“Romney blew it.”
“We’ve had enough Bushes.”
With his usual flair for the direct, Donald Trump, back in New Hampshire for the first time since April, gave his assessment of two potential frontrunners for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
In an interview with the New Hampshire Journal in Manchester, Trump reiterated his comments from last week that he is again seriously considering running for President. It will primarily depend on the field and on the state of the country in early 2015.
Trump keynoted the New Hampshire Union Leader’s Annual First Amendment Dinner, which this year honored James Foley, the journalist from New Hampshire who was tragically beheaded by Islamic terrorists in late summer.
In the interview and during a press conference later, Trump said he knew all of the current potential 2016 presidential candidates, from Chris Christie to Rand Paul, from Bobby Jindal to Ted Cruz. He passed no judgment on them, saying, “It’s too soon to say. We don’t know who’s running.”
But he minced no words when it came to Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush.
Although Romney has stressed that he won’t run again, Trump isn’t so sure.
“Why was he all over the country campaigning for everybody?” he asked.
But he hopes Romney doesn’t run.
“I would not like to see him run again,” Trump said. “I supported him but was very disappointed in his last performance. It was terrible. He should have won that election. And obviously Republicans didn’t like him enough to go and vote for him. They stayed home, which was shocking.
“There were plenty of Republicans, if they had somebody that inspired them. He didn’t inspire,” said Trump. “Something happened to him in the last month of the campaign and Republicans stayed home.”
He said Romney followed up an “excellent” first debate against Obama with two poor showings.
“In sports they call it choke,” he said. “He had his chance, he tried, he worked hard, I supported him,” he said. He likened Romney’s performance in the final month of the 2012 campaign to “a golfer who can’t sink a three-foot putt on the 18th hole.”
As for Jeb Bush, Trump said. “We’ve had it with Bushes.”
He said Bush has “a very, very weak stance” on immigration. “He said, ‘They come in for love.’ I made a speech in New Hampshire months ago mocking that” and received a lengthy standing ovation.
“We need somebody who is very tough and very smart,” he said. “I love what I’m doing so I’m not looking to do something, but I love the country more, and if I don’t see the right person, I will do something that will make a lot of people happy.”
Trump has been to the state many times as he considered running for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, and he said he intends to return many times.
“I’m going to look and see what happens,” he said. “It all starts again very soon, in January I would think. I‘ll look and see who’s running. I have a great voice. I have a very popular voice because people know if I do something I’m not going to get ripped off by everybody and they’re tired of seeing everybody ripped off.
“This country is being ripped off, whether it’s China, Mexico, it doesn’t make any difference. Everybody.
“Do we make any good deals? We make no good deals, so I’ll be making a determination in the new year,” Trump said.
He also said that although it will be an open race for the White House, “In one way it‘s harder. I actually think that Romney blew it. He should have won. And I actually think it was easier to beat Obama as a failed President than to beat Hillary Clinton.”
A campaign against Clinton in the fall of 2016, he said, “is a race that absolutely can be won.”
But he said, “She can only be beaten by the right candidate. There’s only a very, very special person who can beat her. Not that she’s done a good job, but she’s going to be hard to beat by the Republicans as I see them now.”
Trump said he is “very happy” about the midterms, and said that in a group of races across the country in which he recorded robocalls for candidates, those candidates on.
In New Hampshire, he said Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown “did not ask he to do a robocall and it was a mistake.”
Trump saved his harshest fire for President Obama, blasting his current trip to China and calling his greenhouse gas reduction deal with the Chinese president “an absolute joke. It’s a way of China getting our eye off the ball because they will not adhere to it in any way , shape or form.
“It’s disgraceful. To go over to China to sign that is just a way of China laughing at us further.”
He said the Chinese are “mocking” Obama, and, “He shouldn’t be over there.”
Trump also disagreed with Obama’s decision to send an additional 1,500 troops to Iraq to serve as advisors in the fight against Islamic terrorists.
“China should be sending troops there because China has more of an impact and takes more money out there than we do. China does nothing. And other countries are doing nothing while we send troops over.
“We just spent $2 trillion in Iraq and now it looks like we’re starting the process over again. You remember that I said keep the oil, and now ISIS has the oil, so was I right?”
Trump recently sent $25,000 to Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi who was recently released after spending seven months in a Mexican jail.
Tahmooressi’s ordeal shows “we’re not a respected country,” Trump said. “It’s very simple.”
“And yet they rip us left and right over economics and all the money that’s pouring in to Mexico. I think it’s a disgrace but it happened.”
“When was the last time that you saw this country and were proud to say, ‘Wow, look at the great deal we made; look at the great thing that happened.’ You don’t see it. It’s all bad news,” he said.
Citing Ebola, trade and terrorism, Trump said, “There are so many problems in this country and it all stems from leadership. The President is not respected.”
“Our country has such incredible potential, but we have incompetent leadership,” he said.
Trump said that while he is pleased that the Republicans have taken over the majority in the Senate and now control Congress, “It’s all talk and no action. Nothing ever gets done. It’s my party but nothing happens. It’s all talk.”
“I say this about politicians. They’re all talk. They’re no action and that unfortunately covers Republicans, too,” he said.