Never shy or lacking conviction in his beliefs, outspoken Republican Presidential candidate and billionaire television personality Donald Trump joined THE HERD WITH COLIN COWHERD on FS1 Monday for an extended interview.
In the revealing conversation, Trump covered topics ranging from the coverage his campaign has received to this point in the race, to his friendship with New England Patriots superstar quarterback Tom Brady, to how he’ll approach the process of selecting a running mate if he receives the nomination.
Clips of the interview are available via the show’s official Twitter account @TheHerd, but the entire 30-minute exchange is televised again this evening on THE HERD SPECIAL: THE TRUMP INTERVIEW at 8:00 PM ET on FS1.
Highlights from the interview include:
Trump addressing the perception that he has received more news coverage than the other candidates: “In your business, it’s about ratings. That is one of the reasons you are so good and one of the reasons I happened to see you, but the fact is that it’s all about ratings. Whether we like it or not, it’s all about ratings. In the old days, prior to this cycle, they would have very few people watching these debates and the networks literally didn’t want them. As an example, CNN got the largest rating in the history of CNN and think about that, with all of the catastrophes and all of the things they’ve covered, they had almost 24 million people watching. What happens is that it is all about the ratings and I can understand why they ask me more questions, frankly.”
On whether running for President is potentially damaging to his powerful business brand: “It’s not good for business and it’s not a positive from that standpoint. But I’ve seen so many things go so bad and you look at what’s happening with our country, whether it’s that Iran deal, which is such a catastrophe – which could have been good. If you look at our trade deals with all of the different countries that we deal with, they’re all terrible; we don’t make good deals anymore. I just looked at it and I said, ‘I’m going to do it.’ It takes courage to run for President. Believe me, they really come at you 15 different ways, but I really didn’t care, I just wanted to do it.”
On his friendship with Tom Brady: “Tom is somebody – and I tell him all the time – I think he is one of the great athletes. Tom is one of those few people who ends up doing better under pressure and you’re born with that. They have all sorts of psycho-analysts and everything else, but you’re born with it and I’ve seen it over the years. You don’t see it often, it’s very rare, but you’ll see it with the great champions and Tom is one of them. You’ll see it with different people where they do better under pressure, but there aren’t many of them, but when you have them, it’s very special to see.”
On sports gambling and daily fantasy sports: “I’m OK with it because it’s happening anyway. Whether you have it or you don’t have it, you have it.”
On the perception that the NFL is tone deaf and an opinion on the movement to make the game less physically violent: The NFL has handled a lot of situations pretty badly, but it continues on. I hope they don’t soften the game up too much by the way, I must say. I was reading yesterday they might not do [kickoffs] anymore and eventually you’re not going to have the same game. They have to be careful with that. Don’t make it too politically correct. What we’re doing in the country is that everything has to be [politically correct]. It’s a violent game.”
On what if any professional sports teams he would ever be interested in owning: “I’m from New York and I’d say maybe the Yankees. I would really always say the Yankees. I think Dallas [Cowboys] and different teams are really well thought up from the standpoint of monetary value, but probably the Yankees.”
On if he can effectively relate to average Americans given his personal wealth and the fact that he is rarely told “No”: “It doesn’t happen often, but the thing is that we really have connected. I’ve dealt in the construction industry, with the unions, with the construction workers, with the non-unions, I’ve dealt with everything and I have a great relationship with people. The police, the firemen, the builders, construction trades, I’ve always had a great relationship. Mitt Romney didn’t connect, if you look at it. So many people sat at home and didn’t want to vote for him for whatever reason. But we are connecting and I think we’re connecting when I go out and do a speech, there are thousands and thousands of people.”
On being willing to not take the absolute best deal in a negotiation, but understanding that it might be what is best for the country: “I can see it happening. You are not always going to get the absolute best deal, but we can do a lot better than we’ve been doing. With China as an example, $400 billion a year of a trade imbalance, with Japan a $75 billion a year trade imbalance. In other words, we are losing tremendous amounts of money and I could go country after country and give you the numbers. It’s frankly amazing that we even exist if you look at all of these numbers. But the truth is, we cannot continue to do that. We’ve rebuilt China, we’ve lost our jobs and our base and our manufacturing. And that’s what I do great at and that’s what I’ve been really good at and I filed my papers and people we’re really impressed when they saw my financials. So I’m really happy I’ve done it and it’s been wild and the polls just came out a little while ago that show that I am easily No. 1 and I hope to take it to the end and do something that makes you very proud and very happy.”
On whom among the other Republican candidates he would consider hiring to work for one of his companies: “A percentage of them, but not all of them. I am not impressed with all of them, but some I am impressed with, frankly. You have some good talent up there and some very smart people and some of them you don’t see that as much during a debate, to be honest with you. But you do have people who are governors and senators and you have some very smart people up there, so we’ll see what happens.”
On the idea that candidate Jeb Bush doesn’t actually want to be the President: “I think he is under a tremendous amount of pressure. I had an expression which I really felt and I talked about a ‘low-energy individual’ and I believe that he is a very low-energy individual. And if you’re dealing with China, these people send in fierce, fierce negotiators, these are fierce people. And we don’t need low energy. I don’t think Rubio is going to make it, to me he is a lightweight and you see that. We need very strong people because our country is being taken away like candy from a baby, that’s what is happening to our country. We need strong people; we need the Tom Brady of negotiators, we need the Tom Brady of dealers. We can’t continue to make horrible, horrible trade deals or stupid deals with Iran where we’re giving them $150 billion. People are tired of it and I think that’s why I’ve resonated, they’re just tired of it.”
On if he would choose any of the competing candidates for the Republican nomination to be his Vice Presidential running mate: “It’s very early and first I want to win. A lot of people, they talk and they talk too much and they talk about who they are going to choose and in the meantime, they don’t win, so I want to focus on winning. It’s too soon, but there could be a potential couple of people up on that stage that I like, because I do like a few of them a lot. There are really some people who I think are pretty terrific people on the stage and that doesn’t mean that I choose one of them. I just want to win it first and then I’ll worry about it, I don’t like people that talk too early.”