OTR Interviews

Trump: Obama's waging a 'vicious' campaign, Romney and Republicans must 'fight fire with fire' and shouldn't be 'politically correct'

'The Donald' is preparing for a mysterious surprise at the Republican National Convention, sounds off on Biden's 'back in chains' remark and more


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 15, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Donald Trump says the Republicans have to fight fire with fire, Trump calling the presidential campaign vicious, even worse than the 2008 campaign waged against Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Here is Donald Trump.


VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, nice talk to you, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, let me go straight to your Twitter account, and one of your most recent tweets is, "I'm really glad that Mitt Romney no longer says what a nice guy Barack Obama is." Do you want to go beyond 140 characters and tell us what you mean?

TRUMP: I am just so happy about it because for a period of time, Mitt was going out and saying, He's a fine man, he's a wonderful man. And frankly, you know, based on this campaign, on Hillary's campaign, on other campaigns that he's run over the years, it's not so. And I think Mitt sees that.

And I haven't heard him say that. Now, maybe he does, but I haven't heard him say that over the last few weeks, and I'm very happy about that. And so are a lot of other people.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so if he's not a, quote, "fine man," as you say, what is he?

TRUMP: Well, he's somebody who will say some very nasty things. He is a person that is not the nice person that some people think. and his popularity rating, while high, I think if people knew the facts, the rating would actually be extremely low.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you make then, there is a huge gender gap, if you say the people don't necessarily like President Obama the gender gap in the women polls show that the women really do like him, vis-a-vis Governor Ryan?

TRUMP: Maybe they don't know him. Maybe they don't get what is going o. I think this won't be a popularity contest, this is a contest based on jobs. It will get down, that last month, it will get down to jobs. If you look at the $716 billion out of Medicare by the Obama administration, if you look at what is going on, I think when it comes out, it is going to be a lot of things are going to be neutralized, but it will get down to how is the economy, and the answer is not good. And how is unemployment? They say 8.3, but the real number's probably 16 percent and some people could even say 21 percent because that's the real number. The real number is not 8.3 percent. It's 16 and possibly 21 percent, and that's catastrophic.

I think the president -- it will be a close race, but I really think that the president has a problem in the numbers don't improve, and you don't have much time to improve them.

VAN SUSTEREN: When you talk about 16 or 20, you are talk about this underemployed and people who are so disillusioned. One number that correlates is the African-American unemployment rate. If you look at how many African-Americans are looking for jobs and can't get jobs, that compared to the national average of 8.2 is 14.1 percent. What -- how can he win with a 14.1 percent unemployment rate and get that vote?

TRUMP: That's an amazing number. It is much higher than that because you are correlating it to the 8.3 and that's not a correct number either. So the number would be close to 30 percent. That number is just crazy. And almost to a point where you would say, how can somebody, if you are African-American, how you can vote for the man? He's let you down. He has really let you know.

VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of the African-American, I am sure that you know that the gaffe -- actually the campaign is not calling it a gaffe, the Republican campaign is calling it a gaffe of Vice President Biden said to a predominantly African-American community in Virginia, putting you back in chains. And there was some gasps and boos and some cheering. But there has been a left talk about it in the last two hours. What do you think?

TRUMP: I think it's a terrible statement. I think it's something that probably he wished he didn't say. But he was not reprimanded or stopped. They backed him up 100 percent. Look, this is a very vicious campaign that is being waged against Mitt Romney and the Republicans. Vicious. And if the Republicans are not going on fight back and fight with fire -- because if you are not going to fight fire with fire, it is not a very good picture. They are going to have to get very, very tough and be very, very smart, which they are -- and they have to go out there and do it.

If they don't have to be politically correct, they shouldn't be politically correct. I will tell what you, what he said about chains and what other people have said about other things are vicious. Have you never heard language like this. This is worse than Hillary. Hillary was one of the worst, meanest campaigns wage against Hillary Clinton, ever. In fact, they say it was number one in the annals of our country, and this is making it look like baby talk. The Republicans are going to have to be very, very smart and very, very tough.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor Palin last night "On the Record" and Senator John McCain have both said that Vice President Biden, they think that president Obama should find someone else to run with him as vice-president. In fact, Governor Sarah Palin went further and said, if he wanted to win, President Obama should pick Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. What do you think?

TRUMP: I watched the show and I watched Sarah, and I think she's terrific. She is a terrific person. Her husband's a great guy. I was a little surprised she said that because, frankly that, gives people ideas. Maybe it would be an even tougher race. I was a little surprised that she said it. And who knows? But I have a great respect for her. I really think that, you know, she has been a very, very poorly treated person by the media, unfairly treated, really unfairly treated, because I have gotten to know her well and she's a great person.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you think of Congressman Paul Ryan? Is he a good tactically, good addition to the ticket or not?

TRUMP: Well, I will tell you this, he has energized the party. People that were obviously going to vote for Mitt are really now energized and want to do it even more so. That's a great thing. He is obviously bringing some things up that should be brought up and have to be brought up. And people are questioning -- they think it was a pretty bold -- and I think it was. I think it was a pretty bold choice. But I have watched him the last three or four days, the Republican Party is totally energized. So in that sense, I think it's very good.

VAN SUSTEREN: Who is going to win?

TRUMP: I think that Mitt Romney is going to win. I think it's going to be close. I think when it gets down to it, it will be about the economy and jobs. Obviously, the record on jobs and the record on the economy is dismal and I think that the Republicans are going to win and I being that Mitt Romney is going to be your next president.

VAN SUSTEREN: In the swing states, which are the states that that we are looking to see, which are so important to both candidates and tickets. There are at least, Indiana Ohio and Virginia. Unemployment rates below the 8.3 percent. Now, they have Republican governors. But nonetheless, the numbers, I realize, if you are unemployed, you don't care what the number is in your state. But your thoughts on that?

TRUMP: They all have Republican governors and the states are doing much better. Possibly, though, people are not going to be remembering the Republican governor. They are going to maybe, maybe it makes it harder to win those states. But in the end they also see what is happening to the country. They so what China is doing and OPEC is doing and what every country is doing. We don't have a country that we do business with where we are doing well. Everybody takes advantage of the patsy. We are viewed as the patsy. We're viewed as the foolish, stupid, use any word you want to use, a real weak, ineffective group of people and group of leaders.

So I think whether they have low or high unemployment, they look at the country and they see what is happening and I think that the Republican candidate in the name of Mitt Romney is going to win.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, suppose that you couldn't run your business enterprise at all. And suppose that governor Mitt Romney is elected president. You could pick any job in the administration, what do you think Donald Trump would be best suited for and enjoy most?

TRUMP: First of all, I am not looking for a job.

VAN SUSTEREN: I know you are not. What would be intriguing to you?

TRUMP: I think I would be a great job at secretary of commerce because I wouldn't let China rip us off and India and all of these countries that are taking advantage and very intelligently from their standpoint, but not form out standpoint. But I wouldn't let OPEC, I wouldn't let some of these countries that just laugh at our stupidity, they won't be laughing. So I think I would be great as secretary of commerce, if have you to know. But I really love what I am doing. I run a big business. It is doing great. I love what I am doing. But if you asked me that question, secretary of commerce, I would do such a great job.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Donald, thank you. We'll see you at the convention.

TRUMP: Very good, Greta. Thank you.