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Donald Trump: America can be greater than ever before

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," October 6, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Now, Donald Trump -- I talked with him this morning at his Manhattan office. One of the amazing things about his dominance in the polls so far is that the billionaire businessman has spent just $2 million on his campaign so far. And that's far less than other campaigns. So he's not running out of money. And he's leading in almost all of the national and state polls. Yet he says the most pressing question he's getting lately from reporters -- what would force him to get out of the race.


BAIER: You're leading by all accounts in almost every poll we see -- big even in early states. And yet, you're starting to get a lot of these questions about when would you consider getting out of the race.

DONALD TRUMP, R, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, Bret, it's very dishonest reporting. I mean basically, they ask me, would you ever get out of the race? Now I'm leading in every poll. I'm saying -- strange question. I said, yes, I guess if I did terribly I would get out of the race, but, you know, I'm not. I'm doing well. And they say Trump maybe will get out of the race -- such dishonest reporting.

So, you know, I give a very simple answer -- I'm not getting out of the race. I'm not going to get out because when I answer that way, like you look at some of the people that are polling right now at zero. And they ask them the question, they say they're never getting out, when you know they're going to be out over the next couple of weeks.

So I think it's just as simple to think, just to say It's simple to say I'm not. I'm not getting out of the race. I'm here. I'm here to stay. I'm going to win it and we're going to make America great again. It's a much simpler answer.

BAIER: Right. You think you have to win Iowa and New Hampshire?

TRUMP: I don't know but I'm leading in both. I think I, you know, might very well be able to do that. I'm certainly leading in both and leading significantly actually in one and I'm going up to Iowa tomorrow.
And we have a packed house as usual and it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm having a lot of fun doing it.

BAIER: I want to ask you some things that you haven't been asked. And that is a challenge because you do a few interviews.

TRUMP: I do, I do.

BAIER: Trans-Pacific Partnership -- the trade deal. You came out on Twitter, "Terrible." Why?

TRUMP: Because we have so many different ways, first of all, the Chinese are going to go into that deal. You know that. I mean this is the back door for China. But they don't talk about currency manipulation the way they should. In fact they didn't even mention it. And then a group came to see me and we actually did an ad saying you have to talk about currency manipulation.

The number one way that we're getting hurt is currency manipulation. China does it brilliantly. Japan does it brilliantly. We don't do it at all because we have people that don't have a clue. They don't know what they're doing. But there's so many different backdoors to that trade agreement.

And basically it's done by the lobbyists. It's done by the special interests for certain companies that want it. But it's not good for our country. We're losing our jobs. We're losing our money. We're losing our base. We're losing everything. These trade deals are negotiated by people that don't know what they're doing.

BAIER: So it doesn't bother you that you're on the same side as Bernie Sanders on this issue?

TRUMP: It's not the same side. If it is, it's fine. We're on the same side for different reasons. I like to trade. He doesn't want to trade. I like to trade, but it's got to be equal or better for us.

Not even, you know -- if you look at the imbalance that we have with Mexico, as an example, everybody always talks about the wall. I'm going to build the wall. And I always say Mexico going is to pay for it and I mean it. Mexico is going to pay. Everyone says that will never happen. Why would they pay?

Let's say the wall is going to cost $7 billion. They were saying $12 billion. Mine will be bigger, better, stronger for half the price, ok. That's the way I do it. But let's say it's $7 billion, we lose in trade imbalance with Mexico, $45 billion a year. In addition to that we give them billions of dollars, forget about what we lose, we also give them in subsidies. And the money they take out of this country -- is unbelievable.

BAIER: The economics of deporting 11 million immigrants, that -- it just doesn't seem to add up for a lot of people.

TRUMP: A lot of them -- you're going to make it so tough -- look, you're going to make it so tough that they're going to leave. Many of them are going to leave. We're going to make it so tough many of them are going to leave. And they're here illegally. We either have a country or we don't.

BAIER: What do you think of eminent domain?

TRUMP: Well, I think eminent domain is wonderful if you're building a highway and you need to build as an example, a highway, and you're going to be blocked by a hold-out or in some cases, it's a hold-out, just so you understand.

Nobody knows this better than I do because I've built a lot of buildings in Manhattan and you'll have 12 sites and you'll get 11 and you'll have the one hold-out and you end up building around them and everything else -- ok. So I know it better than anybody.

I think eminent domain for massive projects, for instance you're going to create thousands of jobs and you have somebody that's in the way and you pay that person far more -- don't forget eminent domain, they get a lot of money. And you need a house in a certain location because you're going to build this massive development that's going to employ thousands of people or you're going to build a factory that without this little house, you can't build the factory. I think eminent domain is fine.

Now the Club for Growth doesn't like it because of me. They came to my office, right upstairs, they said would you give us $1 million to put it in writing.

BAIER: Right. But back to the issue, you said -- in 2005, you said you agree with the Kelo case in the U.S. Supreme Court, 100 percent. And that basically upholds eminent domain.

TRUMP: Eminent domain -- number one, a person has a house and they end up getting much more than the house is ever worth. Eminent domain is not like they take it. These people because they're not very smart people, the Club for Growth people. And actually, I don't want to use the word "extortion", but pretty close. They came up -- they wanted $1 million, they would have been --

BAIER: But other candidates are now using and talking about the issue.

TRUMP: No, but think about it. Think about it. They come up and they ask me for $1 million. I say $1 million for what? I never even heard of the Club for Growth until six months ago.


TRUMP: I mean --

BAIER: But the Club for Growth is -- let's talk eminent domain.

TRUMP: Yes, but this is one of the points I make. They ask for $1 million. I say no, then they come out against me, they take some ads. Ok, big deal -- didn't have any impact at all. But eminent domain was one of their issues. So if you have a road or a highway --

BAIER: I get that.

TRUMP: -- you're going to do it.

BAIER: If you have a factory where you have thousands of jobs and you need eminent domain, it's called economic development.

BAIER: Bernie Sanders, when the decision came out, he said -- he spoke out against the Kelo case. He said the result of this decision will be that working families and poor people will see their property turned over to corporate interests and wealthy developers.

TRUMP: It's not right. It's not right.

Look, they get -- the way they talk people would say it's turned over. It's turned over for four, five, six, ten times sometimes what it's worth. People pay them a fortune. But sometimes you have people that want to hold out just for -- most of the time, I will say. I've done a lot of out parcels -- I call them out parcels -- most of the time they just want money, ok.

It's very rarely that they say I love my house. I love my house. It's the greatest thing. Because these people buy a house now that's five times bigger in a better location. So eminent domain when it comes to jobs, roads, the public good -- I think it's a wonderful thing. I'll be honest with you. And remember, you're not taking property -- you know the way you asked the question. You're paying a fortune for that property. Those people can move two blocks away into a much nicer house.

BAIER: I know but if they don't want to sell.

TRUMP: Well -- look -- I mean --

BAIER: But we can move on. I know what you mean.

TRUMP: I agree. I think it's a great subject -- it's a very interesting subject. I fully understand the conservative approach but I don't think it was explained to most conservatives.

BAIER: You say you would be great on foreign policy in part because you're great at making deals and you're a master dealmaker. What kind of deal would you make with Vladimir Putin when it comes to Ukraine or Syria.

TRUMP: If you look at Syria, he's now hitting ISIS, also, by the way. If somebody wants to hit ISIS, that's ok with me, we owe $19 trillion and, you know what, we're going to get bogged down now in Syria? We just went through Afghanistan -- we're going through it now. Iraq, which is a total disaster -- a total disaster and I said, you and I have had this discussion, we should never go to Iraq.

And I'm the most militaristic person there is. You have to know when to do it. Iraq, we're stopping Iran from taking over -- they were equal strength militarily. And they'd fight and fight and fight and they'd move two feet this way, two feet that way, and then they get tired and then stop for a couple of years.

When we decapitated Iraq, Iran is now taking over the Middle East and Iran is taking over Iraq. I said that would happen. I should get points when people think about voting. I should get points for vision. Because I was the only one that said of all of these people --

BAIER: And fact check -- that is definitely true, we've gone back and looked at all the quotes and you definitely did that.

TRUMP: And you know who else has taken over? ISIS. Because ISIS came out of that, too -- don't forget, ISIS was the disenfranchised people from Iraq. So we got ISIS out of it. That was the dumbest war I mean -- well we've had some pretty dumb ones. Vietnam was right in there, too, right.

But this whole Middle East thing -- so now what happens is Putin is in there. He's going to -- he's going to get quagmired, too. He's going to be stuck in the mud. And my attitude is, he's fighting ISIS. You notice he's hitting ISIS pretty hard today. He's fighting ISIS. You know why he's fighting ISIS?

BAIER: There's a lot of other targets there, too, the Syrian rebels.

TRUMP: Ok. The rebels.

BAIER: Two things, you would negotiate with Putin, you'd have a better relationship?

TRUMP: I would probably have a good relationship with him and maybe not. If I didn't, I'd have somebody that would. My whole life has been making great deals -- that's what I do. Not deals, great deals.

BAIER: Two, you stand by the statement back in '08 and '07 that you would impeach George W. Bush for getting into the Iraq war?

TRUMP: I think he was a disaster. And I think it was one of the worst decisions ever made. He has totally destabilized the Middle East. Had Saddam Hussein still been in charge, you wouldn't have the problems that you have right now. I mean if you had Gadhafi, if you had Saddam Hussein -- look at the migration.

Now they're talking about taking 200,000 people -- you know what that's costing? Billions of dollars -- I saw the other day, they have over a ten-year period. You're talking about billions and billions of dollars.
You're talking about taking 200,000 people. No documentation, we have no idea where they come from. We have no idea who they are and the one thing I notice and I say it to everybody, I look at the migration, they're all young. I mean there's so many young strong men.

BAIER: You said, the U.S. should take some refugees in.

TRUMP: I did.

BAIER: But then you said you would send them back --

TRUMP: No, no. You have to --

They said would you take 3,000? I said I hate to do it because we're like the patsy for the rest of the world, why aren't the Gulf States -- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain -- you know, I mean why are they -- Qatar -- why aren't they taking some people? They're not taking any. Maybe they're smart. They're not taking any. They're not putting up very much money, either. In fact they're putting up almost no money.

What I like is a safe zone built someplace in Syria. I do like that because on a humanitarian basis, it's terrible. But when I look at these people, the migration, to so many young, strong men. We're going to take them? It could be the all-time great -- it probably isn't -- but it could be the all-time great Trojan Horse and they're coming to our country.

BAIER: So what's your number -- what's your number of coming in?

TRUMP: Well, I said, when I heard 3,000 -- don't forget this started a month ago --

BAIER: Right.

TRUMP: And I heard 3,000. I said 3,000 couldn't somebody else do it? But the answer is yes. Then I heard 10,000, ok. They're up now to over 200,000 people they want to take. These are crazy people -- this is insane. Not only militarily, not only from the standpoint of the Trojan Horse -- meaning they come in and they turn out to be the enemy. And we pay for it, right? That's a beauty.

This would be greater than the example of the Trojan Horse. This would blow the Trojan Horse away.

BAIER: We asked people on Twitter if they had a question for you. DT Stevenson says "How would you as commander-in-chief confront Putin if Russia shot down one of our planes?" If Russia shot down a plane, what would you do?

TRUMP: Well, in my case, I don't think that would happen because I would have a fairly different stance than a lot of other people. And I'm more militaristic than all of them. You know me -- I'm more militaristic than all of them. But you've got to know when to do it. We don't want Russia shooting our planes down. We don't want to shoot their planes down.

What are we getting? Syria. What are we getting? We got to rebuild our country. I'm all for protection. I'm all for all of the things. In fact, I actually said because Afghanistan is a little bit of a different situation -- and you're right next to Pakistan and you know there's a lot of different things going on over there. Leave our 5,000 troops there for a while.

BAIER: So you're into that number? They're talking about that --

TRUMP: You have too. Not that I want to. But you really have to leave some troops behind because look, we should have never gone into Iraq. I've said it loud and clear. I was visited by people from the White House asking me to sort of could I be silenced because I seem to get a disproportionate amount of publicity.

I mean I was very strong, you're going to destabilize the Middle East. So that was a Bush mistake. The Obama mistake was taking out the 20,000 troops -- taking out the troops because it's possible that you'd have at least a semblance of stability. Now you can't say -- are we going to stay there forever?

BAIER: Marco Rubio, you sent him a little care package of water and a towel.

TRUMP: It was just in fun. I think he's a nice guy, honestly. I think he's a nice guy. But he started hitting me about two weeks ago. You know, he was doing badly. He's doing fine. But he started hitting me.

I don't know what it is about me. They hit me. Perry hits me. All of them, they all seem to go down. I wish I could sell that. Maybe we should use that in our military. Hit him and they go down. But he did and you know you have to understand, he's very weak on immigration -- very weak.

And the water was just a little joke because he was making a response to the President of the United States on live television and I'm watching and I said -- what just happened? He grabbed the thing of water, container of water and I said that's one I've never seen before. So we were just doing it in fun.

BAIER: Here's what he said today.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Apparently the water is very high-quality water. It's top-notch water that Donald Trump sent us. I want to thank him for the gift.

TRUMP: The water is good. I like him, too.

I mean honestly I wish the Republicans could get together. You have to understand I'm a counterpuncher, I never start it. I think you will say that. I never -- Bush started with me, and I've been very nice to Bush.
But I want to be nice to everybody.

I think it's very important for the Republicans to win -- that they get along. I'm not looking to do this with everybody. I'm not looking to do this. The Republicans have to, I want to get along with Marco, I want to get along with Bush, I want to get along with everybody and whoever wins, wins.

BAIER: You don't want to do center seat. So I thought we'd ask some of the panelists for a couple of questions and bring it to you.


BAIER: A.B. Stoddard, she asks quote, "Does a stunt like delivering water bottles and towels to Senator Rubio because he sweats a lot help your candidacy, help the ultimate GOP nominee win the general election or make America great again?"

TRUMP: I think we're just having fun, honestly. It's really just, A.B. And I respect all the people on your panel, by the way, I have to tell you.

And I'm all for that -- she's fantastic.

BAIER: All right. So here's her question.

TRUMP: I've fallen in love with her.

BAIER: Here's her question.

TRUMP: By the way, there was nobody nastier to Trump than her and now I'm in love with her.

BAIER: I don't know if you will. "You're still at the top of the polls but your lead is beginning to shrink", says Mara. "Do you think the GOP voters are getting tired of you?"

TRUMP: No, I think the press is treating me very unfairly. I mean I really do. If I go down a point, it's like a headline. Like for instance in Florida I have 29 and Bush and Rubio have like 11. And the headline is Bush and Rubio in tie for Florida. I figured I was like a 2.

And then I said wait a minute I'm killing them in Florida and I'm not even in the headline. I think I get treated unfairly by the press. But I think the people that are with me, because I get the biggest crowds, bigger than Bernie Sanders, bigger than anybody -- 35,000 people in Mobile, Alabama; 20,000 on three days' notice in Dallas.

You just said yourself, you saw the other day, a week ago in Oklahoma, I had 20,000 people. I think people get it. I think -- I don't think I'm treated fairly by the press.

BAIER: Charles Krauthammer, who by the way in Canada Casino put his first money on --

TRUMP: I saw that. I couldn't believe it.

BAIER: You see that.

TRUMP: Thank you, Charles. I'm going to make you look good, Charles.
I was so impressed by that, he told everybody.

BAIER: The big debate between liberalism and conservatism is over the size and scope and reach of government. Conservatives want smaller, limited government and many of your proposals would require vastly expanding government's power. Deporting 11 million illegal aliens would be a massive law enforcement action, he says. Putting tariffs on say companies who want to build factories in Mexico an example of big government telling private enterprise what to do.

Aren't you more of a strong government guy rather than a conservative limited government guy?

TRUMP: I'm a strong military guy. We're going to make our military really strong, ok. But I'm a strong military guy. But not for big government -- we can do this with much smaller -- I want regulations off.
I want taxes reduced. If you look at some of the things that's going on -- when you say illegal immigration, you know, we spent almost $300 billion a year, on illegal immigration? $300 billion.

When we clean it up -- and again, a lot of these people are terrific people, they're going to be coming back, but they come back legally. When we clean it up, we're going to make money. That is not going to lose money. That's going to make money.

I have great respect for Charles even though he only speaks well of me about 3 percent of the time. But actually he said a couple of good things and he did put money down on me last time.

BAIER: That's an uptick.

TRUMP: That was a shock.

BAIER: Yes. But small government, big government?

TRUMP: I'm small government and I'm very little regulation. You know the regulations are killing. If you look at small businesses and big businesses -- not even small, big businesses -- but you look at businesses in this country, they are regulated to a point they can't even function any more. No, I am a small government person, but I do want to have a very, very strong military.

BAIER: A lot of people just ask me why are you doing this?

TRUMP: It's a question I do get. Because I do, I have a wonderful thing. I have a great company, I built a great company, great family. Because I want to make America great again. I see what's going wrong. I have wonderful energy. I'm blessed with good genes. My father was very old when he passed away. My mother was very old when she passed away. You know, I just -- it's something that I want to do. I want to make America great again. That's my whole theme. And we can do it.

And it's not even tough. When I straighten out the imbalances with China, with Japan, with Mexico, with Brazil, with -- by the way, everybody, everybody -- you're going to see things happen that will be -- really great. And I really enjoy do it.

The other thing I must tell you, I'm energized by the crowds. I go out to Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina and Tennessee the other day and Dallas and all of these places, I get thousands and thousands of people and it's like a love-fest. So I really enjoy doing it but we're going to make America great again.

BAIER: Last thing, "New York Times" magazine, Mark Lee (inaudible) article. He writes this. "There's a certain prosperity theology aspect to Trump's appeal -- the idea that you follow a minister because he is rich and has his own plane and implicitly and sometimes explicitly promises that you, too, will be rich."

Do you think that is why you're doing well in America that is a celebrity culture?

TRUMP: I've had great success. If I didn't have great success, I wouldn't be able to do this nearly as well. I mean I guess I could be a regular politician, but they haven't had great success. I've had great success. People have seen that over -- that's why I was chosen for "The Apprentice" and lots of other things, which also became very successful.

We have to make our country successful again. We have to make it rich again. You know it sounds a little crass, somebody says oh, that's not so nice to say rich. Well, we have to make our country rich again to become great again.

But there is a little truth to that. I think so. I think people do follow because I have had a great deal of success in my life. And I think if I didn't, maybe you and I wouldn't be talking right now. You know when I say make our country great again I actually think it can be greater than ever before.

With that being said, it has to be done quickly because we're going so fast in the wrong direction that this next election is going to be very, very important.

BAIER: So you're in it to win it?

TRUMP: I'm in it to win it.

BAIER: Thank you for your time.

TRUMP: Thank you.

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