This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, September 11, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: One of the things you want to think about when you look at this site behind me, here, is the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, a lot of the different thoughts back and forth as to whether it should be a memorial, as former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani wanted, whether it should be a mix of corporate offices and a memorial as present Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants. It is a big financial question. So we thought we'd go ahead and pick the brain of probably the biggest developer not only in New York, but maybe in the country, Donald Trump, he joins us out of our New York studios.
Donald, good to have you, thanks for being here.
DONALD TRUMP, PRES., TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Hi, Neil, how are you?
CAVUTO: Let's talk a little bit about what's behind me. What do you think ultimately happens there?
TRUMP: Well, so far it has been disappointing in what they've been looking to develop. I think you really have to go big. You have to go beautiful. You have to go majestic. And they haven't done that at this point. But, obviously, also a very big component or maybe the biggest should be the memorial. We have to do a great memorial to those people that have died and those people that have been so badly maimed and injured. It is just a travesty.
CAVUTO: Donald, former Mayor Giuliani says you shouldn't do both. It should just be a grand memorial, leave it at that. What do you think?
TRUMP: Well, I love Rudy, he's a great friend of mine, he was a great mayor, but I really think that if you don't put commerce back, you have really given in to the enemy to a certain extent. You have to create the jobs. You have to create an incredible monument to the people that have lost their lives and beyond losing the lives. You can do a really great and important monument, Neil.
CAVUTO: Donald, after the collapse of the towers, you were one of the first developers who said, maybe we shouldn't go as tall, maybe don't build as many tall buildings. What do you think the mood is now?
TRUMP: Well, I think the mood is probably that way. But I'm also a believer that tall is beautiful, and tall is majestic. And I don't think if you don't go as tall or even taller that you can ever create what you had on the World Trade Center. The World Trade Center was never considered great architecture until the day it died, until the day it fell. And now all of us, including me, I never considered it to be great architecture, and now I look and I say, gee, there's something so incredible missing. I have a window that looked out over the World Trade Center. And I was never a huge fan and now I say, boy, I miss it. It was incredible. You see the old pictures of it. And when my kids grow up and when my grandchildren grow up, they are going to look and they're going to say, dad, how come, and grandfather, how come you used to have these beautiful, big, tall buildings and now you have 50-story buildings that sort of just blend in with everything else and it is ho-hum? You can't replace a 110-story building with a 50-story building in my opinion.
CAVUTO: How about four 50-story buildings? One of the proposals has been that instead of these 200-plus towers, you get four 50-story buildings, a memorial in the middle, something like that.
TRUMP: It will never be as dramatic. It just won't happen, you just can't do it. It will be fine. It will be perhaps acceptable. But it will never be the World Trade Center. It will never be what we had. And I am not saying that you should do it and maybe it is too soon to do that. It almost becomes an automatic target, somebody has to occupy the building. But it will never be the same thing.
CAVUTO: Let me get your take on the New York economy. You were very bullish about the New York economy, you said shortly after the collapse of the towers last year when I spoke with you, only about 24 hours later, that New York would rebuild and the resourcefulness of New Yorkers would be proven. Has it?
TRUMP: It's been amazing. I think that people now like New Yorkers. Perhaps the first time in my life people are coming up and saying they love New York, they love New Yorkers, because we really took a hit for the free world. And I am in a lot of other cities, as you know, Neil. And I see it and I love the other cities, and they're fine, but they are not New York. It's just different place, there's an energy here that you just can't duplicate. There's a vibrance. Even people from other cities come here and they become more vibrant people. What has happened with the World Trade Center is certainly the greatest catastrophe in my opinion in our history and the country's history, bigger than Pearl Harbor. At least in Pearl Harbor, it was a total sneak attack, but there were guns, we had guns to shoot back, et cetera, et cetera. Here's secretaries and business people and it's just terrible. But you know, I just think that what New York has done has been a miracle. And I have to tell you, the firemen, the policemen, the Port Authority, incredible. But what the construction workers have been able to do in a seven-month period, because they had that site ready to go in seven months, is really almost a miracle.
CAVUTO: Donald Trump, a real pleasure. Thank you, sir.
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
CAVUTO: Donald Trump, the man that runs the Trump Organization, the most successful developer in the country.
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