OTR Interviews

Trump: Republicans Going 'El Foldo' on Debt Ceiling Talks, Are 'Terrible Negotiators'

Donald Trump on why he thinks Republicans are 'terrible negotiators,' why Obama was 'smart to use the Social Security card' in the debt ceiling debate, Casey Anthony case and more


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 13, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Donald Trump is all riled up over the debt talk impasse here in Washington. Why? Well, he's afraid his fellow Republicans are about to cave.


DONALD TRUMP, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: It's hard to believe, but the Republicans look like they're about to fold again. They talk tough, but they don't act tough. It's incredible. Look at what's going on. It's called "El Foldo." They are going to do something with the debt ceiling. They could negotiate so strong. They could negotiate so powerfully right now. They're losing all their chips, just like they did in December!


VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, Donald Trump has coined it "El Foldo." But right now, neither side, Democrats or Republicans, is compromising. We asked Donald Trump what he'd do if he were at the negotiating table.


VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, nice to have you join us again.

TRUMP (Via Telephone): Well, thank you very much.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, I need a definition. I watched your YouTube video today in research for tonight's interview. And the term "El Foldo."

TRUMP: Right. Well, the Republicans are doing another el foldo. They did one during the lame duck session, where they brought Obama, like a phoenix he rose again. He was gone. It was over. And all of a sudden, they just allowed him back into the game.

And now they're doing another one but at a much higher level. This is incredible. They had all of the cards. Now, they haven't made this deal yet, but from all indications, it looks like they're frightened. It looks like they're scared. And it looks like they're just folding.


TRUMP: I have no idea! And they are making Obama look so great. It's just incredible. The fact is the Republicans are terrible negotiators.

One of the things that most bothered me when I was thinking about running and when I was leading in the polls, I would look at some of the decisions these people were making, and I couldn't believe it. You look at what Paul Ryan has done with Medicare, where he wants to knock out and destroy Medicare, whether he is or not, certainly the perception is that he is.

And you see what going on and you say, maybe the Democrats are going to take over the House. It is unbelievable what is going on. And Nancy Pelosi is laughing all the way to the bank. And you notice she is the only one saying I won't touch Medicare. The Republicans could end up, instead of getting more seats in the House they could end up losing the House. They are horrible negotiators.

Paul Ryan, how he got involved, after being in office for 15 seconds after getting his new position, and just the first thing he does is come out with this plan that is absolutely -- he should have waited for Obama to come out.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me get back to the debt ceiling.

TRUMP: The fact is, Greta, they are terrible, terrible, frightened negotiators. And I just can't believe they are doing this.

VAN SUSTEREN: You used a term like "El Foldo," which I thought was an interesting term. But you have said that you have nothing but bad words for them, terrible negotiators in terms of this debt ceiling. Is that at all tempting to you to get into the 2012 because you certainly have a high level of certainty as to how would you do it?

TRUMP: Well, I'm going to see what happens with the Republicans. And I'm going to see was with the economy. It is obviously going to be Obama, so I'm going to see was with the economy. Certainly, things aren't good if you look at the trade pacts we are making and the deals we are making.

And by the way, it's the same mentality -- you look at the deals we make with other countries, it's that same mentality. It's unbelievable what is happening to our nation.

VAN SUSTEREN: What would you do differently in these debt negotiations that the Republicans aren't doing?

TRUMP: I would make a final and conclusive deal. They have all of the strength. And in fact one of the proposals I'm hearing they want to take it over until after the election to get politics uninvolved. The fact is politics what gives the Republicans the power and the strength.

VAN SUSTEREN: Does this make you more likely to want to jump in the game or not?

TRUMP: It is too soon. I love my life. I love what I'm doing.

VAN SUSTEREN: I know you do.


TRUMP: -- "Wall Street Journal" saying that I'm like an intelligent person, get stuff last week and lots of other things. I'm enjoying my life.

I just can't believe when I look at what happened with the lame duck session, which to me was a mini version what is happening now by the Republicans. They allowed Obama to come back. When I look at what happened with the lame duck. When I look at Ryan coming out with a plan, whether he calls it that or not, has an impact on Medicare which means that the Republicans are going to lose virtually every seat just like happened in Buffalo.

When I look at things that are happening -- if the economy continues to be bad, which I think it will, and if the Republicans pick the wrong person, I will absolutely get involved.

VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of the field now, there are two people out there that have a lot of attention. One is Governor Perry of Texas and the other is former governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. Do you see either one of them getting into the race? And would either be a strong contender for the nomination?

TRUMP: Well, I know Sarah Palin, and I think she is a very good person and a very good woman. As you know she came to New York and everything and it was a whole big deal. I think she is a terrific person. I don't know she is going to run. I don't think she is going to run. I'm not sure she has made up her mind. I think she is a terrific person. I met Governor Perry one time, and I was impressed by him. I think Michele Bachmann is doing a very good job thus far. I don't know Romney. I think Michele Bachmann is doing a very good job and we'll see where that goes. But it is early. Right now it is very early.

VAN SUSTEREN: Everyone talks about Governor Romney, a very wealthy man, self-made. Should we think because someone is able to be successful personally, business-wise that the person can create jobs?

TRUMP: I think it helps. It certainly doesn't hurt that somebody made some money. He's not like a super wealthy person, but he made money. And there's something nice about that as opposed to a person who is a stiff and never made anything and then he is supposed to lead the country.

It's very tough. When you've had great accomplishments, when you've done many, many deals and made money, it's tougher than some politician that never did anything and therefore there's nothing to criticize. I think it's wonderful when somebody was out there doing well, fighting hard and made money, it is like a score card. I think it means something, yes.