OTR Interviews

Trump: If the Wrong Person Wins in 2012, It Could Be Ruinous for Our Country

Donald Trump takes on GOP's upset victory in New York, the Solyndra controversy, the importance of the 2012 election and whether he'll rejoin the race


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: And now to Donald Trump. Why has he been making robo-calls? Donald Trump "On the Record."


VAN SUSTEREN: So your candidate last night in New York won. I bet you're happy about that.

DONALD TRUMP, TRUMP ORGANIZATION (Via Telephone): Well, I am. He's really a good guy, Bob Turner. And he's a terrific guy. And he asked me to do a little work for him. I did a robo. You know, we're in a different world now. We do robos. But it seemed to have had a good effect. And so I'm very happy about that. He won, and he won very easily.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is that a vote for him, against President Obama, against Anthony Weiner, or for a particular issue? How do you see that vote?

TRUMP: Well, I think all of the above. It's first of all a vote for him. He's a very, very quality person, a totally decent human being, and that comes, you know, really loud and clear right through.

It's also a serious vote against Obama and his policies and what he thinks of Israel and lots of other things. I think it's a tremendous referendum and a very negative one on Obama. And I think Weiner is out of the picture. He's been disgraced. He's a disgrace. And hopefully, he won't be heard from again. But I think Weiner probably is out of the picture. But he certainly didn't help the Democratic candidate, that's for sure.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, you mentioned President Obama's policies. I think there's a lot of smoke coming out of a lot of people's ears as more and more is being learned about Solyndra, a company in California that the federal government under the Obama administration and with their pushing leant them $528 million. They have now gone belly up. And the taxpayers are on the hook, or they're not going to get much money back from it. And a White House spokesperson was quoted as saying that it's, quote, "very unfortunate." Your thoughts?

TRUMP: Well, I think it's very embarrassing and maybe beyond that because the head of Solyndra was up at the White House all the time, obviously, friends with Obama and the group. And they gave him $500 million. Now, $500 million for the people like your listeners that might know what that represents, that is just an insane amount of money! That's insane. We're not talking about, you know, a half a million dollars or $2 million, $500 million. That's a half a billion dollars for a company that was no good and was poorly run. It's absolutely outrageous!

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, though, but it says so much more, Donald. I mean, it's, like, you know, after all we've endured in this country with this bad economic time, with the housing collapse that happened during the previous administration, but creating problems now, the idea that $500 million is, like, Oh, well, that's just other people's money, that's just taxpayers' money, it's very unfortunate. You know, I just think it's so outrageous to the people who are living under the poverty level in this country who want jobs, can't get them, and that just gets flushed down the toilet because of some incompetency.

TRUMP: Well, when you think of what that amount of money represents - - and you know, I can see maybe giving somebody a little bit of help or whatever, if it's, you know, whatever kind of energy. Of course, energy, we have so much energy in the ground, if we ever did our own energy, we wouldn't need all this nonsense that they're trying to come up with because, frankly, what we're doing as a country with respect to energy is absolutely crazy.

But when you think of the amount, $500 million, a half a billion dollars, it's absolutely incredible just to think of it!

Now, the head of the company was constantly in and out of the White House! Who goes in and out of the White House? Even if you're doing big deals in this country, You go in to the Department of Treasury, you go here, you go to housing, you go to HUD. But whoever goes back and forth to the White House? It doesn't -- the system doesn't work that way!

So somebody in the White House did something that was at best very stupid, at best. That's at best, very, very stupid. But $500 million, a half a billion dollars, you're talking about serious money.

VAN SUSTEREN: But there's just no end to it! I mean, and -- I mean, all the money that's just getting wasted in this city is absolutely extraordinary! I mean, you know, it's breathtaking!

TRUMP: How about the satchel of $52 million that left from Afghanistan and ended up in Dubai, cash! How about that, OK? That was a year ago. And it's almost forgotten, but that's the one I -- I just keep thinking about it. Who's giving this money out? Where is it going?

So $52 million leaves Afghanistan and ends up in Dubai. Now, this was a story of a year ago. It was reported by a lot of people. And now all of a sudden, it's forgotten about. I want to know, who approves $52 million in cash to go to Afghanistan which ends up in Dubai? Unbelievable!


TRUMP: What's going on is unbelievable, Greta! This country is in such trouble. We have leaders that don't have any clue as to what's happening, or it may be worse. Maybe they do have a clue. That makes it worse.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let me ask you a question about the president's Jobs Act. The report is, is that -- about the $450 billion -- now we've gone from millions to billions of dollars, but $400 billion of it will come from reducing the ability to take charitable deductions. So if you give to charity, you're going to lose that deduction if you're over a certain income level, which many people say will discourage people from giving to charity, whether it's hospitals, people starving, schools or whatever. That's the first thing.

The second thing is an extension of the payroll tax deduction -- to eliminate that, which goes to -- which will have an impact on funny things like Social Security. So how do you sort of play with these numbers? I mean, what does this Jobs Act mean to us?

TRUMP: Well, I can tell you, as far as the charity is concerned, you'll have -- that will totally dry up. You will not have a lot of people giving lots of money to charity. You know, they give it, and they're nice people and they're very charitable people, but when you tell them the deduction is not going to be there, I have a feeling that it's just going to dry up. If not completely, most of it will dry up.

VAN SUSTEREN: So are you saying that the people who are sort of going to pay for the Jobs Act are the people who are the recipient of a lot of charity in this country?

TRUMP: Well, I think so, if you really think of it, because I know many people, including myself, that give a lot of money to charity -- and we take a deduction, and that's a very legitimate deduction. When that dries up, when there's no more deduction, I think it's very unlikely that lots of people are going to be making those big contributions.

VAN SUSTEREN: So who's going to pay for those people, then? Who's going to fund the soup kitchens? Who's going to pay for the schools? Who's going to do the cancer wards at the hospitals?

TRUMP: Maybe nobody because the government doesn't have the money and maybe nobody will do it. And that's very sad because many of the -- not all of the contributions are great contributions. But many of those contributions are great contributions. I mean, I know so much about that. And many of those contributions are great contributions. You take away that deduction, and I personally think it's just going to dry up.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there anything about the president's Jobs Act that you think is a great idea, or is this just stimulus 2.0?

TRUMP: I think you need a much bigger horizon. I think you need a much bigger plan, but not necessarily bigger dollars. I think you have to bring our jobs back from overseas. I think you have to bring our jobs back and our manufacturing jobs, in particular, from places like China. You have to stop factories from moving and leaving New England and going to Mexico and lots of other countries.

And I really view that as the big jobs picture, not what he's talking about because what he's talking is peanuts compared to what China in particular is doing to this country. But you look at China and India and Mexico and so many other countries, they're all taking our jobs. That's the big picture.

And in my opinion, we can never get better unless we solve that picture. We're never going get better. We're never going to have low unemployment. We will never, ever get that number down into the 4s and the 5s and the 3s, where it could be, unless we solve the problem of other countries ripping us off as a nation.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, I can see your discontent. I listen to your words. I hear it, the growing discontent that you seem to have, or maybe it's just the same as you had before, but it's still there -- does that give you a greater itch to run or not?

TRUMP: Well, I just want to see what happens. And it's going to be very interesting. I'm getting to know the candidates very well. They're all coming to meet me because I have a big base. I mean, I have a lot of people that want me to run. And I have a lot of people that I guess respect what I'm saying. Maybe it's what I'm saying or maybe it's the way I say it. Hopefully, it's what I'm saying. But the fact is that I have a lot of people that agree with what I'm saying, and all of the candidates want to have that.

I mean, you see what happened with Bob Turner. It helped Bob Turner. And he was really very generous this morning when he gave me a lot of credit for his victory, and I was very appreciative of that. But we have a big base.

And really, what am I doing? It's common sense. China, India, you look at OPEC, what they're doing in terms of energy, how they're just laughing at us, they money that they're making. You know, their streets are paved in gold and ours are paved with potholes. It's absolutely insane, what's going on with this country. Our leadership is absolutely horrible. And it has to be changed.

And if it's not changed and changed correctly -- you know, I've told you before, Greta, this is the most important election that this country has ever had, other than, you know, a couple of the biggies, Abe Lincoln, George Washington. Let's leave a few of them out. But this is truly one of the very, very critical elections. And if we don't get it right, if we put the wrong candidates up and the wrong person wins, it's going to be potentially ruinous for our country, in my opinion.

VAN SUSTEREN: But are you satisfied -- you -- I mean, knowing you -- are you satisfied to be a power broker on the side talking to people and influencing them or -- or arguing for a different point? Are you satisfied with that, or would you rather be right in the arena?


TRUMP: ... that it gets fixed properly. Whatever it takes to get -- you know, what I -- look, first of all, I love what I'm doing, and you know that. I love what -- I'm doing great jobs. They're working out great. I mean, my -- I would say this. My company has never, ever been anywhere near the level that it's at now, even in a not such a great economy. I mean, what we're doing is amazing. And the success that we've had is amazing over the last number of years in a down economy. So you know, I really like it.

I would be most happy if somebody came along and just did a fantastic job. That would -- including the current president. I would love to see the current president have a phenomenal last year-and-a-half. That would make me very happy.

VAN SUSTEREN: So it's a no?

TRUMP: No, I would just say I'm very happy if somebody could come along and do a great job. If I don't see that happening, I will talk to you again.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Thank you very much, Donald.


VAN SUSTEREN: We'll be watching. And of course, you know, there's a lot going on in the world right now.

TRUMP: There's a lot...

VAN SUSTEREN: Going to be a lot...

TRUMP: There's a lot...

VAN SUSTEREN: So you'll come back.

TRUMP: ... going on. I certainly will. Thanks, Greta.