Trump: It Wasn’t Me, But Interested to Know More

Trump created a flurry of speculation when he flirted with running for president in the past. The Republican nomination fight is so wide open -- with no clear front-runner and a lot of potentially strong candidates on the fence about making the race – that a Trump trip or two to the Granite State (along with some token TV and radio spots) could juice his poll numbers and make him an immediate player in the world of cable/blog/talk radio speculation. Trump’s brashness, faux anti-establishment populism, willingness to take on Obama right here right now as a take-charge-CEO-type, and bright-shiny-object status with the media would allow him to draw a lot of attention. He wouldn’t have to declare he was running for sure, just say he was thinking about it.

Real estate magnate says he wasn’t behind New Hampshire poll testing his name for ’12, but “somebody has to do something or this country is not going to be a very great country for long.”

More from his interview with CNN:

Velshi: “You there Donald?”

Trump: “Good morning.”

Velshi: “Good morning to you. You running for president?”

Trump: “I never heard of this poll but I am anxious to find out what it says. I do not know anything about a poll taken in New Hampshire.”

Velshi: “So, you didn’t commission this?”

Trump: “I certainly did not.”

Velshi: “You know of anybody who would commission a poll on your behalf?”

Trump: “No, but I’ve been very outspoken…Well I think the United States is a kicking bag for the rest of the world virtually…so I have been outspoken about things such as that and I guess people are doing polls. But it’s certainly not me.”

Chetry: “Do you think you are too outspoken to actually survive, if you ever wanted to, a national political campaign for president?”

Trump: “Well, I have never run for president. I really like the people of New Hampshire because they’re strong people, they’re intelligent people, they know what’s happening to this country is wrong. So I can understand why I did well in a poll. You still haven’t told me what well means. I don’t know. What does well mean because I haven’t seen this poll?”

Chetry: “You know, they’ve basically said that, these sources from the call, said that these residents received in a telephone poll questions, multiple questions, some 30 questions about you when it comes to a 2012 Republican candidate. Would that be something that you would seriously consider?”

Trump: “Well it’s certainly not something I’ve talked about or would consider but I will say this, somebody has to do something or this country is not going to be a very great country for long.”

Earlier: PAGE EXCLUSIVE — According to sources familiar with the calls, New Hampshire residents received a telephone poll in September testing multiple 2012 Republican candidates and match-ups that included some 30 questions on real estate magnate Donald Trump. Among other queries, the calls reportedly asked if voters had heard that Trump donated to Democrats in the past and if they thought his high-profile appearances on TV would help or hurt him in a political race. TIME has so far been unable to determine who paid for the survey.

Trump created a flurry of speculation when he flirted with running for president in the past. The Republican nomination fight is so wide open -- with no clear front-runner and a lot of potentially strong candidates on the fence about making the race – that a Trump trip or two to the Granite State (along with some token TV and radio spots) could juice his poll numbers and make him an immediate player in the world of cable/blog/talk radio speculation. Trump’s brashness, faux anti-establishment populism, willingness to take on Obama right here right now as a take-charge-CEO-type, and bright-shiny-object status with the media would allow him to draw a lot of attention. He wouldn’t have to declare he was running for sure, just say he was thinking about it.
Related Topics: 2012 Elections, Republican Party, Video

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