This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 25, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Did you hear what Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, said? Does she want her father, Donald, to reconsider and run for president? Find out. Here's Donald Trump.
VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, nice to talk to you.
DONALD TRUMP, TRUMP ORGANIZATION (Via Telephone): Hello, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: So Donald, I want to read two things to you. First from Hollywoodlife.com. This is your daughter, in which she says -- and this is Ivanka. She says, "He hasn't decided" -- meaning you -- "to run yet, but I hope he would. I do think he'd make a good president. I think he'd be phenomenal."
Now, that's followed by a tweet from you in which it says, "My daughter Ivanka thinks I should run for president. Maybe I should listen."
Is the door open?
TRUMP: Well, Ivanka is very outstanding, and it's nice to know that she loves her father. But you know, it would be nice if we had some candidates that could get out there and compete fairly with each other. Ultimately, one will win, but don't destroy each other. I mean, they're just absolutely destroying each other.
VAN SUSTEREN: But you say...
TRUMP: ... beneficiary's going to be Obama.
VAN SUSTEREN: But you say, "Maybe I should listen." And what does that mean?
TRUMP: Well, a lot of people want me to run. I mean, I'm getting it all the time. You saw the poll that came out recently where it said I was the number one independent candidate. I am concerned, if I run as an independent, that I'll take a lot of votes away from the Republicans and Obama will walk in. So that does concern me a lot.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are we a little bit farther down the road towards considering running than the last time we spoke, or not?
TRUMP: Well, we are. As you know, I can't run during the course of the show. The laws prohibit it, which is I think very unfair, the equal time laws. And they make it impossible to run during the show, which goes on right after the Super Bowl, "The Apprentice." And so, you know, I really don't have a choice for a period of about 13 weeks. I just have no choice. But let's see what happens.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so you don't have a decision and you...
TRUMP: Well, I'm not allowed to make that decision.
VAN SUSTEREN: And I understand you're not allowed to make that decision. Is it fair to say, though, that you're leaning in one direction? I know you haven't made the decision and you can't make the decision, but how about just leaning?
TRUMP: Well, let's not even use the word "leaning." I'm very, very disappointed in what's happening to this country. I'm very, very disappointed that the Republicans are just absolutely killing each other.
And you know, somebody can say, Oh, gee, that's good because it keeps them in the press, it keeps them in the news. Last year, it was over -- last time, it was over fairly early. And John McCain, who's a wonderful guy, but nobody talked about him for a long time and Obama ended up winning. So you know, maybe it's a positive, but I don't think so. I think they're really doing destruction to the Republican Party. I think it's very, very bad.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so I can't get a word from -- I mean, sort of a hint...
TRUMP: I mean, I'd love to tell you, but during the course of the show, unfortunately, I'm not allowed to announce anything. So I guess I can't.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. OK. Now, the other thing is, is that the president said last night in the State of the Union that he is getting tough on China.
TRUMP: Yes. Right.
VAN SUSTEREN: I certainly know that -- well, OK, that's what I was going to say...
TRUMP: It's a joke.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... do you buy that?
TRUMP: That's a joke. I heard that, and I just laughed to myself because China is laughing along with me. They can't believe what they're getting away with. And he's saying that because now people are understanding before him that China is just walking away with this country.
And you know, say what you want about a lot of companies. I'm a big Steve Jobs fan. He was a guy that I had a lot of respect for. I met a number of times and liked him. But it would be so much better if they made their product here. That would be the real success for Apple, if they could make their product, or at least some of it, in this country.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, you say it's a joke. Are you saying that the president isn't serious about it? Do you think he's new to the thought? Do you think he's sincere about trying?
TRUMP: I don't think he knows. I don't think he -- I think he's way over his head. I don't think he knows what's happening. And this is the first time I've heard this kind of a statement from him. I think he's been listening to me probably on your show. It's the first time he's -- I've been saying this for three years. And now, all of a sudden, he comes out with this stuff.
In fact, I was -- I was absolutely shocked when I heard him all of a sudden make this strong statement about China because he hasn't been making them at all. But what is he doing? He's doing nothing. That's the problem. His speech was all rhetorical. It was just words. And it was very boring.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there -- besides being very boring, in your words, is there anything he said that you thought, Aha, he's really going to do that. That's a great idea.
TRUMP: Well, the great thing would have been what he said about China, but he's not going to follow through because he doesn't follow through. But the great thing he said and the best thing he said was his stance on China. I loved that! Unfortunately, he's not going to do anything about it.
His ambassador and his representative -- I've dealt with that man. It's pathetic. I mean, it's absolutely pathetic. I've had dealings with him and it's absolutely pathetic. They are so afraid of China, it's like I've never seen anything like it. So he won't do anything. It's just words.
And the problem with his speech, it's the same words over and over again. And you know, you're almost wasting time because nothing will happen. But I did like what he said about China. Unfortunately, he won't follow through.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, if you had to vote today for president, and you said -- and if you're going to vote Republican, is it going to be Governor Romney, Speaker Gingrich, Senator Santorum or Congressman Ron Paul, and why? Today.
TRUMP: Well, I'm not going to say, but I will tell you it's probably at some point I'm going to have make a decision. And they do want me -- they do want my endorsement. At least three of them do. I can tell you that. Big league.
VAN SUSTEREN: But there must be -- there must be one of them that is sort of, you know -- you know, spiking your interest a little bit, something that's going on, something he said, something in the past couple days. I mean, everyone's watching this very closely, and I know you are.
TRUMP: Well, they are, and I'm watching it very closely. And I think there are certain real positives for Romney and there are real positives for Gingrich. And there are some negatives. I think, as an example, that Governor Romney should be more proud of the American dream. It's like he's trying to hide something and there's nothing to hide with being successful.
And Newt has done a very good job, in many ways. And you know, I like both men very much. I've gotten to know them very well. And you know, at some point, I'm probably going to make a decision.
VAN SUSTEREN: Who do you think is going to win Florida? Because you have a home in Florida, spend a lot of time in Florida.
TRUMP: I do.
VAN SUSTEREN: You have sort of a sense of who you think is going to prevail.
TRUMP: Well, look, you see what's happened with the polls. I mean, two weeks ago, Mitt was way, way up, and now it looks like he's down in the polls. And that's tremendous momentum. But this whole thing is all about momentum. And it's never been like this before, Greta. There's never been a race like this before. From one week to another, people go up 25 points in one week. Nobody's ever heard of a thing like this. And it has to do with momentum. And when Newt won South Carolina, that was tremendous momentum, and he won it big. And it seems to be carrying over to Florida.
VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, thank you, as always. Thank you very much.
TRUMP: Thank you very much, Greta.