Michelle Bachmann is “terrific” and “smart,” Donald Trump said tonight on a conference call with the Minnesota congresswoman and her supporters, but don’t expect to see him endorsing her, or applying to be her vice president any time soon.
Bachmann introduced the billionaire in her “tele-town hall” by letting listeners know he was “not on the call this evening because he’s endorsing my candidacy for president.”
Asked if he would consider joining Bachmann on a ticket as her running mate, Trump punted: “I don’t think that’s what we’re here for tonight,” adding that any of the GOP candidates would be a “far cry from what we’ve got in the White House.”
“She’s a terrific person. She’s a terrific woman. She’s a smart woman,” Trump said of Bachmann. “She’s respected by everyone. She’s universally respected by the other candidates.”
Bachmann said 200,000 people had registered for the call and she used it to instantly fundraise and poll supporters on the issues they were most passionate about.
Trump fielded questions from Bachmann supporters, holding court on some of his favorite political issues: unfair Chinese competition, ungrateful Libyan rebels, and President Obama’s birth certificate.
“I was leading in the polls,” Trump reminded callers of his brief dalliance with a candidacy. “Not just because of the birth certificate, which I’m very proud of. I got this guy to do something he didn’t want to do.”
“Someone,” he said of Obama’s birth certificate, “should still analyze that whole thing by the way.”
Obama asked Hawaiian officials earlier this year to release his birth certificate after Trump and other raised questions about whether he had been born in the U.S.
Bachmann hit many of her favorite talking points, reminding listeners she was the first candidate to sign a pledge to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border, that she wants to repeal “Obamacare,” and that she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other oil-rich areas.