Trump urges GOP to be 'mean as hell'
August 27th, 2012
11:09 AM ET
2 years ago

Trump urges GOP to be 'mean as hell'

(CNN) – Accepting the Sarasota GOP "Statesman of the Year" award Sunday night, real estate titan Donald Trump had some fighting words for his Republican friends this fall–and said them without a hint of irony.

"I hope they are tough as hell and mean as hell and they fight fire with fire. And if they do–and if they're smart because it's all about being smart–we're going to have a great president of the United States," Trump said at the event.

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The multimillionaire blasted President Barack Obama's campaign, labeling them flat out "bad people" because of "the kind of things they do and the kind of things they say."

"These people are vicious," he said, referring to some of the campaign's negative attacks, as well as a pro-Obama super PAC ad that appeared to blame Romney for the loss of a steelworker's health benefits and the eventual cancer death of his wife.

Trump also posited his belief-perhaps introspectively–that successful people have trouble running for office because of their own success.

"They've been tough. They've been competitive. They work. They built their business," Trump said. "And honestly, they have left people in their wake, and they've made enemies."

Trump, who flirted with a presidential bid last year, argued that successful business people are the kind of candidates needed for political office, but their "enemies" eventually become roadblocks in their campaigns.

"They can't really go out there. They can't put it together because all of those people that they beat consistently over a lifetime...all of those people come back to haunt him," he said.

He continued: "And I see it happening with Mitt. Mitt was a successful man, he did a great job."

Trump was referring to Romney's tenure as the co-founder and CEO of the private equity firm Bain Capital. Democrats have consistently used Romney's corporate background as major grounds for attack, arguing the candidate spent years buying out small firms and laying off thousands of workers for profit.

Romney, however, says he does not apologize for his success and invokes his business experience as a key calling card on the campaign trail.

Trump was scheduled to play a "surprise" role on the first day of the GOP convention in Tampa, Florida, but Monday's calendar was scrapped due to weather conditions related to Tropical Storm Isaac. When convention organizers released a new schedule Sunday, Trump's name was nowhere to be found on the list.

The schedule change may have some Republicans breathing a little easy, especially after Romney drew criticism for making a birth certificate joke in Michigan on Friday–echoing refrains from Trump, the "birther" movement's biggest name.

However, a convention official suggested Monday at a press conference that Trump may still "show up" at some point this week.


Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump • Florida • Republican National Convention
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Grady

    the circus is definitely in town... one of the main attractions just arrived...

    August 27, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. BinaryTooth

    Come on now Trump. Pay your fair share so I can buy some somkes.

    Like the Myan's said "Obma 2012"

    August 27, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. GI Joe

    Can they get any meaner than they were in 2000 against McCain and in 2004 against Kerry?

    They're definitely mean. For enough $$$$$$$ I'd be mean to the republicans.

    August 27, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  4. PaulCat

    ......and the gallup poll says the Obama attacks on Romney are "unfair." I guess Obama should just sit back and take it.

    August 27, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. manhandler1

    Of course, they aren't using any of the time to really say what their plans are for improving the Country. I STLL haven't heard anything but tax cuts for wealthy people and gutting any programs that strengthen the middle class. Oh, and then there's the magical deficit cutting from fairyland. People would like to know.....but they're just gonna sling mudd. Yeah.....folllow Trumps advice...it'll get you exactly nowhere.

    August 27, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. Doug

    The Romney campaign got Trump onboard to take advantage of his credibility and sincerity. ;)

    August 27, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    How do you define a fanatic? When their beliefs "trump" the truth.

    August 27, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. Four and The Door

    "These people are vicious," he said, referring to some of the campaign's negative attacks, as well as a pro-Obama super PAC ad that appeared to blame Romney for the loss of a steelworker's health benefits and the eventual cancer death of his wife.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    But here's the problem. Obama/ Biden 2012 cannot run on their record because it is lousy for all of the important issues. They can't run on their big bold new plan because they don't have one. And they can't run on Obama's qualifications because he isn't. What they are left with is a campaign strategy of personal attack and class warfare.

    I do agree with Donald Trump that Romney/ Ryan 2012 should be smart about the final months of the campaign and win so that we do have the best team in Washington for the nation. I hope this doesn't involved getting dragged down to the level of Obama/ Biden 2012, but I do have confidence in Mitt Romney's capability to put together a winning campaign that will send him into the White House with a mandate to get the federal government back in line to help the nation rather than being a burden on the nation.

    August 27, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. mig

    The GOP doesn't need any urging to be "mean as hell". They win the "mean as hell "title for all time.And Romney was 47th in job creation when he was governor of Mass.The Republican Party is not just mean,its a fraud.

    August 27, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  10. ST

    When will Mr. Hair-piece learn how to talk like any other civilised person, instead of spitting all the time?

    August 27, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. Indy

    "Mean as Hell" is exactly what Republicans have been to the middle class for decades, and they have put party first, citizens last when they took the economy to the brink of disaster and have held it there on purpose for the last four years.Donald Trump must have got beat up weekly when he was younger,he just oozes of fraud

    August 27, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. ThinkAgain

    @Manhandler1: "I STLL haven't heard anything but tax cuts for wealthy people and gutting any programs that strengthen the middle class. Oh, and then there's the magical deficit cutting from fairyland."

    And you never will hear anything, because all the GOP has are economic, military and foreign policies that are PROVEN FAILURES!

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    August 27, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. Chat Pata

    What are you talking about dude? GOP is already mean as hell. GOP sent swift-boaters after Kerry, Obama did no such thing against McCain. GOP questioned Obama's Christianity, Obama is not questioning Romney's Mormon faith. What else is there for GOP? Assassinations?

    August 27, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. luke,az

    Mr. Trumps visibility is proof that the Republican party has truly devolved into a party that has lost it's core purpose of real conservatism. The leader of the birther contingent has co-opted a once formidable party. Sad to see.

    August 27, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. B.

    Trump does not understand anything but Mean as Hell..

    That is really not what America wants of needs right now, we have had enough mean-spirited people trying to take over.

    That is big choice this time, Mean as Hell, or someone that actually cares about people like Obama.

    Romney will regret getting up close to Trump !

    August 27, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. wmnashco

    I was so looking forward to see that blow hard, Donald Frump on Monday night. Damn it Issac you sure know how to ruin the show.

    August 27, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. chill

    We sure will clown, and his name will be Obama. With supporters like this, Mitt doesn't need enemies.

    August 27, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Dave

    What a clown! An egomaniac desperate for attention and always looking to promote himself. Trump is totally irrelevant and made a complete fool out of himself pandering to the crazy birther bigots. Can't he just crawl back under the rock he came from? America's tired of this selffish blowhard.

    August 27, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  19. MNAnonymous!

    ... probably the great president he refers to is Mr. Obama!

    August 27, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. mig

    We really need someone like "Trump the Grump"to be behind the leadership of this country.These guys are supposed to be great businessmen but both had a head start on all of us from their fathers.They have no idea what the poor and middleclasses struggle with everyday.These guys are not even human.

    August 27, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. Walt M

    Wow...Dragged down by Obama/Biden 2012? Romney/Ryan has dragged down this election since November 2008 with their Faux "News" Super PAC. You've got to choose between Rove, Beck, O'Reilly, InsHannity, and any of the rest of their ilk including Palin and Trump when it comes down to who has dragged this election down the most. But make no mistake about it. The Republicans drug this thing down from the rigging of the election in 2000, to the swift boating in 2004, to the birtherism and covert racism in 2008, to the outright lies and lack of context in 2012. Yet not one news organization will take any of them to task over it.

    August 27, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. A not-so-stupid former republican

    The republicans are the inventors of really dirty political campaigns starting with Lee Atwood and Karl (Turd Blossom) Rove and the Donald (fake, phony, sh*thead, idiot), and they accuse President Obama of running a campaign of divisity and hate. republicans deserve every bad thing said about them. republicans are truly EVIL!

    August 27, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. kakaraka

    So Romney takes credit for his business success but doesn't want to take responsibilities for his business failure like shutting down companies, fire workers without pension payment, send jobs overseas. You can't have it both Mitt. Be the man enough to take responsibilities for what goes wrong. This is also part of leadership qualitity needed in a President. You fail this test badly Mitt.

    August 27, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. Thomas

    Donald Trump and Morning Joe are my GOP Fantasy picks for this years supper presidential bowl .

    Both have great hair , great smiles , full of arrogance and pompous enigma .

    Go Donald and Morning Joe 2012.

    August 27, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. Jules

    Right back at you, dude! GOP Statesman of the Year – there's a good one, but I guess he fits the bill as any other members of the GOP.

    August 27, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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