OTR Interviews

Is Donald Trump a one-man tea party movement?

Phenomena surrounding GOP presidential candidate and the Tea Party movement from a few years ago have much in common


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 11, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, ON THE RECORD is coming to you live from the gorgeous mountain top, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

And in just a short time, presidential candidate Governor Jeb Bush will be delivering his foreign policy speech right here at the Reagan Library. And after that speech, we're going to interview Governor Bush, in an interview you'll see only here ON THE RECORD tomorrow night.

But right now, all eyes still on Donald Trump, the Donald, sitting down with our own Sean Hannity.


DONALD TRUMP, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In China, the great China wall, I mean, you want to talk about a wall, that is a serious wall, OK. That you don't climb over it with a ladder. You don't even go under it, OK?

That wall is 13,000 miles. If you add up everything in the kitchen sink with what we're talking about on our border, it's less than 2,000 miles and a lot of it you don't have to do because you covered it with terrain and you covered with areas that you have already built.


TRUMP: So let's say you're talking about a thousand miles versus 13. Then they say you can't do it. It's peanuts. It's peanuts. And I will get Mexico, whether to tariff or whether they just give us the money.


VAN SUSTEREN: All right, as Donald Trump continue to rev up support for his candidacy, many now comparing his movement to the Tea Party. A Tea Party man, Lieutenant Colonel Allen West goes ON THE RECORD.

Lieutenant Colonel, nice to see you, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: What do you make of Donald Trump? Is he stirring up the Tea Party, or is he not part of the Tea Party. Is that where, though -- is that where the anger is, what we first saw a few years ago back with the Tea Party?

WEST: Well, you have to come to understand once again that Tea Party's stance comes from Tax Enough Already. And it really is a constitutional conservative grassroots movement. So I think that you already have had that angst and that underlying disappointment in the American populace. They continue to see a government that has letting them down.

Look at what the EPA has done out there happened in Colorado and New Mexico. And so when you're talking about government accountability, when you're talking about fiscal responsibility, when you're talking about limited governess which is part of our constitution and individual sovereignty, but you also have to talk about how do we restore the free enterprise and the opportunity economy.

And I think that is what people are looking for and someone is going to have to step up with a strategy, with a plan to get this country back on the right track.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, is only Donald Trump doing that? Because he is getting the numbers. I mean, even in Iowa, the latest Iowa poll, he is still leading there, even post-debate.

WEST: Well, I think one of the interesting things is that you have an credible earned media that has allow him to get the message out there without having to do what a normal candidate has to do, which is go out and try to purchase media.

But still, I think, that we have seen that just after his first debate, there has been a shift in the line-up of the candidates. And we've seen changes in poll numbers.

So once again this is a marathon, it's not a sprint. You're going to have to eventually talk about some of the policies that you're going to put forth. Like tax reform policies, budget reform policies, curtail the spending, the Washington D.C. moving away from baseline budget to a zero-based budget.

And I think that at some point in time, you're going to have to talk about those types of specific. What are we going to do to restore our nation's military, which has been absolutely decimated under the Obama administration? Specifically, what would you do to counter this folly of the Iranian deal?

VAN SUSTEREN: You know I will say this. I know everyone says that he's getting all the media. But, look, we're out in California. We're going to be interviewing Governor Jeb Bush tonight.

We've got -- we know we've got calls in to every candidate, I know every single show. I mean, a lot of these candidates -- if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once to talk, e-mail, she can come here and she can talk about anything else. So he may be getting all the media, but it's available, Colonel. They can have it. You know, every single network is looking for them to talk.

WEST: Well, there is no doubt about it. There is a little bit of sensationalism that goes along with it. If you look at Bernie Sanders and the tens of thousands that he has drawn. It reminds you of the euphoria that you saw surrounding President Obama.

And I just want to make sure that the American people are getting back to fundamental principles, talking about the right type of governing direction and not just getting caught up in another episode of "American Idol" in our electoral process because we cannot have that. We need to make sure that we have a strong statesman, strong leadership because come 2017, this country is going to need someone that can restore our economic security, our energy security and our national security.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, I tell you that the viewers are looking at a live picture. This is in Michigan. This is Donald Trump. His first post-debate public appearance. And he has got a sold-out crowd there. So he's got a crowd there. He talks about -- Colonel, about building this wall in Mexico. What do you think when you hear him say that? He says Mexico is going to pay for it, too.

WEST: Well, that is another thing that you have to look out. How is it going to be funded? But without a doubt, the federal government has a responsibility to secure the United States of America.

And in the constitution, the founding fathers called it repelling invasion. So let's talk about how we make sure that we're spending the money in the right places.

Look, I mean, the federal government should not be spending half a billion dollars of taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood. Maybe that's one of the funding streams that we can redirect to make sure that we do have proper border security.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, but tell me, though, I still do not understand. Why is all the enthusiasm -- I don't blame it on the media. But why is all the enthusiasm for Donald Trump and not some of these other candidates. I mean, some of the candidates have, you know, quite remarkable careers themselves. Many have been governors, have been U.S. senators. Carly Fiorina has run a big corporation, so why Trump?

WEST: Because people are looking for the outsiders. I mean, when you look at the top six now in the polling, you see Donald Trump, you see Ben Carson and you see Carly Fiorina.

People are looking for those folks that are coming from the outside. And you see also Ted Cruz. They are looking for individuals who will stand up against what they see is the political elite class, the status quos and we'll fight back against it.

You know, they're tired of the same business as usual. And so you may be a governor out there that has an impeccable track record. But if you cannot inspire people, if you cannot bring an energy to this game right now and if the American people don't trust you to get into the 1600 Pennsylvania and do as you say you're going to do, then a lot of people are going to look elsewhere.

And so you see a lot of those things that should matter, as it did in 2008 with Barack Obama, who is a newcomer and he said many things and a lot of people got caught up in the euphoria, and they gave him the White House and look what has happened 6-1/2 years later.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, and just to reminder to the viewers, we are going to take part of this event of Donald Trump, live. This event, this sold- out event in Michigan. And just one more response that we're out here in California. We're trying to give everybody equal opportunity. We may be dipping into Donald Trump, but we're out here with Governor Jeb Bush for a long sit-down on foreign policy.

To any of the candidates, they know where to find us. Thank you, Colonel West.

WEST: Thank you so much, Greta. Enjoy California.