OTR Interviews

Trump to Romney: You've got to 'fight fire with fire' with Pres. Obama

'The Donald' gives Romney advice in combating Pres. Obama's 'dirty' campaign, hints at a 'very major' role at GOP convention and more


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 7, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Right now, Donald Trump. He wants to know if President Obama's hiding something. What is it this time? Plus, Donald Trump is planning to do something very, very major at the Republican national convention.

Here is Donald Trump.


VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, nice to talk to you.


VAN SUSTEREN: So Donald, the Republican convention's coming up. Are you going? That's the first question. Secondly, if you are, do you intend to be speaking to the audience

TRUMP: Well, they want me to go. And I'm going to be in Sarasota the night before, where I'm being honored by the Republican Party in Florida as the statesman of the year. And that will be very interesting and I look forward to that. And I probably will be going, but they do want me to go, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: How about speak? Have you been asked to speak?

TRUMP: I'd rather not say that yet, but they do want me to do something very major at the convention.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, something very major. Now you've have certainly teased us. What's the very major? Can you give us a hint?

TRUMP: I can't. I'm not allowed to say, but it's something very, very major.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. The nominee of the Republican Party, Governor Romney, has not yet named a vice president. We're getting down to the wire. I'm curious whether or not you think -- not who would you necessarily like to see so much, but what would be the politically most shrewd choice, if he wants to get elected in November?

TRUMP: Well, I do think he should get somebody that's going to help him get one of the swing states. So if you look at the different people -- you know, you have Florida, Rubio -- excellent. You have Chris Christie, excellent. He's an excellent guy and a friend of mine, but an excellent guy, done a great job as governor of New Jersey. Portman -- you know, we need to get Ohio. We need to get other states.

So I do think -- and by the way, Bob McDonnell in Virginia is a fantastic guy and doing an amazing job as governor. I have a lot of property in Virginia. He's done an amazing job as governor.

So those are great names, and I think that those names can help swing a certain state. All of those states are very important.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I've been looking at the numbers of those states you've identified. But a recent number has caught my attention, and that's the women vote. And something has happened in the month that's quite extraordinary, is that in July, the beginning of July, President Obama was up with the women vote by 8 points over Governor Romney. Now, one month later, President Obama has widened that margin and he's up 19 points with the women vote over Governor Romney. Governor Romney has lost a lot of ground in the last month.

I'm curious, in light of that, should the governor be looking very -- very strongly in the direction of choosing a woman?

TRUMP: Well, I'm surprised to hear those numbers. I think that he's been, you know, an amazing campaigner. I think he's done really well. And his real campaign hasn't come out. I think that'll really start to happen after the convention.

But I am very surprised to see those numbers, actually shocked. And I don't know if those numbers are real. I don't think they're meaningful because I would be very, very surprised if those numbers were real.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, the numbers are fluid. That's one month, so this month -- and you know, things do change. But I thought it was extraordinary, at least that poll.

All right, the controversy with Senator Harry Reid and the tax returns. Should Governor Romney -- I mean, tell me your view on it first.

TRUMP: Well, I think it's a very strong statement that Harry made. And I've known Harry and I like Harry. But I think it's a statement that he probably wished he didn't make. I don't think there was a source. A lot of people don't think there was a source. If there was a source, it's probably not allowed and it's probably not even legal. I mean, who would be able to do that? Who would be allowed to do that? I don't think there is a source.

So he made a statement. It was a very strong statement. I think that, frankly, and you -- I've said it many times and I'll continue to say it, that what Governor Romney should do, in my opinion -- and he's a very different person and he's got a different attitude, and I understand that - - is say, I will give my tax returns if you open up your records because as you know, President Obama spent over $4 million trying to hide so many different things from his past, whether it's college applications, college records, passport records.

And you know, nobody brings this up! Nobody says, Open up your passport records. Open up your college applications. Open up your college records. Let's see your life. And nobody brings this up.

By the way, most presidents have given their college records. All presidents have given, to the best of my knowledge, their passport records. So why is he spending $4 million on trying to keep them secret?

So I would say, I will open up my tax returns -- and his tax returns are perfect. But I would open up my tax returns, but we want to see your records. I think they should place the shoe on the other foot. And I would think that you would probably not hear any more talk, frankly, about the tax returns, which are 100 percent according to Hoyle.

VAN SUSTEREN: If -- I thought that the birth issue had been put to rest with you to your satisfaction. Most Americans, it is, that people are satisfied...

TRUMP: I disagree with that. I don't think people are satisfied at all. And it doesn't matter. And that's not my big issue. My big issue are jobs and the fact that we have 8.3 unemployment now. It just went up, as you know, last month, 8.3 percent unemployment, and that's terrible. But the real number is 16 percent because so many people aren't included in the unemployment rolls that should be.

And the real, real number's probably 21 percent unemployment. So when you look at the kind of jobs that we are doing, that's my issue. But no, have I been satisfied? No, I have not been satisfied.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let me -- what would you expect to find on the college records? I'm curious what you're looking for there.

TRUMP: I don't want to get into it. I want to get into the fact that jobs -- you asked me a question and I responded. That's what I would say. I would say when he wants tax returns, we want to see, Why are you spending $4 million on trying to keep things in hiding?

So I would say that would be my response. And I think it's a very good response. And by the way, if you did that and did that strongly, people would stop asking for the tax returns.

Now, the problem with him giving the tax returns is that he had a very significant success. He is a very significantly successful person. And the tax returns are complicated, done by big firms, highly respected firms and highly respected lawyers who sign off.

Now, you can take any one of hundreds and hundreds and probably even thousands of lines and find one little thing and try and make a big deal out of it. And that's very, very unfair. So I understand exactly what Mitt is doing. He thinks it's unfair, and I know it's unfair.

Now, Obama, who's made nothing, has very simple tax returns. So it's easy for him to say, I'm giving my tax returns. But it's not easy for Mitt Romney to do that. But it's a great trade, and that's what I would do, if I were him, but he and I are very different people.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, in order for that to be a good trade, the tax returns for the college records, I mean, there's got to be something that you think -- you know, some use of the college records. And I'm still baffled what you would expect to see in the college records. What do you want, his grades or...

TRUMP: No, no. I'd love to see his college records, just like I'd like to see lots of other things. I'd like to see his passport records. And by the way, I hope they're 100 percent OK. As an American and as a good American and somebody that loves this country, I hope they're 100 percent OK. But I'm trying to figure out why would somebody spend $4 million to try and keep those records silenced?

VAN SUSTEREN: Where did you get the $4 million number? I mean, there's so much going on...

TRUMP: That was reported. That was reported.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, it's, like -- I got to -- I have to tell you that I'm somewhat perplexed in the city. People report all sorts of things. We've got Senator Harry Reid claiming things with unnamed sources. Now we got $4 million. I mean, we really -- you know, in this city, we have a hard time sort of nailing down, you know, the facts and the sources.

TRUMP: Well, that was a reported number, and I think it's pretty well documented that he spent a fortune on lawyers to try and keep things secret. So I don't know how he can keep things secret, but Governor Romney is not supposed to keep things secret. So I think it's very unfair. I think it's a very, very bad double standard.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, suppose that President Obama got a C in history in college. Does that make any different at all at this late date? I understand -- the tax returns are recent history, but the president -- he's a 51-year-old man. And his college records -- I'm still perplexed on that one.

TRUMP: No, I don't think it would. And I'm not necessarily looking at the marks. I'm looking at other things also. And that would be what I would like to see. But again, the Romney group, they're going to have to make that determination for themselves.

I think it's been a very dirty campaign. It was a very dirty campaign waged against Hillary by Obama. And if you look at Obama's campaigning, it's extremely dirty against everybody that's ever run against him.

And I think the Republicans had better be careful because what's happening to them is the same thing that's happening to other candidates that ran against Obama. It's a very dirty campaign. And Hillary Clinton - - you know, I've read recently where they consider Hillary to be one -- it was one of the meanest campaigns ever run against her.

Well, so far, I think this one is even meaner. So we'll see what happens. But sometimes -- the expression is, you have to fight fire with fire. And if he doesn't fight fire with fire, it's going to be not so easy.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you -- what -- how -- how is it going to be -- what's the fire back on President Obama on this?

TRUMP: Well, I just think you have to be extremely aggressive. And I think they will be. But you know, they're going to have a convention, and the convention, I believe, is going to be very, very successful. There's a lot of spirit for Mitt Romney. And I think he's going to be really a good candidate and really a really good president.

Now, I have to say this. If you remember back, the biggest problem he had was going into Florida. And I always talk about because I'm a big sports person, and I always talk about people react under pressure. Some people can react well under pressure and some people can't.

Mitt Romney went to Florida under great pressure, unbelievable pressure. He had to win Florida, and it wasn't looking good. He had two debates. He won both debates. He did brilliantly in both debates. He then won the state of Florida in a very, very large number.

I think it's going to be very interesting, but I believe Mitt Romney is somebody that reacts very well under pressure. There aren't too many of these people around.

VAN SUSTEREN: We only have a minute left. It is reported that we have as many as 14,000 government buildings that are empty in this country and have cost us a fortune just sitting there. I know that you recently cut -- worked out some deal with the old post office here in D.C. -- 14,000 buildings. Do you have some advice for the federal government, business advice what to do with the 14,000 buildings?

TRUMP: Well, you know, real estate is my primary thing in life. I love real estate. And I would say certainly that they could be auctioned off. You'll see if they're good. If they're not good, perhaps you can't auction them off.

But this is a time when buying real estate is a good thing. You can buy real estate. People would like to buy real estate. And certainly, auctioning them off or hiring good brokers to sell them would not be a bad idea.

Now, also, it could be that the government needs those buildings. Now, if they need the buildings, you can't do that. But if they're sitting empty and unnecessary, probably the auction process would not be a bad one.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm curious whether there are some sort of regulations or impediments because that would seem like the smartest thing to do, is that we have 14,000 buildings, let's unload them quickly. And even, you know, if we have to take 70 cents on a dollar or something, or whatever, it would make sense, rather than have the 14,000 buildings sit there.

TRUMP: Well, it's possible there are regulations. I mean, there's regulations for everything in this country, and that's part of the problem the country has. But certainly, if they're empty and doing nothing, I would say auctioning them off would be very much an interesting thing. And I would be at the auction.

VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, thank you. And if you're at the convention, will you join us "On the Record"?

TRUMP: I certainly will.

VAN SUSTEREN: Great. Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: You're booked. Thank you. Thank you, Donald.


VAN SUSTEREN: Now, during our interview, Donald Trump said President Obama spent $4 million to keep his records secret. Now, we did try to confirm his claim, but we were unable to.