ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports
As multi-millionaire businessman Donald Trump considers jumping into the 2012 Republican presidential fray, one of his top aides said that what the potential GOP field is “lacking right now is really some business sense.”
Michael Cohen, an executive vice president at the Trump Organization and Trump’s special counsel, said on ABC’s “Top Line” on Friday that Trump could be the candidate who fills that niche.
Several of potential candidates might take issue with Cohen’s contention. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, for example, made millions as the co-founder of what is now Bain Capital, a private equity firm and Ambassador Jon Huntsman served as an executive at his family’s company, the Hunstman Corporation, a global chemical business.
Cohen recently traveled to Iowa where he spoke with a total of 18 political operatives, activists and fundraisers about the possibility of a Trump presidential run. (He made a big splash on Monday by arriving in Trump’s private jet at the usually sleepy Des Moines airport).
“Every one of them expressed, not just an interest, but a fervent desire to see somebody like Donald Trump join the race in hopes that we can turn this country around because right now we’re really not in good shape,” Cohen said.
While in the Hawkeye State, Cohen met with Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn who he described as “very, very interested in seeing someone like Donald Trump enter the race.”
Cohen said he learned a lot about the Iowa Caucus process while he was there and predicted that Trump would spend time courting voters there if he decides pursue the Republican nomination.
“You’re going to have to go shake a lot of hands, you’re going to do a lot of travel,” Cohen said. “You’re going to sit in Grandma Tilly’s house, have a little apple pie with her and you’re going to understand exactly the concerns that people in Iowa have. And that’s the only way to win Iowa.”
Trump, who has a television show, “The Apprentice,” and is involved in a range of business interests from golf courses to casinos to neckties, has made it clear that he will wait until June before making an announcement about his presidential ambitions.
Cohen co-founded the Web site, “Should Trump Run” which has received more than half-a- million page views. He called it an “independent Web site of like-minded individuals.” On it, Trump’s boosters are “drafting” supporters from Iowa and New Hampshire to stoke interest in a possibly candidacy.
“He's made a tremendous fortune for himself and what would be fabulous is to see him put that ability and his talents to work for the rest of us,” Cohen told reporters in Iowa on Monday.
But not everyone appears to believe The Donald is actually serious about launching a presidential bid.
“It keeps his name out there, which he is very happy to do,” former New York Mayor Ed Koch recently told ABC News about the speculation surrounding Trump’s political future. “There's nothing wrong with it, nothing immoral. But he's not running. He knows it. Everyone else knows it.”
Trump considered presidential campaigns in 1988 and 1999 but didn't not end up running.
Watch Michael Cohen's appearance on "Top Line":