OTR Interviews

Trump: Everything Obama Does Is a 'Campaign Speech'

Donald Trump sounds off Obama's jobs speech, Quaddafi, OPEC, Iran and the White House's new head economic adviser

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 31, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: This is a "Fox News Alert." President Obama cries uncle, and Speaker Boehner wins this round. In the last few hours, there's been a big stand-off in Washington over the time and place of the president unveiling his jobs plan, the White House just announcing the jobs plan unveiling will not happen Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol at 8:00 PM, as the president wanted, and which is the same time the Republican debate at the Reagan Library.

The president asked the speaker to assemble the Congress for a joint session on Wednesday, but the speaker said Wednesday -- well, that wouldn't work. He suggested Thursday, and that's when the stand-off between them began.

So when is the president going to unveil his jobs plan? Well, there's another slight problem for the president. It's all now set for the following night, for Thursday, September 8th, but that is the opening night of the NFL season. The Super Bowl champion Packers take on the New Orleans Saints. Not, that's not exactly great timing for the president. We're going to have much more on this.

But first, we asked Donald Trump what he thinks.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: They keep playing games, I mean, both sides, not just the president. They just keep playing games. We need jobs. We don't need speeches. He loves making speeches. But I don't think he loves producing jobs. I mean, he hasn't produced the jobs. So I think people are tired of hearing his speeches.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, he's been critical, though, of the gamesmanship on the other side of the aisle, and the Republicans likewise of him. The Republican GOP debate has been scheduled for some time. His request to the speaker just went in today.

TRUMP: Well, I think it's terrible. Look, they could have waited one night or they could have done it the night before. They could have done it during -- instead of vacationing, he could have done it. He could have done it at a lot of different times.

Frankly, he should have brought them back early instead of everybody relaxing over the summer. Our country's in trouble. We don't have jobs. Our jobs are being produced and really had in foreign countries, whether it's China, India, Mexico. And we should really be focused on that. They shouldn't have spent a nice leisurely summer. They should have been working on this.

And now, all of a sudden, they have this one little moment to give a speech and it happens to be the same time as the Republican debate. Look, both sides are playing games, and our country's in trouble. It should stop.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is this a campaign speech, which is what his critics would say, or is this something the American people really need to hear from him in primetime about his jobs?

TRUMP: Well, everything he does is a campaign speech. I mean, this is a campaign speech like so many other things. I think -- and I'm not knocking that. If he has the advantage, he's got the advantage of being the president. So when he speaks -- but everything he says seems to be really tailored to the campaign. We need less speech, more action.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what's the more action?

TRUMP: Well, you've got to stop foreign countries from taking our jobs. That's what it's all about. You've got to stop that. Number two, you've got to stop OPEC from raising the price of oil every single time our economy starts to get a little bit better. You know, our economy essentially can never be good because every time it gets better, OPEC raises the price of oil. I got a memo the other day, I said that on another show, which -- amazing that I do other shows, but I do other shows.

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: ... a little bit we permit.

TRUMP: I actually said that on another show, and a friend wrote me a memo. He has a huge shipping company, one of the biggest in the world. He said, You're right. It's the first time I've ever heard it. You're right. Every time we hear good news about the economy, OPEC raises the price of oil, so it saps all of the energy out of us. And it's just terrible.

SO you have to handle OPEC, and it wouldn't even be tough. And you have to stop jobs from really essentially going to China because they make our products. They manipulate their currency. I mean, what they do to us is -- it's like they're dealing with children. They look at us, they look at our leaders as being children. They are dealing with children.

And you have to stop China. If you look at every country -- you know, even Japan. Somebody said, Oh, Japan, they have trouble. Sure, they have trouble. But for years, they've been making the cars. How many Chevrolets do you think are bought in Japan? I can tell you very few.

So you look at what these countries are doing to us, and the number one culprit, of course, is OPEC. But the real culprit in terms of manufacturing is China.

VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of our economic situation, which, of course, is devastating to many Americans, there's also the question of whether or not -- if we are in such a poor economic situation, whether or not we sort of lose our moral authority or our ability to have great world influence and we become a lesser country in that way in terms of influence. Is that an important issue or not?

TRUMP: I think it's an important issue. We are a lesser country. We're not respected. Our leader is certainly not a respected man, I think, throughout the world. We have a great military, but getting weaker all the time. We want to defund our military. Everybody talks about cutting military. We need our military more than we've ever needed it. You look at what's going on in the world today. We need the strongest military. Everybody wants to cut military. We shouldn't be cutting military, we should be making our military even stronger.

But we've got to spend money on rebuilding our country. We can't continue with Afghanistan, building the bridge...

VAN SUSTEREN: Got a stimulus program? I mean, it sounds like you -- I mean, it sounds like a stimulus program.

TRUMP: We have to rebuild our country. We have to stop rebuilding Iraq, which the day we leave, Iran is going to take over because we're not smart enough to figure out what to do. And I've said it from the beginning. In Iraq, they have the largest oil fields in the world except for Saudi Arabia, OK? We should reimburse ourselves. We should take it!

VAN SUSTEREN: Why didn't we?

TRUMP: Because we don't have intelligent leadership. It's very simple.

VAN SUSTEREN: But we've had -- we had President Bush, who was Republican. We have President Obama, who's a Democrat. Nobody's suggested that we -- you know, we get reimbursed.

TRUMP: You know, it's sort of interesting. When we first went into Iraq, smart people said, Oh, it's for the oil. It's for the oil. It wasn't for the oil. It's amazing. It wasn't for the oil.

The fact is, they have the second largest oil reserves in the world, and these people are going to make a fortune! And you know who's going to make it? Iran, because we've totally knocked out their armies, the Iraqi armies, totally just wiped them out. So there's no more army. So Iran, after hundreds of years of going back and forth, fighting back and forth, equal nations -- they're going to walk in the day we leave, they take over the oil reserves. And I hope you play this back in two years or three years because I will tell you, I never hear it from anyone else.

VAN SUSTEREN: Where is this oil now? I mean, I don't see a lot of money flowing into Iraq from their own oil.

TRUMP: Because they don't know how to take it themselves. I mean, they don't even know how to take it themselves. Look, the minute we leave, that whole thing's going to fall apart.

VAN SUSTEREN: So are you suggesting...

TRUMP: But Iran will take it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Leave now, or wait, or what would you do?

TRUMP: Well, I would take the oil, personally, but of course, some people think that's a very radical solution. Somebody said, Oh, that's a sovereign country. Wouldn't that be a terrible thing? What's a sovereign country?

Look, we spent $1.3 trillion in Iraq. We should at least reimburse ourselves. I would say much more than that, but somebody else would be more modest. We get nothing. What do we get out of it? Tell you what we get out of it. Iran will take over the minute we leave. As sure as you're standing there, Iran will take over the Iraqi oil fields and Iraq as soon as we leave.

VAN SUSTEREN: What would you do about Iran?

TRUMP: I would take a very tough stance on Iran. They're developing nuclear warheads. There's no question about it in my mind, from everything I read. And I would take a very tough stand on Iran. Now, they have no respect for Obama. They have no respect for our leadership. They can do whatever they want. I mean, watch what happens with Libya. Iran is going to take Libya. A lot of the so-called rebels, you know, this glamorous term, they're backed by Iran! So what are we doing?

VAN SUSTEREN: What are we doing? Tell me what we're doing?

TRUMP: We've spent billions of dollars in Libya to get rid of Qaddafi. Let's see if the alternative is going to be worse. Again, when the rebels came in -- I told this to somebody in a common business. The rebels are being decimated, correct? Decimated. This was, like, four, five weeks ago. Decimated! Qaddafi's just going through them like nothing. So they come begging for help. So NATO, which is us, essentially, says, OK, we'll help, and they start dropping missiles all over the place. The rebels didn't have to do too much. They go in -- I mean, these people got just absolutely wiped out by our great missiles and by our great military.

Now, what happens? They go in -- if you would have said three months ago when they came for help, We're going to help you, we want 50 percent of the oil, they would have said, How about 75 percent? You want 75? We'll give you that, too, OK?

We don't ask for anything! So we've spent billions of dollars helping these people to overthrow Qaddafi, we get nothing! Why, when they came to us 90 days ago -- why didn't we say, We're going to help you, we want 50 percent of the oil? You know what they would have said? Thank you very much, we'll take it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why didn't we do that?

TRUMP: Because we're stupid! We don't have the right leaders! We don't have intelligent leadership. We have politicians and we have diplomats, and they add up to nothing! And we could have had that. Just think of it. You're sitting there, you're the president. They want help. You don't even know who they are. A lot of people say they come from Iran, they come from here, they come from all over the place. A lot of people say they fought us in Iraq. These are the rebels.

So they come in -- and look, Qaddafi was a bad guy. I understand Qaddafi. I mean, I had personal experience with Qaddafi, which worked out OK. But the truth is, we don't even know who these people are. So they come for help because they're being wiped out, quickly and effectively wiped out. We say, We're going to help you. We want 50 percent of the oil. You know what they'd say? Absolutely.

Now, if you went to them now and said, We want to take some oil, they'd say, How dare you even suggest that! We're a sovereign nation, because we already did the job. They don't need us. Very soon, they won't need us anymore. Unbelievable stupidity!

VAN SUSTEREN: What was your connection -- or how do you know Gadhafi, or what was the...

TRUMP: Well, Qaddafi paid me a lot of money to pitch a tent on one of my properties, and he never got to use it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Here -- here...

TRUMP: So I took his money. He never got to use it, which I like.

VAN SUSTEREN: Here in the United States for the U.N. or...

TRUMP: In Bedford, New York.

VAN SUSTEREN: Speaking of the -- of Bedford, New York -- and he was here for the U.N. What if the Palestinians seek statehood unilaterally from the U.N.?

TRUMP: You got to protect Israel. We're not protecting Israel properly. And excuse me -- going back to Iran, that's the number one culprit. I mean, they'll all of a sudden have missiles that can wipe out Israel. We are not protecting Israel. We have to protect Israel. It's our only real ally in the Middle East.

I mean, if you look at what happened in Egypt -- look what we did to our wonderful leader of Egypt, who really was at least outwardly -- and you know, whether he loved Israel or not behind the scenes -- let's assume he didn't. But at least he was somewhat of an ally to Israel. He helped Israel.

Look what's going to happen with respect to Egypt and Israel. You can already see it, the level of hatred, the level of animosity that Egypt now has for Israel. Unbelievable. So instead of helping them to keep their power, we make it possible for him to be overthrown.

And now he's sitting in a cage in a courthouse. He'll probably be sentenced to death. And our other allies watch that and they say, What kind of an ally is the United States? Why should we go with the United States, when they look at what happened in Egypt?

VAN SUSTEREN: How do we protect Israel because there is talk about the Palestinians seeking statehood when they go -- when the U.N. meets in September.

TRUMP: Well, you protect Israel by having a country that's respected, and we're not respected.

VAN SUSTEREN: But we don't have much time.

TRUMP: Well, we don't have much time. We need a new president! I mean, we don't have much time. I've said it and I told you once before, the election coming up with President Obama and whoever, is, outside of a couple that were beauties -- Abraham Lincoln, George Washington. Outside of a couple majors, it's the most important election this country ever had. This country is at a tipping point. If it falls off that cliff, it's going to be very, very hard to ever get it back.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Always the questions seem to circle back to the issue of money and economics. The president just chose another economist, not a businessperson, to run the national economic council. What's the difference between appointing a businessperson and economists?

TRUMP: Well, look, he has a choice to appoint whoever he wants. This gentleman is from Princeton, smart guy. He's got certain views and the views are sort of Obama-type views, and that's OK. I mean, that's his prerogative. That's why he -- you know, why he's president, he gets to make that choice. The fact is, our leader has to lead. He has to get the Republicans in line. He has to get the Democrats in line.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you saying it doesn't matter who he appoints, then, because he...

TRUMP: At this point -- at this point, it really doesn't. At this point, what we need is really smart leadership at the top. That position is wonderful, but that position's not the key. The key is the presidency.

We have to get China to stop ripping us. They're going to $make 300 billion-plus on us this year, $300 billion! And manufacture our products and therefore take our jobs. And they do it through manipulation of their currency. We have to get other countries -- we don't make any good deals with anybody! You look at Colombia, the country of Colombia in South America. They made $4 billion on us last year, and now they want to make a better deal. You look at other countries, look at South Korea. We protect them, and they make a fortune! If I want to buy a television set -- in fact, there's one right there. If I want to buy a television set, it's made probably in South Korea.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is it all -- is it all a business deal to you, or is there some level of -- of...

TRUMP: No, it's not about business. Here's what it is. To do what we need to do to save Social Security, to save Medicare, which is a good program, by the way -- there's tremendous fraud, tremendous abuse, but the program itself and the concept of the program is great -- Medicaid -- to save all these things, we have to be a rich country. We're not a rich country anymore. To have a great military, we have to be a rich country. We're a poor country. We're a debtor nation.

So it's not about business. But it is about making our country great again. And if we don't make our country great and if we don't make our country rich again, we can't have a great military. I mean, you see where China's now making their own aircraft carriers and they're making all sorts of military weaponry. This was unthinkable!

So you have to be respected as a country, and that starts with the leadership. So when people say, Oh, but it's not about business -- it's not about business. But we cannot let the world rip us off. And they're doing that economically. And we cannot have the great Medicare, the great Medicaid, Social Security, all of these programs, and an unbelievably great military, which we must have, unless we are a rich country again. We can't be rich if the entire world is eating our carcass.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you given up on President Obama? I mean, not that you were necessarily a big supporter from the beginning on him, but you know, every time we get a new president, we all have great hopes for a president to be successful. Have you given up on the thought that he can become the leader you want him to be?

TRUMP: Well, when he won the election, he won. So we're going to have him as -- I was saying, Go out there and get it. And you know the funny thing about President Obama? I thought he was going to be a great cheerleader. I really did. I thought the one thing he really had going -- I thought he was going to root -- like a great football coach. I thought he was going to get this country back and just root them on. And whether the decisions are right or wrong, I really thought that this country would have spirit.

This country's never had less spirit. As an example, he goes away on vacation -- not so bad to take vacations. I don't like to take a lot of vacations. Don't like to take vacations. But not bad to take vacations. But it was a mistake to go there and spend that much time.

And the only thing that shook him out of the vacation was the hurricane. He had to leave! To spend that much time taking a vacation when we really have a 21 percent jobless factor -- it's not 9.1 percent, the real number is, as you know, 21 percent or something in that neighborhood. He shouldn't have been there, and he shouldn't have taken that long a vacation. I thought the one thing he was going to do is spirit, the spirit of this country. And he doesn't do it!

VAN SUSTEREN: Could he still do it, or have you sort of closed the door and you're, like, to the point of, Well, who's next?

TRUMP: I guess he could still do it. Hey, look, he's got time left. I'd love to see him do it. I'd be very happy. Hey, look, the Republicans, nothing -- I'm not seeing a lot in terms of...

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you talked to Governor Perry?

TRUMP: I speak to Governor Perry. I speak to Governor Romney, I speak to Michele Bachmann. Yesterday, she called. They're all terrific people, but it's a long time before the election. In the meantime, a lot of bad decisions are being made by the Republicans in terms of -- this committee, this super-committee is an insane idea. It's never going to work. It's a total disaster. There are only political people basically put in there and they're put in there to do a job.

Why couldn't they have just come to a conclusion and cut $4 trillion to $5 trillion at the beginning and solved this problem? Then you wouldn't have had the S&P fiasco. And I'm not a big fan of S&P, by the way. But nevertheless, if you've got over $4 trillion -- if you've got over $4 trillion, they would have probably not come out with a negative rating, which would have been nice if they didn't. They shouldn't have anyway. But it would have been nice if they didn't.

So when I see what's going on in this country -- the world is laughing. They're laughing at our country and they're laughing at our leadership, and it's too bad.

VAN SUSTEREN: One last question. How much did you get for that tent that Gadhafi never occupied here in the United States?

TRUMP: Well, he paid me a lot of money for one night.

VAN SUSTEREN: Remember how much? Remember how much it was?

TRUMP: It was a big story at the time, if you remember. And I was very proud because he never got to occupy it. So I took his money and he never got the use of it.

VAN SUSTEREN: How much?

TRUMP: I don't want to say, but a lot.

VAN SUSTEREN: More than $100,000?

TRUMP: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: More than $200,000?

TRUMP: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: More than $300,000?

TRUMP: A lot of money for one night, but I won't go into -- let's put it this way...

VAN SUSTEREN: Did the tent come with it?

TRUMP: Let's put it this way...

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you pay for the tent?

TRUMP: No, he brought his own tent.

VAN SUSTEREN: So it's just the space.

TRUMP: He wanted to show the world that he lives in a tent, but it turned out he didn't live in tents too often.

(END VIDEOTAPE)