Published on March 6th, 2012 | by Scott Hennen


3/6/12: Iconic Entrepreneur Donald Trump on the Scott Hennen Show (full interview and transcript)

Donald Trump on the Scott Hennen Show (3/6/12):


HENNEN: A man we’re pleased to welcome to the program. Author, extraordinary entrepreneur, television host—Donald Trump is on the Common Sense Club. How are you, Mr. Trump?

TRUMP: Well it’s great to be with you. Great to speak to you.

HENNEN: Glad to have you on the program. So answer the question, “Why Romney?” You’ve had a chance to meet all these candidates, vet these candidates, you’ve bet on Romney. Why?

TRUMP: Well I really have met him, and I know him. And I understand what’s going on, and I’m a big fan of negotiation. And I’m a big fan of trying to stop China, and some of these other countries. They are just ripping us, and just cutting us like nobody has ever done before. And in the case of China, they’ll make 350 billion dollars on us. They literally make our product, they take our jobs, they manipulate their currency—they have it every different way, and he’s the one person running that really gets it. The other is OPEC. You look at your prices, and you look at oil (nobody knows more about oil than you folks). But you look at what’s going on with oil and what’s going on with the pricing, and you’re going to have $5 and $6 and $7 a gallon this summer. It’s going to be record. It already is record for the time of the year—it’s never been this high. And I believe that he is the one person that really understands OPEC, and they wouldn’t be there except for us. So I’m a big believer in Mitt Romney. I think he’s going to be a great candidate and I think he’ll be a great President.

HENNEN: Well let’s talk about North Dakota energy a little bit, because you’re right. We’re in the middle of the Bakken boom, and leading an international energy revolution right here.

TRUMP: Amazing.

HENNEN: You’re a great entrepreneur, by the way, so we’d love to invite you to come on out and take a look at all the opportunities here, because it’s the Wild West. We need more of everything, and I’d love to host you some time to meet some other folks out here and take a look at some of these opportunities. Maybe there’s a Trump Tower in our future, ya know?

TRUMP: Well it’s amazing what’s going on out there. And it just shows: when you release that kind of talent, and that kind of everything, and you have it right under your feet, and you’re lucky in that way. And it’s amazing what can happen. And that’s a great example. I was watching one of the business shows last night, and they were showing the boom in North Dakota, and I think it’s fantastic.

HENNEN: Will you come out and see it?

TRUMP: I would. I would. And you know, honestly, I tell people—I told somebody the other day—they’re up in a certain state that’s doing very poorly (frankly, with the kind of leadership that state has they’ll never do well), and I say, “Why don’t you move to North Dakota?” I actually told them that.

HENNEN: I love it. Well we’d love to have you. I’d want to host you, because I think there’s some great opportunities here. Let’s talk about energy, and leading from a Presidential standpoint. You talk about OPEC, but I have to tell you, Newt Gingrich has lead on energy. Rick Santorum is running around the country with a piece of our Bakken shale, because he was out here. And I’m curious why you think Mitt Romney hasn’t spent more time on energy. Why is he not leading?

TRUMP: Well I think he has. I think they all discuss energy. Energy has to be discussed. Only a very not-too-bright person would not be discussing energy today, especially if you’re running for President, because energy is the whole deal. You know, I have a theory that when we crashed four years ago, it wasn’t the banks. And I’m not a big fan of the banks, by the way — I think they behave very badly and stupidly. But it wasn’t as much the banks as the fact that oil got to $150 a barrel. When that hit $150 (or almost $150), it was absolutely devastating to this country, and to the world. I really believe that was the primary reason. And if you look at what’s happening, it’s happening again. With everything you’re doing out there, it’s still peanuts compared to what’s going on. And it’s happening again. Oil just keeps on going up, up, up, and if something’s not done, we’re going to have another crash.

HENNEN: Here’s an idea: you famously wanted to host some debates earlier, and it scared a few folks. Maybe Donald Trump hosts the energy debate in North Dakota, with all the candidates. Would you be up for that?

TRUMP: That sounds like a good idea, actually. I mean, you can really lead by example too. Because what you’re doing out there is unique. It’s really unique in this country; it’s the way the country used to be, by the way. What’s happening out there is amazing.

HENNEN: I call my friend Harold Hamm the “Henry Ford of today,” because he was the guy that figured if you put horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing together, and now you pull oil out of rock, and we have some great things happening.

TRUMP: Wow, that’s great.

HENNEN: But let’s talk about leadership. Newt Gingrich has talked about getting to $2.50 gas as an example. Here’s what he said yesterday. Mitt Romney sort of pooh-poohed this—called it “pandering,”— and Newt told us yesterday maybe that’s because he’s too rich to care about the price of gas. Listen to this and your response to Newt:

GINGRICH: What Romney calls “pandering” I call “leadership.” I think that we that we want to have a leader who cares enough about the American people to be responsive to their needs and to understand the pain that they are in. And it’s unfortunate that Governor Romney and maybe his Wall Street donors don’t care about the price of gasoline because they either have chauffeured limousines or they ride the subway.

TRUMP: Well, I do know… first of all, I like Newt a lot. He’s a great guy, he’s a member of my club in Washington and he’s a wonderful guy and he’s very smart, but you know I really think it’s a lot of political talk and that’s the way he should be talking. Mitt is, I can just tell you, is very, very strong on OPEC and very, very strong on drilling and taking the energy right out from under our feet which is where we should be taking it. Even the pipeline… and I am fully in favor of the pipeline from Canada… but even then, I mean, we shouldn’t even be taking it from Canada. We have so much in this country we shouldn’t even have to worry about taking it from Canada and paying extra taxes and paying extra costs. So…

HENNEN: Who’s right though? Is Romney right in saying Newt is pandering? Is Newt right to shoot for the stars and say let’s go for $2.50 gas?

TRUMP: Well I like frankly…I guess you could really say it’s a combination of both. There probably is a little pandering, but there’s also something to be said about let’s get that price down, because once we get the kind of supply that we know we can get and it’s right here right under our feet as I said… i really believe that both of them, I mean… I can tell you this, I haven’t heard this statement on pandering, but I will say that I have been with Mitt and he really wants to get the prices down of oil and gasoline. He wants to get those prices down.

HENNEN: Now what about Newt’s point on him being rich and out of touch and in limousines and everything else? You are a wealthy guy, yet you are kind of a man of the people too. You are on TV, you’re never afraid to be out there with folks. Does Mitt Romney have a little bit of a problem of connecting because of his wealth? I mean, the lines about “my wife as two Cadillacs”, “I know NASCAR owners”, the $10,000 bet… how would you counsel Mitt on the whole wealth thing? Because it seems to… sometimes he loses the “real guy” factor in all this.

TRUMP: Well politics is tough. You know you make one mistake… you say thousands and thousands of sentences and paragraphs, and you make one statement… the Cadillac or the $10,000, and you know it gets blown… it is a tough… hey Mitt’s… you know, other people in this race have been in that same category. They made a statement… I mean, Santorum, last week, made a statement that people didn’t like him certainly Newt’s made a couple of them. So it’s a very tough business. I saw that. When you run… if you make one little mistake, one word, it gets blown up and it’s like devastating. I really think that Mitt is a little bit of a different person in person than he is when the cameras go on. I think he is excellent when the cameras are on. I think he has done really well and he debates beautifully. I mean, he’s done amazingly well in particular in Florida. What he’s done there in the debates was, I thought, fantastic. He is… I must say, knowing him and getting to know him, he is different than what you see on camera and really really a very good person, and he cares about people. He really cares about people. So, you know, people can really say what they want, but when you know him on a personal basis he is very… notice he come across that way? I think he comes across very well. Some people say maybe not as well as I think.

HENNEN: Only a minute left. Quickly, on Romneycare: if Mitt Romney is the nominee, is Romney care liability because of the contrast that’s very similar to, you know, him supporting the individual mandate as late as 2009… same as Obamacare?

TRUMP: I think it’s probably more of a liability for the nomination than it is for the election and I think that the nomination… certainly they play that to a fare thee well. I think that, in terms of the election, it’s not going to be nearly, nearly the problem. But he’s got so many other assets that it is certainly overweighs. I think I honestly believe that, for the nomination, it hasn’t helped. I think, for the general election, it’s not going to be a big factor.

HENNEN: Who should be fired after tonight on Super Tuesday?

TRUMP: Well, I guess everybody but Mitt!

BOTH: [laugh]

HENNEN: We’re waiting for the debate, the Trump debate on energy in North Dakota. I hope you’ll come sir. I think it would be fantastic. Donald Trump on the Common Sense Club and Scott Hennen Show.

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