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Entries in Donald Trump (114)

Wednesday
Dec212011

Poll: Challenges for Paul, Trump, Bloomberg in Third Party Candidacy

Alex Wong/Getty Images | ABC/Ida Mae Astute | The City of New York(NEW YORK) --  It won’t be easy for the three top-mentioned possibilities -- Ron Paul, Donald Trump and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- to undertake the task of mounting a third-party candidacy for president.  The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that each would have significant challenges were he to do so.

Americans divide evenly in basic favorable versus unfavorable views of Paul -- unchanged from last month -- and Paul faces serious questions even in his own party both on his personal qualifications and the policies he’d pursue if elected.

Trump, while more popular than Paul among Republicans, and the best known of the three, is the least popular overall.  More Americans view him unfavorably than favorably, by 48 percent to 40 percent.

Bloomberg is much less known -- 44 percent of Americans haven’t formed an opinion of him -- and, like Paul, gets just an even split among those who have. He’s most popular among liberal Democrats, a group that comprises only 12 percent of the public overall.

That’s not to say third-party candidates can’t have an impact in the upcoming election. In an ABC/Post poll released earlier this week, Mitt Romney and President Obama were dead even among registered voters, 47-47 percent. But when Paul was added as a theoretical independent candidate, he pulled 21 percent support, siphoned mostly from Romney, putting Obama 10 points ahead.

Third-party candidacies often arise in times of economic discontent, and that certainly applies to current times. In an expression of discontent with the major parties, more Americans have identified themselves as independents than as either Democrats or Republicans for nearly two-and-a-half years -- the longest run of its kind since ABC/Post polling started in 1981.

That said, an ABC/Post poll completed on Oct. 30 found interest in a nonparty candidate to be broad but not deep. Sixty-one percent responded favorably to the idea, but far fewer, 25 percent, endorsed it strongly.

Doing well takes a popular candidate, and as noted, Paul, Trump and Bloomberg all have challenges.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec142011

Trump Eyes Run as ‘Americans Elect’ Presidential Candidate

Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After citing his possible independent presidential bid as the reason only two GOP candidates agreed to attend his Newsmax-sponsored debate which he backed out of moderating on Tuesday, Donald Trump is continuing to stoke the rumors that he will launch a presidential bid, this time as a possible Americans Elect candidate.

“Thousands of e-mails from folks urging me to seek the Americans Elect Presidential nomination,” Trump tweeted from his @realDonaldTrump Twitter account Wednesday morning.

Americans Elect is the first online, independent presidential nominating convention that aims to gain ballot access in all 50 states. According to Elliot Ackerman, the group’s chief operating officer, Americans Elect is not a third party, but a second way to nominate a presidential candidate.

They have already secured a spot on the 2012 general election ballot in 11 states, are waiting for confirmation on their submitted petition signatures in three states and are in the process of collecting signatures in 15 others. So far 2.1 million people across the country have signed the Americans Election petition in support of ballot access.

Americans Elect spokeswoman Ileana Wachtel said Trump has not contacted the group about becoming their nominee. But he has time: the Americans Elect candidate drafting process does not open until January.

Lesser-known Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer is the only person that has publicly announced his intention to seek the Americans Elect nomination.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec132011

Trump Backs Out of Debate, Floating Independent Bid

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump has backed out of moderating a Republican debate because, he says, he’s still considering running for president as an independent candidate.

In a statement on Tuesday, Trump said that GOP candidates are “very concerned” that he will announce an independent candidacy after The Apprentice ends, and that they won’t agree to a debate with him unless he rules that out -- which he won’t do.

“It is very important to me that the right Republican candidate be chosen to defeat the failed and very destructive Obama Administration, but if that Republican, in my opinion, is not the right candidate, I am not willing to give up my right to run as an Independent candidate,” Trump said in his statement. “Therefore, so that there is no conflict of interest within the Republican Party, I have decided not to be the moderator of the Newsmax debate.”

Here’s Trump’s full statement:

"The Republican Party candidates are very concerned that sometime after the final episode of The Apprentice, on May 20th, when the equal time provisions are no longer applicable to me, I will announce my candidacy for President of the United States as an Independent and that, unless I conclusively agree not to run as an Independent, they will not agree to attend or be a part of the Newsmax debate scheduled for December 27, 2011. It is very important to me that the right Republican candidate be chosen to defeat the failed and very destructive Obama Administration, but if that Republican, in my opinion, is not the right candidate, I am not willing to give up my right to run as an Independent candidate. Therefore, so that there is no conflict of interest within the Republican Party, I have decided not to be the moderator of the Newsmax debate. The American people are embarrassed by the gridlock currently taking place in Washington. I must leave all of my options open because, above all else, we must make America great again!

I would like to thank Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum for having the courage, conviction, and confidence to immediately accept being a part of the Newsmax debate. I believe this would not only have been the most watched debate, but also the most substantive and interesting debate!"

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec082011

Michele Bachmann Fifth GOP Candidate to Reject Trump Debate

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Another one bites the dust.

Michele Bachmann has officially said “no” to the Donald Trump-moderated Newsmax debate scheduled for later this month.

“We have confirmed that we are not participating,” Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart told ABC News on Thursday.

Bachmann has been especially aggressive in her courting of the real estate and reality television mogul, paying several personal visits to Trump Tower over the past few months in search of an endorsement.

So, this leaves just two candidates -- Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum -- who plan to show up at the Dec. 27 event in Des Moines.

Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Ron Paul have all declined to attend. Perry became the latest to decline Trump’s invitation on Thursday.

The Perry campaign communication director, Ray Sullivan, said “traditional retail campaigning” was the Texas governor’s “top priority” in the closing weeks before the first nominating contests.

Bachmann’s spokeswoman declined to elaborate on why the Minnesota congresswoman decided not to attend.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec082011

Rick Perry Declines Trump Debate

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the latest GOP candidate to decline an invitation to a Dec. 27 presidential debate hosted by Newsmax and moderated by real estate mogul Donald Trump.

“Gov. Perry has talked to Donald Trump in recent days and respects him and the folks at Newsmax very much,” Perry communications director Ray Sullivan said Thursday in a statement. “There are two debates in the next seven days.

“Traditional retail campaigning in the days and weeks leading up to the Iowa caucus is the Perry campaign’s top priority. In the coming weeks, Perry will be in Iowa almost continually, meeting with real voters, doing town hall meetings and events and talking American jobs, faith and overhauling Washington, D.C., to Iowa voters.  So we have respectfully declined the invitation for the December 27th debate.”

Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are the only two GOP candidates who have said they will participate in the event, slated to take place in Des Moines, Iowa, six days before the state’s Jan. 3 caucus. Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman have each declined. Michele Bachmann is the only candidate who is still undecided. Earlier this week, she expressed concerns about Trump’s objectivity.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec062011

Donald Trump on Mitt Romney’s Debate No-Show: ‘I Understand’

Bill Clark/Roll Call(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump appears to be giving Mitt Romney a pass for skipping the presidential debate he is moderating on Dec. 27 in Iowa.

“It would seem logical to me that if I was substantially behind in the polls especially in Iowa, South Carolina and Florida, I would want to participate in this debate,” Trump said in a statement to ABC News on Tuesday. “But I understand why Gov. Romney decided not to do it.”

Trump and his aides declined to elaborate on why he was willing to mostly let Romney off the hook for skipping the debate, a collaboration between the conservative website Newsmax, ION TV and the American Conservative Union.

In an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday afternoon, Romney was asked about whether he would show up at the Des Moines debate, which is set to take place exactly one week before the Iowa Caucuses.

“No, I’m not participating in that,” Romney told Fox’s Neil Cavuto, adding that he had spoken personally to Trump to inform him of the decision. “We have two debates in December that I’ve  agreed to participate in. The rest of the month will be spent campaigning.”

A source close to Trump confirmed that the phone call took place and that Romney was seeking to keep the door open to a potential Trump endorsement.

So far only two candidates have confirmed their attendance at the debate: Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman have both said they will not participate, and other GOP contenders like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are still deciding.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec062011

Bachmann Says Questions of Bias Delay Trump Debate Decision

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Michele Bachmann on Tuesday said fears that Donald Trump might be too biased in favor of one GOP candidate have delayed her decision to participate in an upcoming presidential debate moderated by the real-estate tycoon and reality-TV star.

“We’re still in the process of looking at it,” Rep. Bachmann said on CBS’s Early Show, reflecting comments the campaign has made previously to ABC News.

The Minnesota congresswoman said “one concern” about participating was an announcement Trump made that he is close to endorsing a candidate. Trump has also hinted that he might yet run as a third-party candidate against the Republican nominee.

“One concern is he’s already leaning towards a candidate,” she said. “So there’s questions about objectivity.”

Some outlets have erroneously reported that Bachmann already said she would participate; she has not.

Bachmann, who has met with Trump several times, said Tuesday, “I have great respect for him.”

The debate sponsored by the conservative magazine Newsmax is slated for Dec. 27, a week before the Iowa caucuses.

Many GOP mandarins, including former George W. Bush advisers Karl Rove and Ari Fleischer, have been critical of Trump’s involvement and called on the candidates not to participate.

Already, Rep. Ron Paul and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman have said they will not participate. Only former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum have signed on.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec052011

Trump, Gingrich to Create 'Apprentice'-Style Program for Poor School Kids

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump may not have officially endorsed Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid, but the billionaire businessman gave his hat tip of approval to Gingrich’s plan to put poor schoolchildren to work.

Gingrich, who found himself in hot water last month for saying America’s child labor laws are “truly stupid,” called on Trump to create an Apprentice-style program for 10 inner-city New York children to teach them about “work ethic.”

“We’re going to be picking 10, young, wonderful children, and we’re going to make them ‘apprenti,’” Trump said after a high-profile meeting with Gingrich on Monday. “We’re going to have a little fun with it, and I think it’s going to be something that is really going to prove results. But it was Newt’s idea, and I think it’s a great idea.”

While it is unclear if the program will run as a reality TV show, like Trump’s NBC show The Apprentice, Gingrich said the program is intended to give students “an opportunity to earn money, and get them into a habit of showing up and realizing that hard work gets rewarded.”

Gingrich, the current GOP frontrunner, has been a target of fierce attacks from unions and liberal commentators after he said poor school districts should fire unionized janitors and replace them with schoolchildren.

“Young children who are poor ought to learn how to go to work,” he said, defending his stance in an interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper last week. “What I’ve said is, for example, it would be great if inner city schools and poor neighborhood schools actually hired the children to do things. Some of the things they could do is work in the library, work in the front office. Some of them frankly, could be janitorial.”

Gingrich was the latest GOP presidential candidate to meet with Trump in hope of winning his highly coveted endorsement. Trump said he will not make an endorsement until after Dec. 27, when he plans to moderate a Republican debate hosted by Newsmax.

So far Gingrich is the only candidate who has agreed to attend the Trump-moderated debate. Both Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman have said they will not attend.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec052011

Newt Gingrich on Donald Trump: ‘I Want His Endorsement’

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- “The Apprentice” met “The Candidate” Monday when Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich met with Donald Trump in New York City. Trump said he would endorse a candidate for president sometime after he moderates the Dec. 27 debate hosted by Newsmax. When asked about a Trump endorsement, Gingrich replied to reporters, “Of course I want his endorsement.”

Trump said he would not run for president unless, “the wrong person gets in,” but Trump said he does not expect the wrong person will be chosen. Trump criticized candidate Ron Paul for not participating in his debate. Candidate Jon Huntsman also turned down the invitation.

“With all due respect, this is from me, not him,” Trump said, gesturing toward Gingrich. “Ron Paul has zero chance of getting the nomination,” Trump said.

Gingrich cut in to defend his decision to participate in the debate.

“When I was asked would I like to be in that type of debate, I automatically said yes,” Gingrich said. “I think it’s great of him to do it, I think it’s great Newsmax is helping launch it, it’s part of the process by which America governs itself.”

Amid the marble and gold of Trump Tower, Gingrich and Trump said Monday they want to help poor students in New York City.

“Many of you know I’ve been making the case that we need to work very hard to help poor children in poor neighborhoods acquire opportunities for work,” Gingrich said. “I’ve asked him [Trump] to take one of the poorest schools in New York and basically offer at least 10 apprenticeships to kids from that school to get them into the world of work.”

Gingrich came under fire last month for comments he made to a crowd at Harvard University, calling child labor laws “stupid” and calling on students to do janitorial work at their schools. Gingrich tried to clarify his comments last week in Des Moines, Iowa, saying students need to start work early to learn about investing in their community and making money.

After remarking how well Gingrich is doing in the race, Trump said the program he will implement in New York City was Gingrich’s idea.

Gingrich held a fundraiser Monday at the prestigious Union League Club in New York City as a group of Occupy Wall Street protesters stood outside holding signs that said, “Newt Your Money Smells” and “Newt Needs A Bath: He’s Rolling in Dirty Money.” The lines were retorts to Gingrich's much-repeated refrain that the Occupy movement's participants should, "get a job, right after you take a bath."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Dec032011

Ron Paul Rejects Donald Trump-Moderated Debate

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Count Ron Paul out of the Donald Trump-moderated presidential debate planned for Dec. 27 in Iowa.

His campaign chairman, Jesse Benton, distributed a scathing press release Saturday morning saying that Trump’s participation “is beneath the office of the Presidency and flies in the face of that office’s history and dignity.”

“Mr. Trump’s participation as moderator will distract from questions and answers concerning important issues such as the national economy, crushing federal government debt, the role of the federal government, foreign policy, and the like,” Benton said.

Benton called the choice of Trump as a moderator “wildly inappropriate” and said his presence at the debate will “contribute to an unwanted circus-like atmosphere.”

“Therefore, our candidate Ron Paul, the champion of the Constitution, has advised he will not attend,” Benton concluded.

Trump did not take the rejection well.

In a statement to ABC News, Trump calls Paul “a clown-like candidate” who has “inconsequential poll numbers or a chance of winning.”

Trump goes on to plug his book and asks the question, how Ron Paul would fare in the world of big business.

Paul joins fellow candidate Jon Huntsman in rejecting the invitation to Trump’s debate.

Huntsman’s press secretary Tim Miller tweeted Friday: “We look forward to watching Mitt & Newt suck up to The Donald with a big bowl of popcorn.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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