RUSH: I want to welcome back, in the meantime the leading, according to the latest polling data, Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump to the EIB microphones. Mr. Trump, great to have you back here.
DONALD TRUMP: Hi, Rush. How are you doing so far? Can you tell a number? Are you allowed to say the number that you've raised so far?
RUSH: Well, I try to stay away from actual hard numbers 'til the end of the program is over.
DONALD TRUMP: Well, it might influence what I'm gonna do 'cause I'm trying to figure out like the scope. You know, I don't know what the scope is but it's an incredible cause. So I have to sort of ask. Can you give me, like, an idea? What did you raise last year, Rush?
RUSH: Last year, we did about a million-and-a-half to two million when it's all said and done.
DONALD TRUMP: Wow, that's great.
RUSH: Within one three-hour program.
DONALD TRUMP: I think that's fantastic. Okay, so here's the story. You ready?
DONALD TRUMP: Okay -- and you can treat me terribly after I do this. It doesn't make any difference to me how you treat me.
RUSH: Wait a second. Donald, I was wrong, it was over $3 million last year.
DONALD TRUMP: So in honor of you, because I love your show and whenever I can, I listen -- and it's not easy when you're a business guy, right?
RUSH: I know.
DONALD TRUMP: Because, you know, the timing isn't so great.
RUSH: That's exactly right.
DONALD TRUMP: But I listen a lot. In honor of you, $100,000.
RUSH: Oh, my gosh! (chuckles)
DONALD TRUMP: That's in honor of you, and now you can go and really beat me up. Go ahead, Rush.
RUSH: (chuckles) I've gotta tell you, you may not know this -- well, you probably know this -- but there's a polling outlet out of North Carolina that generally tends liberal, Public Policy Polling. You are up leading the entire Republican field now with 26% of the vote. Huckabee is in second place at 17%. Does this surprise you? When you started this, did you think that you would be at the top of the heap this quickly?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, I didn't --
RUSH: People didn't know for sure that you were running.
DONALD TRUMP: I didn't think it would go this fast, Rush, but to be honest with you -- and I don't even know if it's me or the message -- the fact is I look at what's happening to this country, I look at the way China is just ripping us off, I look at OPEC the way they are ripping us off with the oil prices. I mean, people are gonna be paying six and seven dollars a gallon for gasoline very, very soon; and you're gonna be up to $150 a barrel; and they wouldn't even be there if it weren't for us. I look at South Korea. What they do to us is unbelievable. Even a smaller country, Colombia, they're signing a trade packet. We lost last year -- let's call it "lost" -- $4 billion with Colombia, fourth largest country in Latin America, $4 billion. With China this year, Rush, we're gonna lose $300 billion, and that wouldn't happen if I was there.
RUSH: What does it tell you...?
DONALD TRUMP: People hear it and they like me, I guess.
RUSH: What does it tell you that the ChiComs say that they're gonna start divesting themselves of our T-bills? What does that tell you?
DONALD TRUMP: They won't divest because we have the power. They don't have the power, Rush. Rush, if we ever wanted them to stop manipulating their currency, which makes it almost impossible for our companies to compete -- and I know because I build buildings, and I have to get so much stuff whether it's curtain walls or other things from China, and I hate do it. But they manipulate their currency to such an extent that it's very hard, almost impossible for our companies to compete; and if you ever said to them, "Folks, the game is over." You know, we're rebuilding China, Rush. We're rebuilding China. They're building bridges like twice the size of the George Washington Bridge.
The George Washington Bridge is like a small bridge. They are building airports, they're building cities, with our money -- and it's mostly from us because we have leadership that doesn't know what they're doing. If you ever said to them, "There's a 25% tax, a 25% tax on all of your products coming in," we would, first of all, never really probably have to oppose the tax because they would come to the table -- if you meant it, if you really meant it -- so fast. Now, if they didn't come to the table, we'd make a fortune. We'd take in a lot of money and guess what? Jobs would start going to Alabama and North Carolina and all our places. So when you ask me about the polls, people know -- and I made a lot of money with the Chinese, believe me.
Both in terms of selling them very big apartments -- I sold one for $33 million recently to a Chinese gentleman -- but also in terms of deals. I made a lot of money with the Chinese, and I know the Chinese very well. By the way, they don't love us. I will tell you that. Just in case anybody has any question. They don't. When I see Obama having a dinner at the White House, Rush, for the president of China -- who's been screwing us worse than anybody other than OPEC -- for years, it's not the right and appropriate location for a dinner, believe me. So there are ways of handling it, and they need us, Rush. That's the one thing. They always say, "Oh, but they have our debt." Think of it they take our money and then they loan it back to us and we have to pay 'em interest. It's very... It would be something to solve very easily, if you have the right messenger. We don't have the right messenger. Obama is the wrong messenger.
RUSH: Now, years ago, three years ago, you thought Obama had the potential to be "great." You did.
DONALD TRUMP: I was hoping. No, no, he was just... You know --
RUSH: What did you see in Obama three years ago that's changed?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, look, Rush. Three years ago, or, you know, he got elect -- he gets -- he wins the election, right? And people came to me, and I said, "I hope he's great. I think he's gonna be great. We all love him." We were... I want him to do great, Rush, and I'll go a step further. I'm a Republican, but if I had my choice of running or having Obama -- or somebody, but Obama, even Obama -- be a great president, the greatest president ever, I'd be so happy for the country. But he's not a great president. He won't be a great president. He doesn't have the capability to be a great president, and the world is laughing. We're like a joke. As a country, we're becoming like a joke. Everybody is ripping us off. But honestly, I love my business. I love it. Like you love your business, I love what I'm doing, I'm doing great -- and, by the way, if I run, then you'll see how great I've done. Because I'll put in a financial statement which will knock people's socks off. Just knock their socks off -- and, you know, I'm very proud of it. So I'll make a decision prior to June, and we'll see what happens.
RUSH: Donald, you accurately describe what's happening to the country domestically, international policy. You describe Obama. The question that I have and a lot of people have: Are Obama and the people helping him in his administration just incompetent, do they not get it, or is this being done on purpose? I mean, there's an assault on the private sector of this company. There's an assault on wealth generation and creation. Is it these people are just rose-colored theoreticians who just don't know how wrong they are, or is it worse than that?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, there are two theories. There's one theory that he wants to destroy the country and create a socialistic country. There is that theory, and I've read a lot. This isn't necessarily my theory. I personally think they're incompetent. You know, we know and you know some of the great business leaders in this country. They're fantastic. And I know many of them, almost all of them, I guess. I mean, I know so many. I know the politicians on both sides, Rush, but I know the great business leaders. I know guys that are so tough and so mean, they make you look like a nice guy, Rush. Okay?
DONALD TRUMP: They're so smart and so good, and I would put people to negotiate, let's say, with China. And guess what? We would do absolutely great. But we use diplomats to negotiate -- and, you know, when China sends over their people to negotiate, they pick their meanest, smartest, most vicious guy; and these guys, they don't play games. They don't laugh, they don't cry, they have no emotion. They just want to make money, and they just want to rip our country to shreds. But I know people that are tougher and smarter than them. We don't use 'em. So I think they're incompetent. One thing Obama is: He's a good campaigner. He's a terrible president. I think he's gonna go down as the worst president ever, frankly. I used to say that about Jimmy Carter but I think he's gonna be surpassed. But I think that the one thing he is, he's a good campaigner. He just campaigns well. If you ask me about Obama, the only thing he does well is campaign.
RUSH: Debt ceiling and the budget battle just fought. You're running for president -- or you're toying with the idea. You have demonstrable success in making ends meet; you have to, one way or the other. What's your opinion of watching this take process place, the debt ceiling fight coming up and a budget battle where we're supposed to feel good over cutting either $38 billion or $352 million or whatever it was?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, I heard your statement last week and it was sort of interesting because when they called me, we were in the billions, in the $38 billion range; and they asked me a question, and I heard $38 billion. Now, I wasn't happy with $38 billion, but I said, "Well, we'll have another fight, and that will take place in a few months and then we'll be fine," but then I heard the $38 billion -- long after I did the interview with Greta Van Susteren who's terrific, by the way. But I did an interview with her, and the interview took place before people found out that the $380 billion (sic) was actually a lot lower. So I would have had a lot different opinion, because I wasn't even happy with the 380 number. So that's one thing. As far as the budget, I don't like raising the ceiling. You know, you can solve the problem now. Why should we keep waiting? That's the problem. We keep waiting and waiting and waiting. But I will say, Rush, the Republicans have to be careful. And I'm a fan of Paul Ryan, but he shouldn't get too far out with some of these plans, because they're gonna belabor it. One thing with me: If I decide to run I am gonna cherish senior citizens. And the Democrats, and I know 'em all because as you know I come from New York and it's virtually a hundred percent virtual Democratic, right?
DONALD TRUMP: You know, I've dealt with these people, Schumer and -- and everybody.
RUSH: I want to ask you about that when we come back from break.
DONALD TRUMP: Okay, very good. But the Republicans shouldn't get too far out because they're already making plans to say, incorrectly, that the Medicare is gonna be terrible for the seniors, et cetera, et cetera. This is Obama's fight, and he should be leading it as the president. We shouldn't get too far out in front.
RUSH: Donald Trump is with us as we attempt to cure leukemia and lymphoma -- and, by the way, thank you again for that donation. That was totally unexpected. Mr. Trump has thrown $100,000 into our effort here today.
RUSH: We welcome back Donald Trump. I need to ask you something about Paul Ryan and what you meant. You said that he's gotta be very careful not to be too far out. You mean too many years out in his planning or too far out in his thinking?
DONALD TRUMP: Too far out with the plan itself. He's doing a plan, he's done a plan, he's come out, and what the Democrats -- and I see it more and more and I hear from them because, again, you know, living in New York that's what I see is Democrats all over the place -- are going to do is say it's attack on Medicare. And Medicare to a lot of people means seniors, and that this is a very strong attack on Medicare. And I honestly think you have to go down the line in a bipartisan way. You have to go down with the Democrats. I don't think they should be too far out in front. Don't forget, we don't have the president yet. Hopefully, we will have. We don't have. He's supposed to be leading this attack, not us. And they can do rejects, they can criticize his plan, but in my opinion... You know, there's an election in 2012, right?
DONALD TRUMP: In my opinion, he has to be very careful because when he mentions even the touching of the word "Medicare" -- and Medicaid to a lesser extent, perhaps -- but when he mentions even the touching of Medicare, they're gonna attack him unmercifully.
RUSH: They're gonna attack --
DONALD TRUMP: I just think it's a bad position to be in when you have an election coming up.
RUSH: They're gonna attack him anyway just like they're gonna attack you. Now, his plan doesn't touch current recipients. That's one thing he's very clear about.
DONALD TRUMP: That's right.
RUSH: But you, you. Last time you were here I shared with you some questions I had from members of my audience uncomfortable with donations that you have made to Democrats: Rahm Emanuel, Chuck Schumer, and so forth.
DONALD TRUMP: Right.
RUSH: You explained that. You have to do business in the places you live. They're the ones that hold power, hold office. You mentioned compromise just now. Donald, what are you gonna do if you're elected and all of a sudden they start accusing you of wanting to kill babies and kill old people, which they will. That's what they do. Your friendship's gonna go out the window with these guys when it comes to their political power, Donald. They're gonna come after you the same way they go after anybody else in the Republican Party.
DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, you're right, Rush, but I will say this. You know, I've dealt with Democrats and Republicans all my life, and somebody said, "Oh, do you have that much experience politically?" You know, I've dealt -- and understand this better than anybody. I've dealt with politicians all of my life. I've also dealt with foreign countries. I'm doing jobs all over the world. I've dealt with foreign countries for a long period of time. The fact is, I think somebody that got along with the Democrats -- and I do get along -- now, you know, that could change instantaneously. You understand that. But the level of animosity... You know, in the old days "across the aisle" wasn't the worst thing. People got along. Today, the level of hatred, the level of anger -- and I'm the most militaristic person there is, if they treat me improperly. But I think having a little bit of a relationship on the other side of the aisle is not so bad, Rush, where deals can be made. But good deals, not the deal like Obama gave the other day. That wasn't a deal, that was a campaign speech. That was his first campaign speech.
RUSH: But they're not gonna want you to succeed at anything. They will stop progress for America. Your relationship with them will change once you become elected. If you become president, you might have the ability to bring them in line, but they will not start that way. They will be out to destroy you to preserve their way of life, their political ideology. Remember, their power derives from creating more and more people dependent on government for their daily needs.
DONALD TRUMP: Right.
RUSH: You don't believe that.
DONALD TRUMP: Rush, you're probably right and probably it won't work out in the kind of manner which makes sense and would be good and then they'll see the real Donald Trump, because I do much better under adversity than I do the other way. I'd love to see it work where people could actually get together and go down the line and straighten out this country. You're probably right, and that's fine, and then I'll do I think an even better job.
RUSH: Well, it would be fascinating to me because you do know them.
DONALD TRUMP: I know them so well it's unbelievable.
RUSH: You have socialized with them. I think that if they tried to attack you the way they attack every other conservative or Republican, you might have a leg up on them because you've got years and years of being able to say, "Well, Chuck, you never said that to me before. You never accused me of wanting to kick old people out of their houses. Why do you think I want to do it now?"
DONALD TRUMP: Mmm-hmm.
RUSH: So, you would have that opportunity. So you're thinking you might announce this on the upcoming episode of The Apprentice?
DONALD TRUMP: No. What I may do is: The finale is on May 22nd, and I may announce on the finale the date of the news conference where I'd make the determination.
RUSH: Oh, I see. By the way, The Apprentice --
DONALD TRUMP: And that will be, in any event, sometime prior to June. Because, you know, somebody said to me the other day, "Oh, let's do it in June." I said, "No, I can't do that." They said, "No, no, it would be perfect." I said, "No, I can't do that, because I have been saying for six months 'sometime prior to June.'" They said, "Oh, no, it doesn't matter. If you say June..." I said, "No, you don't understand. When I say 'prior to June,' that doesn't mean 'June.'" So I will be making an announcement sometime prior to June -- and I may surprise you, Rush.
RUSH: You always surprise people.
DONALD TRUMP: Heh.
RUSH: (chuckles) Look, I appreciate your time here today and everybody appreciates your donation to the Cure-A-Thon effort here. That was a shock and totally surprising. Before you go, it's probably a silly question, but have you stopped to think how your life will change were you to be elected president? I mean, it's nothing like your life. For example, would you move to the White House?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, I guess you'd sorta have to but the truth is it would be a lot different -- and, again, if I had my choice, I wish this country were running great. I wish I could stand up and say, "Wow, this place is really running fantastically," and, by the way, if it were I wouldn't be getting poll numbers like I'm getting. Because, you know, people look at me as somebody that can really -- that knows what he's doing. Whether they love me or don't love me, they think I know what I'm doing and that people aren't gonna be taking advantage of the country, and that's why I think I'm doing very well in the polls. And, by the way, I see the other politicians, and, you know, I don't think that's gonna be happening. So if I had my choice, I'd love to keep doing what I'm doing. The country is in serious, serious trouble, like it's never been before. And that's why I'm saying: Would I rather stay in Trump Tower? Would I rather stay and lead the life I'm leading -- and you know something about my life. It's very good.
RUSH: I do. Yes, I do.
DONALD TRUMP: The answer is, yes, but I love the country, Rush.
RUSH: Donald Trump. I appreciate your time. Thank you very much, and we'll talk to you again soon, I'm sure.
DONALD TRUMP: Thank you, Rush.
RUSH: Donald Trump, talking to us from Trump Tower in New York, explaining why he's doing this, and it dovetails with what a lot of us think: The country is in terrible shape, worse than it's ever been. Again, he opened by kicking in a hundred grand to the effort to cure the blood cancers today for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America. It's our annual Cure-A-Thon, the 21st today, three decades we're spanning.