Trump Blasts Romney, Jeb Bush; 'Seriously Thinking' About Presidential Run

Trump says he's "seriously thinking" about presidential run.

ByABC News
January 24, 2015, 1:38 PM

— -- Donald Trump arrived at a high-profile GOP gathering in Iowa to train his fire on his fellow Republicans, telling the audience that neither Mitt Romney nor Jeb Bush can win the presidential nomination.

He draw applause for those lines at the Freedom Summit, a gathering that neither of those men attended.

"It can't be Mitt, because Mitt ran and failed. He failed," Trump said, bringing cheers from the audience. "He choked. He had that election won."

Turning to Bush, Trump cited the former Florida governor's support of Common Core education standards and a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants as straying too far from conservative ideology.

He also condemned Bush's brother President George W. Bush's appointment of Chief Justice John Roberts to the Supreme Court, since Roberts authored the opinion that saved Obamacare.

"The last thing we need is another Bush," Trump said, drawing more applause.

Trump also told the Iowa Freedom Summit what he's been telling interviewers and audiences for weeks, even though his history would leave many doubting his sincerity.

"I am seriously thinking of running for president," he said. "We have a presidential election coming up. We have some good people -- nobody like Trump, of course."

In a brief interview with ABC News, Trump insisted that he's serious about running for president this time -- even though he flirted with and rejected White House runs in 1988, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012.

Seeking to demonstrate that, he brought handouts to the Freedom Summit, the conservative confab that drew as many as 10 potential Republican candidates for president, although Bush, Romney, and Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul were among the prominent no-shows.

Attendees got postcard-sized two-sided pictures featuring Trump. Included are a younger Trump shaking hands with the late President Ronald Reagan -- and a much, much younger Trump in his Presbyterian confirmation class, in 1959.

One of the cards also includes a glossy family photo, with bold type at the top: "THE KEY TO SUCCESS IS HAPPINESS THROUGH FAMILY."

"I was friendly with Reagan," Trump told ABC. "I got along with him great. I'm a big fan of his. I had a great relationship with him."

Asked why voters should take him seriously this time around, when he's made similar noises about a presidential run so many previous times, Trump insisted that he's in a better place in his own life, and therefore really, really serious this time.

"Because I'm in a great position from every standpoint. My children are in executive positions. And from every standpoint I'm in a great position," Trump said.

Trump indicated to the crowd that if he runs, he'll offer an aggressive alternative to his fellow Republicans. With customary braggadocio -- he said his company is "incredible," that he owns "many, many" websites, and that the American people will be "very proud of me" if and when he files financial disclosure forms.

He expressed anger not just with President Obama but Republicans in Congress.

"I'm very disappointed by our Republican politicians, because they let the president get away with absolute murder," he said.

He said he'd build a "beauty" of a border fence if elected president, and tweaked Republican doctrine that favors curbing entitlement reform.

"I'll probably be the only Republican who doesn't want to cut Social Security," he said. "I'm not a cutter of Social Security. I want to make the country rich so we can afford Social Security, and Medicare, and Medicaid."