This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 31, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight: Donald Trump for president. It looks like he might run. A new Harris Internet poll out today says 10 percent of Americans would vote for Mr. Trump, and that ties him with Mitt Romney in the lead for the Republican sweepstakes. But is Donald Trump really up to the job? Here we go.
O'REILLY: All right. Let's start with the big issue in the 2012 presidential race: jobs. Why haven't jobs come back as fast as many people thought they should?
DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL: Because they are going to China. China is taking our jobs. They are making our product, and we have to do something about it and we have to do something about it quickly. They are decimating our country, just as OPEC is decimating our country with their oil prices.
O'REILLY: But how you can compete with Chinese labor, which is much, much less than unionized American labor? I mean, what are you going to make a law that says you can't -- American companies can't manufacture in China? Are you going to make a law?
TRUMP: By getting China not to manipulate their currency. It's very tough for our companies to compete with Chinese countries -- companies because very simply they manipulate their currency. And when you manipulate a currency like they do -- they're professionals at it.
O'REILLY: Well, how are you going to do that? China's going to say we're going to do what we want.
TRUMP: Very simple, Bill: 25 percent tax on China unless they behave. That will do two things really and really three. People will start creating, will create jobs in this country, No. 1. No. 2, China is going to come to the table. It will never even come to that because they can't do it. We are rebuilding China.
O'REILLY: All right, but you're threatening China with a trade war.
TRUMP: I'm not threatening it, no.
O'REILLY: Twenty-five percent tariff, that's big.
TRUMP: Bill, they are threatening us. They are going to make a $300 billion -- let's call it profit -- this year on the United States. $300 billion. And more importantly, not only $300 billion, they are taking our jobs. We have to do something about China. We have to do something about OPEC. We cannot have oil at $105, which is going to go to $150 very soon. We have nobody to speak to these guys. They wouldn't be there except for us. They wouldn't be there.
O'REILLY: Well, what are you going to say to OPEC? You've got to keep your oil at a price that we, the United States want? Again, they're going to say no.
TRUMP: The messenger is the key. If you have the right messenger and they know how to deliver the message.
O'REILLY: What are you going to scare them?
TRUMP: You're going to scare them, absolutely.
O'REILLY: How are you going to scare the sheiks?
TRUMP: Bill, Bill, they wouldn't be there except for us…
O'REILLY: So what are you going to say?
TRUMP: …to protect them. We have soldiers in Saudi Arabia. They don't pay us for anything.
O'REILLY: But unintended consequences of you threatening the Chinese and OPEC. I mean, that's going to have a big blowback on the United States. Now it sounds good to be a tough guy. I'm a tough guy, you know that.
TRUMP: You're a tough guy. You're a tough guy.
O'REILLY: OK. All right. But the blowback, all right, from China and OPEC could really, really harm the country.
TRUMP: The only thing you have to fear is fear itself.
O'REILLY: Oh, FDR.
TRUMP: I'm so surprised -- I'm so surprised at you. Let me tell you something. The mere threat of doing that, they know it's…
O'REILLY: Yes, then why hasn't Obama or Bush done it?
TRUMP: Bill, because they don't have the capacity to do it.
O'REILLY: They're not smart enough to do it?
TRUMP: Maybe they're not smart enough, maybe they're not tough enough, maybe they don't have the right ingredient to do it. And they should absolutely be doing it. The mere putting on a tax on China, you're never going to have to do it because they're going to come to you, they're going to call you and I don't mean where you give them a big party for their president who has been screwing us for years and years at the White House. They're going to call you and say, what do we have to do because we are rebuilding China. You go to China, they're building airports, they're building bridges, they're building cities, bigger than New York City all with our money, mostly with our money.
O'REILLY: All right. GE pays no taxes to the federal government. Did you see my report the other day?
TRUMP: I saw your report. I saw a lot of reports.
O'REILLY: OK, no tax. Zero. Nothing.
TRUMP: Not so good.
O'REILLY: What do you do?
TRUMP: Well, you change the tax code so that…
TRUMP: …people have to pay something. Now, it's interesting that some companies paid 40 percent.
O'REILLY: Well, tell me -- tell me what you would do to make GE and other companies that don't pay anything because they park money offshore.
TRUMP: The problem with the tax code is it's so complicated.
TRUMP: As an example, I have big company. I pay lawyers millions of dollars a year – millions -- over a tax code. I think that you have to simplify it and people should pay…
TRUMP: …a fair amount of tax…
O'REILLY: What's fair?
TRUMP: …without a tax increase. Well, whatever – whatever…
O'REILLY: You want flat tax? What do you want?
TRUMP: But you have companies, some were paying 40 percent, some were paying nothing.
O'REILLY: But tell me what you want?
TRUMP: And by the way, some of the ones that were paying nothing were doing better than the ones paying 40 percent.
O'REILLY: Fine, but if you are president you're not going to be able to do it on rhetoric, you're going to have to say this is a fair tax code. How much should I pay? I make a lot of money, not nearly what you make. But how much should I pay in tax to the federal government? What percentage of my income?
TRUMP: I think we feed a tax system…
O'REILLY: But tell me how much I should pay?
TRUMP: I can't do that…
TRUMP: Bill, Bill, I would like to you pay 100 percent because you have plenty of money and should pay everything.
O'REILLY: OK, I should pay everything.
TRUMP: You should pay everything. Just you, but you should be the only one in the country.
O'REILLY: But don't you see that people are going to want you as a candidate for president to tell them how much they should pay and how much corporations should pay.
TRUMP: You have to look at the deficits and I will tell you…
O'REILLY: It's $14 trillion.
TRUMP: …if I ever decide to run -- it's $14 trillion and it's increasing rapidly.
TRUMP: If I ever decide to run…
TRUMP: …and I may and I will make that decision before June, we're not going to have the kind of problems that we have right now because I won't be taken advantage of by the rest of the world. We are a whipping post for the world.
O'REILLY: I got it. All right.
TRUMP: And Bill…
O'REILLY: But you've got to -- you're going to have to come up with some kind of tax code.
TRUMP: Believe me, there won't be so much tax necessary as there is right now because we are a whipping post. We are being ripped off by the rest of the world to the tune of trillions of dollars. I'm not talking about the old word "billions." I'm talking about the new word "trillions."
O'REILLY: All right. Now, we'll have more of Mr. Trump in a moment, including his bold idea to level the playing field in Iraq and Iran. You do want to see this.
O'REILLY: Continuing now with Donald Trump, who may very well run for president on the Republican side.
TRUMP: I've never said this before. This is the first on your show. Good luck with it. Run with it. In the old days when you had wars, you win, right? You win. To the victor belonged the spoils. So when we go to Iraq, we spend $1.4 trillion so far and thousands of lives are lost, right? And not to mention all the poor guys and gals with one arm and no arm and all the facts, right?
O'REILLY: Absolutely. Right.
TRUMP: And we're going to leave and 15 minutes after we leave, Iran is going to go into Iraq.
O'REILLY: And what do you do to Iran if that happens if you are president?
TRUMP: Nobody is going to have enough heart to want to go back.
O'REILLY: No, no but you are going to be president.
TRUMP: You've got to stay and keep the oil.
O'REILLY: You're going to be -- you're going to be in office, Iran comes in, tries to take the oil. What do you do?
TRUMP: Bill, Bill, you stay and you keep the oil. If Iran is going to take over the oil, we stay and we keep the oil.
O'REILLY: All right. But if they're out of there, which they will be…
TRUMP: Excuse me.
O'REILLY: …in '12 they are going to be out of there. So say you win the presidency.
TRUMP: We shouldn't be out of there. What we should do is take over…
O'REILLY: Shouldn't, wouldn't, Obama is going to pull them.
TRUMP: Bill, Bill.
O'REILLY: There's going to be about 20,000 left.
TRUMP: As sure as you are sitting there, Iran, two minutes after we leave, Iran is going to come in…
O'REILLY: We know that.
TRUMP: …and take over the oil.
O'REILLY: Well, what do you do about it?
TRUMP: You stay and protect the oil and you take the oil and you take whatever is necessary for them and you take what's necessary for us and we pay our self back $1.5 trillion or more. We take care of Britain, we take care of other countries that helped us and we don't be so stupid.
You know, we're the only country and if you look at wars over the years and I study wars, OK? My whole life is a war. You look at wars over the years. A country goes in, they conquer and they stay. We go in, we conquer and then we leave. And we hand it to people that we don't even know. Now, who are the people that are going to be running Iraq? The person that hates the United States the most will be running Iraq. So, in a nutshell, we go in, we take over the second largest oil fields and we stay.
O'REILLY: So you're going to take over the Iraqi…
TRUMP: I don't want to hand -- well, I'm not going to hand it back to Iran. That I can tell you. Don't smile.
O'REILLY: I'm just saying, look…
TRUMP: Listen. That's the problem.
O'REILLY: …if you're going to go with China and you're going to threaten them and then you're going to threaten OPEC.
TRUMP: I'm not threatening China. I'm not threatening China.
O'REILLY: Twenty-five percent…
TRUMP: I'm saying to China that unless you behave, that unless you…
O'REILLY: And then you're going to go into the Iraq oil fields and take them over.
TRUMP: Bill, Bill…
O'REILLY: There's going to be a lot of blowback.
TRUMP: China -- between China -- OPEC is the worst abuser and China is the second worst abuser.
TRUMP: China and OPEC are destroying our country.
O'REILLY: All right. Let's go to Libya. The Libyan action is being explained by President Obama, as you know, as a humanitarian act to stop a slaughter, which we all believe would have happened.
TRUMP: Which is fine.
O'REILLY: OK, do you support it?
TRUMP: I support stopping that kind of a slaughter. The problem is where do you stop? You've got other countries…
TRUMP: …that are doing worse than this guy ever dreamed of. You know the amazing thing about Libya of all? You have France leading the way.
TRUMP: I mean, to me, that's the great, our great French leaders.
O'REILLY: Well they are afraid…
TRUMP: But you know the other amazing thing, the Arab League. You know what the Arab League is? Saudi Arabia and a couple of others of the richest nations in the world. They said we want you to go into Libya. We don't like Qaddafi. Get rid of Qaddafi. Why don't they pay for this? Why aren't they paying?
O'REILLY: I'm with you on that. Let's charge them.
TRUMP: I hear -- what do I know? -- but I hear that the so-called rebels, you know, we make them look like heroes, right? I hear they are very inspired by Iran and by Al Qaeda. So how about we make it possible for them to take over Qaddafi and Libya and then at the end of the whole process they turn out to be worse. And that could happen. Mark my words.
O'REILLY: OK. Iran is trying to get a nuke. Are you going to stop them if you're president?
TRUMP: I wouldn't let them have a nuke.
O'REILLY: Now, how do you stop it?
TRUMP: I would do what I had to do.
O'REILLY: Which is?
TRUMP: They will not have a nuke.
O'REILLY: What do you mean, level them?
TRUMP: I will stop. They will not have a nuke. Look, our weak president that kisses everybody's ass is in more wars than I've ever seen.
TRUMP: Now he's in Libya, he's in Afghanistan, he's in Iraq. Nobody respects us and nobody respects…
O'REILLY: So no -- no nuke for Iran.
TRUMP: And nobody respects our leadership.
O'REILLY: OK, no nuke for Iran.
TRUMP: I mean, why, can I do worse? He's in -- you're talking about me like I'm a warmonger.
O'REILLY: I'm not talking. I'm just asking the questions.
TRUMP: This guy got the Nobel Peace Prize and every time I look he's going into another country.
O'REILLY: All right. Look, this is fascinating to me. I hope you are finding it fascinating. I think Donald Trump is a force in this country. Tomorrow we're going to find out if a guy like Trump can actually slog it out in places like Iowa and New Hampshire. Can you see him with the earmuffs up in New Hampshire in January? Can he do it?
Content and Programming Copyright 2011 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright 2011 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.