This is a rush transcript from "The Five," December 16, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: We have a special guest joining THE FIVE right now. I am honored. The author of "Time to Get Tough," the one and only Donald Trump joins us on the phone from Florida.
Donald, welcome to "The Five."
DONALD TRUMP, AUTHOR, "TIME TO GET TOUGH" (via telephone): Well, I have to admit, you have a great show.
PERINO: Thank you!
TRUMP: You really do.
PERINO: What do you like about it?
TRUMP: I TiVo it and I watch it. I think it's terrific.
PERINO: Well, we are honored to have you. We talk about you quite a bit on here because you've been making some news lately.
TRUMP: I know. And Bob has gotten much nicer over the last month or two.
BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: That's because your lawyer threatened to sue me, Don. I'm only kidding.
TRUMP: Is that true? Wow.
BECKEL: No. I want to get this out of the way because I want to say one very nice thing.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
BECKEL: Well, several nice things -- and then tell you what I really think.
BECKEL: You are one of the best promoters -- I mean you make P.T. Barnum look like a schmuck. And you've done very well and I made mistake saying you had some bankruptcy in your business.
TRUMP: I never did.
BECKEL: I know you never did. And I found that out, so I'm here to apologize for you.
TRUMP: That's OK.
BECKEL: You are developer. You do a lot of things. You're a TV talent. What you ain't, Don, is a politician.
I don't know why they keep seeing you. Do you give them money when they come up?
TRUMP: Well, you know, they do come up but I do represent a lot of people that are tired of seeing what's happening. If you noticed yesterday, a little article that said China is now charging us 22 percent, a tax of 22 percent for us to sell cars and trucks in China. Now, that should have been a front page article. And it wasn't a front page article.
But, Bob, how ridiculous? You know, we talk about free trade and we don't want to disturb. They are charging us now a tax of 22 percent to sell product in China. And they are selling their stuff all over the place. I mean, it's very sad.
BECKEL: It's ridiculous.
TRUMP: But, Bob, I do respect you, but they are laughing at us and they are laughing all the way to the bank.
BECKEL: Don, let me tell you, I have said a long time for a long time, there is nobody more dangerous to the United States than the Chinese.
ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: So, Mr. Trump. It's Andrea Tantaros here.
TRUMP: I know, Andrea.
TANTAROS: Why didn't you run?
TRUMP: Well, I have a thing called a show. It's "The Apprentice." You know about the equal --
TANTAROS: Wait, wait, "The Apprentice" is more important than the issues --
TRUMP: No, it's not. But, you know, I will say this, it is a big prime-time two-hour show. I mean, Clint Eastwood is a friend of mine. What he is doing to reality show, in all fairness, and I have a two-hour show that's the number one show in the 10:00 hour.
TANTAROS: But they also can handle it without you.
TRUMP: I agree. By the way, I'm precluded from running after May 20th. The show ends on May 20th.
TRUMP: And I'm not precluded from running.
BECKEL: As an independent. As an independent, right?
TRUMP: It would have to be as an independent because so much time goes by.
TRUMP: No, I don't believe it.
ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Donald, it's Bolling. Can we get you to weigh in -- I assume you watched the debate last night.
TRUMP: I did. Hi, Eric.
BOLLING: How are you? Could you weigh in? What do you think of the debate? Who do you think did very well? Who do you think kind of hurt their cause?
TRUMP: Well, I thought Huntsman using my name to try to get gravitas was ridiculous. It didn't go over very well. And he's a lightweight.
I think that Ron Paul is really an interesting guy, but kooky, very kooky. And you know, interesting, but, man, he is out there.
I thought that frankly Newt did well. I thought Romney did well. A pretty even, I would say even. I thought the governor did well. I thought that Rick Perry, by far his best, I think, right? I would imagine.
BECKEL: It would be hard to do worse.
TRUMP: Honestly, you cannot do worse than he has done. There's no question about it. So, it was by far his best debate. I thought he did pretty well.
PERINO: Mr. Trump was there a question you would have asked if you had been a part of the debate last night? Was there a you think wasn't asked that you would have like to hear the candidates answer?
TRUMP: Well, Dana, I'll tell you, the thing I don't understand is I've watched all of the debates. I don't hear the word "OPEC." I don't hear it, and they are ripping us like no one has ripped us before, including China. I don't hear the word China to any great extent. And there's nobody is doing a number on us like China.
And between the two of them and other countries, they are staffing our wealth. They're taking wealth away from us like candy from a baby. And unless we're going to do something about OPEC, unless we're going to do something and we can also start drilling oil by the way in our country, that will help with OPEC a lot.
But unless we are going to do something with OPEC, unless we're going to do something with China in particular. You know, this year, China is going to walk away with $350 billion call it profit off the United States, $350 billion. And we can't do that.
And there are many, many countries that are walking away. We don't walk away with profit from anybody. We used to be the king. We're not the king anymore.
And it's never mentioned in the debates. They are sapping our wealth.
And, you know what? I'm a big Medicare guy. I'm a big Social Security guy. I want to keep all those things. That's where Bob and I probably are more alike than anyone else on the panel.
BECKEL: For sure.
TRUMP: And the truth is, we can only do that if we are a wealthy country.
PERINO: I agree with that.
TRUMP: But we are become a poor country because we don't -- we have the worst deal-makers in history of the world making deals for us and we lose money with every country, tens of trillions of dollars.
GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Hey, Donald. This is Gutfeld.
GUTFELD: How are you?
TRUMP: How are you? Good, Greg.
GUTFELD: Excellent. Had a great time last night. Thanks for everything.
TRUMP: Sounds good. I don't know what we did, but it sounds good.
GUTFELD: I don't remember any of it either, frankly. It was that wild.
So, do you feel you have settled the questions of the origins of President Obama's birth certificate?
TRUMP: Well, look, very simple. And, you know, I was on Barbara Walters, as I answer the question, unfortunately, she cut the hell out of my answer and just let the last three words and people don't know what it meant, although I was honored to be on, but, you know, she cut that answer.
She asked me the same thing.
TRUMP: Look, his mother to the best of everybody's knowledge was never in that hospital. OK. The document may have been tampered with according to many, many people. OK.
You got grandmothers and you have people in the family that say he wasn't born in this country. OK.
Forgetting all of that, do I think he was born here? I have no idea.
I personally cannot say one way or the other. I do know that the -- there are no records.
GUTFELD: But, Donald, doesn't --
TRUMP: There are no records. There are no records that the mother was ever in the hospital.
GUTFELD: But, Donald, doesn't that --
TRUMP: With all of that being said, folks, I'd rather focus on the economy and jobs and how to get the country back.
BOLLING: Me, too.
TRUMP: If you ask me, was he born? I really can't tell you.
TANTAROS: So, when are you going to endorse a candidate?
TRUMP: Probably --
TANTAROS: You watch the debate. Who do you like now?
TRUMP: If they do want my endorsement. You know, the greatest thing -- and I'll say this for all of you, I always have to give lots of money to candidates. Now, they don't want my money, they just want my endorsement. I'm very proud of that. I save a lot of money.
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