Published January 23, 2017
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 11, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: I have got Donald Trump on the phone. Donald, your thoughts on what's going on.
DONALD TRUMP, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I got to Chicago about two hours ago. And we had 25,000 people that tried to come in. And supporters. All supporters at the same time they were protesters. And when I met with the various law enforcement agencies, Greta, I decided that it was looking -- I don't want to see people get hurt. And I don't want to see people get hurt or worse. And I decided very strongly to make a decision not to do it and to postpone the rally. It was a big rally and tremendous rally with tremendous people and -- but I just don't want to see people get hurt. Any people on either side.
You know, we have such a divided country now. It's been so divided under this president. And I have been saying it for a long time. I have been witnessing it in so many different forms. It's just something that has to be straightened out. You know, you look at as an example African-American youth. Fifty nine percent unemployment rate. There is a lot of anger. There's no question. And there is a lot of anger on the other side. Big anger on the other side because we're losing our jobs, we're losing our manufacturing, we're losing so much. And there is tremendous anger out there on both sides.
VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, how do you put -- how do you calm these people at this point? You know, how do you say that the country is divided? I will give you that. But how do you unite it? I mean, these people, these people -- a lot of them show up to support you inside, a lot. But a lot showed up outside. Obviously not wanting to you speak.
TRUMP: Well, we had a lot of people inside, that's true. And I hated to say, don't do it but I don't want to see any of the people hurt. Either inside or outside. And law enforcement said, you know, they just don't have enough men to cover. You had 25,000 people tried to come. In fact, we were able to get in touch with thousands of people so they didn't come, so that we had, you know, like probably 10,000 people. We were able to ward off so they didn't come by saying, you know, we're not just going to hold the rally today. We're going to postpone it. Which I think turned out to be good. And I think it was a very good thing that we're able to do. I think what we did was intelligent after seeing it. I'm watching your show now. After seeing what's on the show. I just think it was a very good decision. I do not want to see people hurt.
VAN SUSTEREN: There is an 80-year-old woman that we interviewed that Jeff Flock, a FOX Business Network interviewed in the last hour who said that she came out to protest because she said that you use hate speech. What do you say to that woman?
TRUMP: Well, I don't use hate speech. I don't use hate speech. I mean, we have a country and the country has to be, I'm just watching your show right now with that car. That's pretty serious stuff. With the car and the people standing in front of their car. There is tremendous, there is tremendous division in our country. I have seen it, I have been watching it, I'm witness to it. And something has to be done. When you look at the unemployment, among certain groups of people. It's incredible. It's just a tremendous division in the country.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you play a role in that division or not?
TRUMP: I don't think so. I represent a large group of people that have great anger. And they are not angry people. But they have anger at the stupidity of what's happening in our country. Our jobs are being taken out of our country and being given to China and Mexico and every other country probably there is. I mean, our businesses are being taken away from us. Our businesses are being moved out of the country. Look at Ford. They are building their biggest plant in Mexico. Look at, you know, they are not building it here. They are building it in Mexico. What good does that do for us? And then they sell cars. They don't pay tax. They don't do anything. They sell cars across the border.
Look at Carrier last week. Fourteen hundred jobs. They are moving to Mexico. You look at Pfizer. Pfizer is moving to Ireland. We're losing all our businesses because we have incompetent leaders. And it means jobs and people, you know, people in 12 years haven't had a pay increase. The middle income people. The workers, the real workers, the backbone of the country in 12 years they haven't had a pay increase. And it's crazy, and then you wonder why are they angry? So, there is a lot of anger, but I think we did the right thing because if we would have had the rally, I think it would have been something that would have been not a good situation.
VAN SUSTEREN: When you use tough language, when people break up your events, and like, you know, punch in the nose or get that person out of here, are you sort of giving ammunition to protesters who say that you're the bully?
TRUMP: Well, I don't think so. Because, frankly, you know, we haven't really had a problem. We had a little bit today where we had some individual people stand up. And it was annoying because it was probably seven or eight of them where they stood up and pretty much individual fashion and started, you know, disrupting a little bit. And the police did a great job. That was in St. Louis. But, here, this was crazy. When we looked, we had thousands and thousands of people pouring in as supporters and we had far smaller amounts but still a few thousand people outside as protesters.
And, you know, you can't even -- think of it, you are not even allowed in a peaceful rally -- you can't even have a peaceful rally today in a major city in the United States, which is a terrible thing. But you know, Chicago is the home to some pretty rough rallies if you look at the convention many years ago, the Democrat convention many years ago, that was a pretty bad thing. A lot of people hurt. A lot of people killed. I didn't want to see anything like that happen.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, Donald, it hasn't, I mean, as we are sort of struggling to figure out what's going on there and to think about it. I mean, this is not a demonstration against war or economic conditions. This is a protest as I understand it against your free speech. They are using free speech. They have a right to peaceful protest to try to shut you down from your free speech.
TRUMP: No. I think this is a demonstration against economic conditions on both sides. I think on one side they can't get jobs at all. You have 59 percent unemployment with the African-American youth. And on the other side they haven't been given a pay increase in 12 years because our businesses are leaving our country. So this is very economic. This has a lot to do with jobs. It has a lot to do with incompetent running of a country. A lot of this is the fact that they just -- I mean, you look at middle income people, the workers, the backbone of our nation, they haven't had a pay increase in 12 years. They are very angry people, Greta. And I will tell you they are not angry by nature but they are very angry people. And see, on the other side to a large extent, you have African-American youth has a 59 percent unemployment rate.
VAN SUSTEREN: So, what happened --
TRUMP: So I think it's very economic.
VAN SUSTEREN: I don't think there is any perfect answer on how to handle this tonight. I mean, there is no perfect answer. On the one hand, you know, canceling the rally, eliminate some of the risk of more trouble. On the other hand, it's also an indication of people who shut down your rally that if they follow you to the next city they might get that done which then stifles your voice. So, I mean, I'm not sure that there is a right answer --
TRUMP: See, they haven't shutdown the rally at all because it's on television now, Greta. And we are getting far more people watching it now than we would have if we had been in the arena. And people are seeing that we are being stifled, that free speech is being stifled. So, actually, they haven't shut down the rally. A big point has been made. And we will see what happens, but people should be able to rally in Chicago. I mean, we are talking about Chicago. They should be able to rally in Chicago. But I don't think anything has been shut down. First of all, it's been postponed and we'll do it again. But, you know, we had 25,000 people except. So we had 25,000 people coming. Some would have to be outside. And we were able to get many of those people not to show up based on the fact that we saw early on that there could be conflict. And if there is conflict we don't want to see people hurt.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you get scared at all, Donald, when you watch this stuff, worried about for yourself?
TRUMP: No, I don't get scared. I really don't get scared. I see it. It's part of life. It's happened. I have seen it over the years many times. It's tough stuff but it could have been a lot tougher if we decide to do go through. I think we made a very wise decision. It's all calmed down now they say. And I think we made a very wise decision to say that, you know, we are not going to do it tonight. We will do it another time. We have had very successful rallies, Greta. I have had 35, 40,000 people at rallies and we have never had a problem. This is the first time we have really had a problem.
VAN SUSTEREN: If you are elected president, how do you convince those people who are outside tonight that you are their president?
TRUMP: Well, we have to get them jobs. We have to bring economics back. You look at what's going on with the economy. The economy is terrible. And everybody knows it. The five percent unemployment is a number that doesn't exist. That's probably 25 percent, maybe more than that. I think you look for a job and you give up looking for a job and you consider you statistically unemployed. And then they consider you employed. So, it's a mix-up like you have never seen before. That is a statistic that was meant for politicians to look good. And it bears no relationship to the real life or to the facts. I mean, we have a tremendous unemployment rate. And nobody understands that but when you look at a thing like this. You understand the economics of the country. For people living in our country have not been good. And again, middle income people haven't had a raise in 12 years effectively. And that's pretty sad.
VAN SUSTEREN: If it's jobs and the economy it looks like the people outside are blaming you because they are protesting you.
TRUMP: Well, they have people protesting me. They also have many more people saluting me.
VAN SUSTEREN: No, I know that. But I mean, I'm talking about --
TRUMP: And we turned away -- don't forget, Greta, we turned away 25,000 supporters and those people are on our side. So, now a lot of them have left or are leaving and, which would be a good thing, frankly, because I don't want to see conflict. And there is, you know, potential for conflict. Had I done it, I think we have been given a lot of praise for having done what we did. Had I done it, which would have been in a way easier, but I think you would have had a lot of problems tonight if I did.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, if we manage to get through the night with very few arrests. No violence, no one hurt, you know, we can, I mean, there is something to be said about the First Amendment although --
TRUMP: And then you will say, yes, then you will say I did a good job. But the First Amendment is affected because, you are not allow to do have free speech in a major city in the United States. That's not very good.
VAN SUSTEREN: I was going to say that. I was going to say there's a First Amendment on the outside of the arena. But there is no -- there is no First Amendment inside the arena because you got shut down.
TRUMP: Yes. That's right. So, it's a little bit unfair to the people. You know, when you are turning away 25,000 people. That's pretty bad. I mean, you know, it's a pretty sad situation. Twenty five thousand great people coming to see a rally, enthusiastic about it and you are turning them away. That's pretty sad.
VAN SUSTEREN: How are you going to do in Illinois on Tuesday?
TRUMP: I think we are going to do well, I mean, I don't know what effect this has. A lot of people say this is a positive in terms of votes. But I don't feel it one way or the other. People don't like to see what's happening. This is what is going on in our country, Greta. Look, we have a very divided nation. We have a tremendously divided nation. And I have been saying it for a long time. I have been saying it for years. Our nation is totally divided. In many ways it's divided. And, one of the ways it's divided is white, black. We have so many different sets of divisions and hopefully we will be able to bring it together. I'm a unifier. President Obama has not been a unifier. He has been a divider. I'm a unifier. I will bring people together. We have to start by getting them jobs. We can't lose our jobs, Greta, to every nation in the world. And we have kids that can't get a job and they have no hope of ever having a job.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any other way to help be a unifier than jobs? Is there more to this?
TRUMP: Yes, there will be. You know, outreach programs and everything else. But still, jobs is always going to be number one. Getting people jobs will always be the best and the longest lasting way some.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, some people have written into me during the show and they are critical of the conditions in Chicago. And they say that it's conducive to this type of environment. There's been a lot of unrest in Chicago. A lot of gang violence and other things. There is this sort of a real general unhappiness in Chicago. Then I have people who write in and say that you are the divider.
TRUMP: Well, look, you know, you should be able to have a rally. And the rallies are very important. We should be able to have a rally in a major city in this country without having to -- without having to have such a big deal. I think this is -- in a way it's important. It shows what's going on in the United States. It shows a problem that we have in the United States. And we will going to have to overcome it and we will overcome it. But it all starts -- it's an economic problem. It all starts. People want to be able to get increases. They want to be able to work. They want to be able to have good jobs and at least they want to be able to have a job. We don't have that in this country.
VAN SUSTEREN: The people -- the protesters outside, they didn't say they want jobs, in their chants they say, "Stop Trump."
TRUMP: Well, look, I mean, they are a much smaller number than just 25,000 people. But everybody has an opinion. I mean, they feel that way. You win an election, 55 to 45 and they consider it a landslide. So, you know, they certainly have their opinion. But my supporters have their opinion, too. And you see how strong they are.
VAN SUSTEREN: What did the police say to you when you arrived? What did they say about what they anticipate in?
TRUMP: Well, they said we have a massive crowd of supporters that are going into the arena. At the same time we have a lot of protesters, a couple thousand protesters. And I just didn't -- I told them, I said I don't want to see them clash because if they clash a lot of bad things are going to happen, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know what? I mean, the crowd are still there, Donald. They're not thinning it looks like. You know, I thought that they were. But we see pictures where they are shoving and pushing. It still looks pretty heated.
TRUMP: Well, I mean, I'm looking at your pictures, Greta. And you have been playing the same pictures for the last half hour, you know, it is actually getting thinner. You're playing the same pictures with the punching in the last half hour or so. Because I have seen it 10 times now watching your show. Listen, thank you, Greta. I really appreciate it.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know what, Donald -- you know, what? I have seen this one before, too. I have got to tell you. You know, you are right on this picture. I have seen this video before --
TRUMP: No, no, they keep showing the same punches for, you know, I have seen now the one about 10 times already. So you understand. I don't blame you for doing that but you understand.
VAN SUSTEREN: This may come as a big surprise to you. But, you know, I'm looking at this live as you are. You know, as it's happening. This is breaking news.
TRUMP: No, it's very much thinning out. I think we made a really good decision. But, you know, our First Amendment rights had been violated. We should be able to speak and it should be freedom of speech. And we shouldn't be stopped. But most importantly for tonight, it looks like it's breaking up very nicely and I think the police have done a good job. And everybody has done a good job.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think you will get more votes after tonight or less after tonight in Illinois?
TRUMP: Everybody tells me I get more votes. We made a wise decision. And everybody tells me I get more votes. I don't know. I didn't do it for votes. I did it because I didn't want to see people hurt.
VAN SUSTEREN: As you look at this, any regrets on running as you look at all this chaos?
TRUMP: No. We're going to make America great again, Greta. We're going to make America great again. That's what it's all about. That's the theme. And that's what I'm going to do. And that's very important. We will make America great again.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, Donald, I'm probably the only anchor as I have said before that's ever actually represented people in court on the First Amendment. I really, you know, I really like the First Amendment. As long as there is no violence.
TRUMP: Right. Well, that's what we have -- we have potential for violence. And I think we have stopped it and I think it's been quelled and I think we have made a very good decision tonight in terms of safety of people. So thank you very much, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, Donald.
TRUMP: Thank you very much. Bye.