Donald Trump tells Britain’s The Telegraph that he represents millions of Americans who feel Washington isn’t listening to them.
In a profile published this weekend, the Telegraph asked the billionaire why almost every major Republican presidential candidate has trekked to his Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City seeking his endorsement. He responded: “It’s because I represent the millions of Americans who wanted me to run and who are tired of this country getting ripped off by China and OPEC [the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries] and the rest of the world. We’re a laughingstock — run by stupid people.”
During the interview with Philip Sherwell of The Telegraph, Trump continues: “They see me as someone who wouldn’t allow this to happen. The candidates want my endorsement because those millions of Americans listen to me and respect me.”
Nearly all of the candidates have gone to the real estate mogul’s office, the latest being former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has snagged front-runner status from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in many polls.
Trump, who has just published a new best-seller “Time to Get Tough: Making America # 1 Again” outlining his plan to defeat President Barack Obama in 2012, himself topped Republican presidential polls this year until he announced in May that he wouldn’t run because of conflicts with his popular “Apprentice” reality TV show franchise.
He also is slated to moderate The Newsmax ION Television 2012 Presidential Debate Dec. 27 in Des Moines, Iowa, just days before the Jan. 3 caucuses in the Hawkeye State.
“Trump has probably had more face time with the Republican field than any other American voter,” the Telegraph reports. “As well as Mr. Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann have all visited Trump Tower, as did Herman Cain before dropping out of the race, and Sarah Palin, before not getting in.”
During the Telegraph interview, Trump praised both Gingrich and Romney, the two favorites, and said he intends to make an endorsement before the caucuses.
“Newt has taken off as if he’s fitted with a rocket chip, but they are both my friends,” he said, although he declined to tip his hand on his own favorite.