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In His Own Words: Donald Trump on Democrats, Republicans and television

Say what you will about Donald Trump, he has some good stories to tell. Trump spoke in Manchester this week about politics, economics, television and more. Here’s a taste of what he had to say:

On his start in politics: “I’ve always been very political because I need zone changes. When you need zone changes, you’re political. Like, to build Trump Tower I needed a zone change. So, you know, I’ll support a Democrat, a Republican, whatever the hell I have to support, I need that zone change.”

On running for president: “I was asked to make a speech by a very good friend of mine from New Hampshire. And it was years ago, like ’88 or ’89. And I very innocently came up, and it was a speech on success. It was a motivational speech. I came up, I made the speech and that was it. And all of a sudden, because it was New Hampshire, I heard for the first time that I was running for president.”

On Republican Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign: “I felt very strongly about Mitt Romney. I thought he’d be very good. Things were going really well for him and then, the last month or so, it wasn’t too pretty what happened. I don’t know what happened. . . . But he’s a very good man, and I think he actually would have been a very good president. . . . I remember seeing a commercial, and there was a shot where he was walking out of a Walmart store, and he was dressed in a cowboy hat . . . and I said, that’s not him. And he couldn’t get the cart to move, because he never did it before. You’ve gotta be yourself. When he was himself, he was terrific. That was a race that should have been won. It was a race that could have been won. And it’s a race that, if it was held like two months later, would have been won.

On his meeting with Herman Cain, a 2012 Republican presidential primary candidate: “We had a great conversation, 45 minutes, and then he left and there was a lot of press outside. And he said, ‘Look, I really don’t want his endorsement. He’s not going to endorse me anyway. I just wanted him to like me because he’s so vicious in the things he says about people.’ And I said, you know, he’s street smart. That’s a very smart thing. And I like him. He’s a nice guy. I couldn’t say anything bad. . . .Had I not met him I might have, you know, gone after him.”

On Democratic Party politics: “Barack Obama, nobody had any idea who he was. He came out of nowhere. You know, whether you like him, don’t like him, whether you like his policies or don’t, you have to give him a hell of a lot of credit because he ran an amazing campaign. Hillary had it made. There was nobody going to beat her. And now they have that again, it’s very interesting.”

On politicians: When I was younger, I didn’t have a lot of respect for politicians. I just didn’t. I didn’t think they were good. I didn’t know how smart they were. Years later I realized, they really are smart; they are survivors.”

On the Republican Party’s chances in the fall elections: Now, because of Obamacare, which is really turning out to be a disaster, the Democrats have a chance of getting decimated in November. . . . I think the Republicans are going to have an election year that is going to shock people.”

On his television show, “The Apprentice”: “If you get good ratings, you’re on. If you get bad ratings, you’re off. No doubt about it. And there’s something nice about that. It’s clinical. . . . We’re now in our 14th season, . . . and it’s really been amazing. When it was first announced that I was doing The Apprentice, a certain television critic said, you must be kidding. In order to have success, by the way, you need women. If women don’t watch, a show cannot be successful. So this critic wrote a very nasty piece about me. The show hadn’t gone on yet. ‘What a waste of time and energy . . . because women will never want to watch Donald Trump.’ So you never really know what’s going to happen. . . . You’ve got to take chances.”

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