can't compete. It means taking away a lot of jobs. China needs to be dealt with strongly and firmly and they have to respect us. We're a badly wounded country right now."
To listen to the entire interview, click here
"The Podium" is a weekly radio show that features authentic talk with America's top political players. Listen live on Mondays at 9:00 p.m. ET at NewsNinja2012.com/radiolive.
Melanie Batley is a political journalist and host of "The Podium" on WAARadio. She also is a Huffington Post blogger. Previously she worked as a political operative on Republican campaigns and also as a political adviser to the Conservative Party in the U.K. She earned her master's degree at the London School of Economics. To read more of her reports, Go Here Now.
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