MANCHESTER — Donald Trump, who this time around truly does appear headed toward a presidential candidacy, says he has an answer “different from anyone else” when it comes to dealing with ISIS and terrorism.
“I am so tired of watching politicians telling the enemy exactly what they are going to do. All I can tell you is, I will win, and you will have total victory at the least cost and it will be a total and complete victory,” he said in an interview Thursday.
“I will win, but I don’t like to tell the enemy, ‘We’re going to put troops on the ground. We’re going to do this. We’re going to attack you at 11:30 in the evening like the Obama Adminstration does. General Douglas MacArthur will be spinning in his grave.
“So I will tell you this: We will win. We will win big league. And it will be a total victory.”
The billionaire real estate mogul was back in New Hampshire Thursday, just two days after announcing he is forming form a presidential exploratory committee. He held a series of private meetings, including one Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, another with more than a dozen leaders of veterans groups and still another with about two dozen business and political leaders. He also attended a public meeting Thursday night with an expected 200 to 250 conservatives at the home of Rep. Steve Stepanek in Amherst.
President Obama, Trump said, is “terrible,” but he said he is also “disgusted” with fellow Republican on Capitol Hill. And as for the current crop of likely GOP contenders for the presidential nomination, he is not impressed.
The New Hampshire Journal asked Trump to imagine a first-in-the-nation primary debate setting, with a segment in which the candidates question each other. What would he ask former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush?
“Very simply, why is he soft on immigration?” Trump said. “And why is he in favor of allowing Washington to dictate the school policies for our school children in New Hampshire and other states? I’d ask him, ‘Why are you in favor of Common Core? Why can’t education be local?’
“And we can’t allow millions of people to flow through our borders unabated and unchecked.”
What about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker?
“Scott Walker was up to my office last week,” Trump said. “I like him. I’ve helped him in the past. I’ve supported many politicians and I like Scott. It’s a little early for Scott right now. I want to see where he comes out on certain policies.”
Why would he run for President?
“The country is in horrible trouble, horrible condition,” Trump said. “We have leaders who don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t have a clue. They’re not going to be able to straighten out the path of this country because we’re very, very far down the road toward destruction.
“The country is going to be another Detroit,” he said. “We’re going to have one big, fat Detroit and it’s only a matter of time.” He noted that when the federal deficit increases from the current $18 trillion to $24 trillion, “that’s your point of no return.”
“I’m disgusted with what’s happened to the country,” Trump said. “I’m disgusted with what the President of the United States is doing. He should be ashamed of himself. He’s destroying the country.
“And I’m absolutely angry at Republicans for not taking on the President at a much higher level and at a much stronger level,” Trump said. “They talk and they do nothing. (Obama) will announce that he’s going to do something. You’ll hear a big scream and that’s the end of it.”
Trump said Republicans “had a great chance to get something negotiated” to address Obama’s executive actions on immigration in the Department of Homeland Security funding bill “and they blew it because they totally caved.”
When he looks at the prospective field of GOP presidential candidates, Trump, citing his renowned success in business, said he concludes, very simply: “I am the only one who can make this country great again.”
“I beat China in deals,” he said. “I win. When was the last time you heard that this country won?”
But could Trump work with a Congress that he, by his own words, has little regard for?
“I’ve worked with politicians all my life,” he said. “I’ve gotten some of the great deals ever done in politics.” He cited successful negotiations with the Obama General Services Administration to lease and revamp into a luxury hotel the Old Post Office near The White House. He beat some of the largest hotel and financial companies in the world to secure the deal.
“Why did Trump get it? Because I know how to make deals,” he said. “In the Obama administration, how did Donald Trump get one of the most sought-after deals in the history of the GSA? Because that’s what I do. I make deals.”
On the campaign trail, can Trump mix and mingle with ordinary Granite Staters? Can he, for instance, shake hands at town dumps, as former Sen. Bob Dole, for instance, did in 1995 and 1996?
“I’m not sure people necessarily want me to do that,” he said. “I’m running a massive company, I’ve employed over the years tens of thousands of people. But I’m going to do a lot. I love New Hampshire. I love the people.”
Trump also reiterated that he has not and will not renew his contract with NBC for his hit television show “The Apprentice” because he said, “I have something more important to do.” Trump made the comment in response to reports that NBC plans to move ahead with production of the program.
“They announced it,” Trump said of NBC, “but I told them I was not going to be able to do it because I have something else that is very, very important.”