That’s what the real estate mogul and reality TV star told me this morning on “GMA.” He wouldn’t indicate which of the remaining four Republican candidates would get his support, but he did single out Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
“I’m friendly with both. I respect both. I like both…They both want my endorsement. We’ll see what happens but, in a very short time I’ll be making an endorsement,” Donald Trump said.
“Not today, not right now,” he added.
Trump won’t make a third party bid if the person he endorses becomes the nominee, he said. And because he is prohibited from having both a TV show and a presidential campaign, he could not make a run until May. But he hopes it won’t come to that.
“Number one, I’d rather endorse a great candidate that’s going to do a great job and win the election and become a great president. That’s the number one option for me,” he said.
Trump just returned from Florida where he said the ads between Gingrich and Romney were “brutal.” Kantar Media’s CMAG, a media tracking company, found that 92% of all the television ads airing in the Sunshine state this past week were negative.
“They’re very tough. No, I don’t think too brutal, [Romney] wants to win,” Trump said.
According to recent polling Romney has a sizable lead over Gingrich in Florida, where voting has already started. But as far as Gingrich calling it quits should he lose tonight, Trump said that’s up to him.
“He must know something. But this could be a big win for Mitt Romney today. We’ll see what happens but I don’t think he’s going to be dropping out so fast,” he said.
In August Trump told me he would “put country first” and pay more taxes. Today I asked his opinion on Obama’s proposal of the so-called Warren Buffett rule in the State of the Union, where everyone pays 30%. He said it’s not about the tax rate, it’s about what the money is used for.
“The biggest problem is what are they doing with our money? Where is it going? Why can’t they cut expenses? They have trillions of dollars of waste that’s been proven and they can’t even get in a committee and cut expenses. For people to want to pay tax, they want to know where the money is going and how is it being squandered or being spent wisely, and right now it’s being squandered,” he said.
But when I asked Trump if he paid a 30% tax rate, around the same rate as Buffett’s secretary, he dodged a bit.
“I pay a lot of tax, I can tell you that. I pay a lot of tax. I wrote a very big check. I don’t know what my rate is but it was substantial,” he said.