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OTR Interviews

Trump: Reality star playing a serious candidate?

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 17, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, no one has ever seen anything like it. Presidential candidate Donald Trump defied just about every single political odd. Well maybe that's because as he would tell you, he's not a politician. Maybe Donald Trump is still a reality TV star.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEB BUSH, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a little strange that a front running candidate would attack the President of the United States who did keep us safe. While he was building a reality TV show.

BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Being president is a serious job. It's not hosting a talk show or a reality show.

BUSH: It's an act of playing a candidate in effect.

OBAMA: I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be president.

DONALD TRUMP, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For him to say that actually is a great compliment, if you want to know the truth.

OBAMA: The reason is because I have a lot of faith in the American people.

TRUMP: You're lucky I didn't ran last time when Romney ran because you would have been a one term president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: So, which is it, reality star or candidate? Someone who knows a little bit about being both, Wisconsin representative and former contestant, MTV's "The Real World" Congressman Sean Duffy goes "On the Record." Good evening, sir.

REP. SEAN DUFFY, R-WIS: Hey, good evening, Greta. Thanks for having me on.

VAN SUSTEREN: I take it you don't have any problem with someone who has appeared in reality shows going on to having a political career, right?

DUFFY: Not at all. Listen, I was the first one who did it but, listen, I think it's a very unique set of circumstances, Greta, where you spend 10 years in Americans living rooms with the number one rated show. Americans feel like they get to know you and I think that has benefited Donald Trump especially at the start of his campaign.

All of you in the media, this is a new personality so, you cover him probably more than other candidates. And so I think he started off with a nice bump but he has taken that bump of reality TV and absolutely run with it. And I think, Greta, what's unique too is I was a former prosecutor and you're a lawyer as well.

We learn how to speak simply with simple phrases and Donald Trump I think doing reality TV figured out you have to talk simply even with complex issues to make them far more relatable over the TV screen, and he's taken that in his campaign. Simple phrases like, Make America Great, build a wall, our government can't negotiate a deal to save their life. It's been impressive.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know what I think is interesting though, I think it's rather elitist of the other candidate to refer t him as a -- so, they look their nose down like he's a reality star. Most Americans -- a lot of Americans like reality TV and they're ignoring the fact that whether you love Donald Trump or not, he's been very successful businessman and they don't say that. They don't talk about his success as a businessman. They sort of look down at him because he was on a reality TN show. But Americans like reality TV and they like the people that are on them, at least some of them.

DUFFY: They love reality TV shows. I thought the most hypocritical though was Barack Obama, I mean a guy who's a community organizer, spent two years in the Senate and becomes president lecturing Donald Trump and other candidates. I mean that's a height of hypocrisy. But Greta, I think what's unique, you think back to Ronald Reagan.

In the 1970's he wrote and delivered this three-minute radio addresses and they played them during drive time. And his handlers or his team looked back on those radio addresses and said this is one of the key platforms that he had when he ran for office in 1980. Donald Trump in a very different but similar way had this reality TV show where he was able to talk to Americans about business and free enterprise that I think Americans have tapped into.

And now the problem is, there is not much meat on the bone of his policies. It's just a lot of pretty language. That's why I'm with Marco Rubio, but I think it's been effective for him.

VAN SUSTEREN: I was just going to ask you who you were for but you gave that up to me. Anyway, Congressman, thank you very much. Go Pack, right?

DUFFY: Go Pack, go Greta. Have a good one.