This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," May 24, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: All right, up against the wall behind the Great Wall, Tim Geithner visiting China today, Geithner telling China’s leaders that we’re working to get our deficit under control here, while China lectures us to do just that there.
So, what is the Donald, who is no fan of China, make of all this? On the phone with us now, Trump Organization CEO Donald Trump, of course, star of "The Apprentice," which had an off-the-charts show last night.
Man, oh, man, that thing had to be a barn burner, huh, Donald?
DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & CEO, TRUMP HOTELS & CASINO RESORTS: Well, the ratings were very good. Everybody is very happy, NBC in particular.
Well, I mean, Bret Michaels winning it certainly tugged at some heartstrings. Did you plan on that?
TRUMP: Well, a lot of people thought I worked it out. But, somehow, he just got very, very sick. He really was very brave, Neil. I mean, most people don’t make it to the hospital when they have that problem.
CAVUTO: You’re right. You’re right.
TRUMP: I mean, they don’t even make it to the hospital. And he was there weeks ago, and he got on the show, amazingly, last night. So, it was quite an evening actually.
CAVUTO: You know, we had had him on when he just started your show. And when I talked to him, I — we realized one thing, that women swoon around him and that everything stopped for him. I mean, presidents and former presidents, I have had on, and they didn’t get the reaction he did.
TRUMP: Well, the women do like him, Neil.
TRUMP: And a lot of people like him. And, in the end, I liked him. So, he won. And it was a great show. It was really fantastic.
CAVUTO: But, Donald, I don’t want to be cynical here, but if he had not had the stroke and some of the other medical issues, would he have won?
TRUMP: Well, it showed something that he actually had shown during the show itself, that he’s a very tough guy in his own way. He’s tough. He’s tenacious. He doesn’t give up.
You know, we had three or four people that almost quit. We had a couple that did quit. They couldn’t go through, because it’s a tough process.
TRUMP: And he just never gave up. So, it really showed loud and clear. And this — this proved it again, Neil.
CAVUTO: Indeed. And...
TRUMP: I’m very happy with the choice.
CAVUTO: And not only that, but it’s certainly, in the vital younger demo, as they say in our biz, he was the guy to win, and he’s a remarkable story.
But, obviously, "Apprentice" now has a new lease on life, not that it was in doubt, but by fine-tuning it and bringing in celebrities and bringing in notables and the like, it’s made it very enhancing. What’s next?
TRUMP: Well, the regular "Apprentice" actually went to the number-one show on television, and it was doing really well.
And we also, though, decided we’re going to switch over to "Celebrity." And I don’t know if this is good or bad, but, because it did so well, NBC next year has just renewed regular "Apprentice" in the fall and then "Celebrity Apprentice" in the spring. So, we are going to have two versions next year.
It’s been an amazing thing. We have had 15 copies of "The Apprentice," and every one of them has failed, actually instantly.
CAVUTO: OK. Yes.
TRUMP: And here we are going into the 10th and 11th seasons. So we’re very happy about that.
CAVUTO: So, I had just launched the "Financial Anchor Apprentice." It was a disaster. So, I gave up on that.
TRUMP: Ah, well, I — you know, I don’t worry about you.
CAVUTO: What can you do?
TRUMP: Your ratings are fantastic. People don’t realize how great your ratings are on this show. I know it.
CAVUTO: That’s right. You’re here. You’re here.
TRUMP: Well, no, but you know what? I never knew much — the word rating didn’t mean anything to me about — until about five years ago, when I started "The Apprentice."
And I can tell you, and I can tell you, the people that are listening, because you don’t talk this way, your ratings are phenomenal. And you won’t say it, but I will.
CAVUTO: And, as you know, I’m very popular with the single females under 25. That’s a whole...
TRUMP: Yes. And, well, that’s the most important group.
CAVUTO: But I’m not one to brag.
Could I ask you this, though, Donald, on "The Apprentice," and before I move to China and all that? Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor...
CAVUTO: ...was it your gut, is it your gut read that the guy is a crook, or not?
TRUMP: It is not my gut read. I don’t say he’s a rocket scientist.
I did not see some of the things — look, over the years, I have known lots of politicians, and some of them are pretty unsavory characters, to put it mildly. And, you know, he had a great amount of courage going on the show. Here’s a guy under indictment, talking about 25 years in jail, tremendous pressure. And he’s out there fighting.
I’m — you know, you and I have both known plenty of people in bad circumstances. And they put their finger in their mouth and go into a corner and say, "Mommy, take me home."
So, you know, he showed a lot of courage in a certain way. And I think his trial is going to be very interesting. It’s going to be a very, very interesting sell. And — and it starts in about 30 days.
CAVUTO: That’s right. That’s right.
TRUMP: So, it’s a — it’s going to be — let’s see what happens.
CAVUTO: I think you have boosted his P.R., Donald. I really do. I think...
TRUMP: Well, I think one thing that has happened is, whether or not people think he’s smart, they think he’s a nice person.
TRUMP: I mean, he really came across — and perhaps he worked that a little bit, but he did...
CAVUTO: He did, indeed.
TRUMP: ...come across as a nice guy.
CAVUTO: Now, you do not have a nice-guy feeling with China, though. At the outset, we talked about how China is demanding all these things of us.
And you argue that Tim Geithner, that our official Washington reaction has been anything that China wants to make them happy; that’s a mistake. Why?
TRUMP: Well, I think China — along with others, but I think China — I always talk about China and OPEC. OPEC is just killing the world, OK?
But China is absolutely taking advantage of this country, Neil, and I feel it very strongly. I know many Chinese people, and I know many Chinese businessmen, and they laugh at the stupidity of our politicians. They can’t believe it.
CAVUTO: So, what would you do? If China were telling you, straighten up and fly right, U.S., get your debt under control, don’t lecture us about our currency, on and on and on, what would a Secretary or a President Donald Trump say and do?
TRUMP: I would tax the hell out of them. I would tax them back to China. I would tax them, because, frankly, you know, they talk about free trade, but they do most of the trading. We don’t.
And, if you want to open a business in China, if you’re American, it’s almost impossible. It’s very hard. So, there’s no free trade. So, they said — you know, the other day, Neil, I’m building a hotel. I’m ordering this large amount of furniture.
Of the seven bidders, six of them were from China. And I think it’s disgusting. I think it’s very, very bad. What I would do is, I would tax them. And then the debt that we have with China would get paid off very quickly and very easily.
CAVUTO: Who was the seventh? Who was the seventh?
TRUMP: An American from North Carolina.
CAVUTO: Who did you go with?
TRUMP: I actually went with the American from North Carolina, and I paid a little bit more.
TRUMP: And it’s — I almost did it as a patriot, because, although I will tell you, I really believe the furniture was better, too. The Chinese product is not as good. And I really believe the furniture was better.
But I went — I do that — whenever I get a chance, that’s what I do. But we ought to tax them. Forget about this free trade nonsense, because you don’t have free trade with China. And we ought to tax them.
And, by the way, the tax — business will slow down a little bit with China, because the tax will slow it down.
CAVUTO: All right.
TRUMP: But they will still do plenty of business. But that tax, that tremendous amount of money that we take in from that tax will more than pay off the kind of money that they’re — you know, it’s an amazing thing.
They take our money, and then they loan it back to us. It’s really amazing, when you think about it.
CAVUTO: That is true.
TRUMP: Nobody can be so stupid as the people representing us.
CAVUTO: All right. Well, remind us how that next trip to Beijing goes.
But, in the meantime, Donald Trump, congratulations. Always good having you on. Be well, Donald Trump.
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