Donald Trump Handicaps the 2012 Republican Field

Aug 17, 2011 8:12am

Donald Trump isn’t a candidate – and he isn’t in a hurry to become one – but he certainly wants to play a role in the 2012 presidential election.

Here’s what Trump thinks of the  2012 contenders and those Republicans who still might jump into the race. Seems like he has a few favorites.

Rick Perry:

  • “I think he's a very impressive guy.  I've spoken to him a number of times. He's going to come and see me next week. And I think he's a very impressive guy with a very good record. So it'll be interesting to see how he does under the spotlight. It's a big spotlight. But Texas is a big spotlight, also.  I think he's going to do very well.”
  • “He's been governor of Texas for a long time.  Texas has done very well.  I think he's very ready.  No, he's a tough guy.  He's a smart guy.”

Michele Bachmann:

  • “She's a great, wonderful woman. I really got to know her a couple of weeks ago. And she is just energetic, very smart. I think she is badly treated by the press.”
  • “I thought the Newsweek cover was a disgrace. I think Tina Brown should be ashamed of herself. I think that– and I know Tina Brown very well. I think she should be ashamed of herself. I thought it was a disgrace.”

Mitt Romney:

  • "The only one I really don't know is Mitt Romney. Nobody seems to know him. So maybe I'll get to know him, maybe I won't, I don't know.
  • “If you look at his record as governor, it wasn't totally stellar. His job production was not great at all.  In fact, it was the third worst in the nation. There are some pretty negative things with respect to Mitt Romney, which frankly he's going to have to overcome.”

Sarah Palin:

  • “I got to know Sarah Palin very well. I like her a lot. I respect her a lot. I don't think she's running. I'm not sure. I'm not sure that she really knows herself, yet. And it's getting late.”

Chris Christie:

  • “Chris Christie's a very good friend of mine, he's a great guy.  I don't think he's running at all.”

As for the recent buzz that Rep. Paul Ryan might still get in:

  • “I don't believe Paul Ryan would have a chance running for president because of what he did with his [budget] plan.”
  • “I don't think Paul Ryan can run after what he did with the stupidity of his plan. And again, not so much the plan, but he shouldn't have done it.”

And what part will Trump have in 2012?

“The role I play is that everybody calls me, including you, ‘Let's do an interview. Can I do an interview?’  So I do interviews.  And the reason I do interviews is because I love the country,” he told me.

George Stephanopoulos

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