Sen. Alexander:  Donald Trump has 'no chance of winning'
March 6th, 2011
11:21 AM ET
12 years ago

Sen. Alexander: Donald Trump has 'no chance of winning'

(CNN) – Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said Donald Trump has "absolutely no chance of winning" in a presidential contest during an interview with CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley on Sunday.

Alexander and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson discussed 2012 politics on CNN's "State of the Union," where Alexander weighed in on the contenders for the 2012 GOP nomination.

"There's always someone like Donald Trump who has absolutely no chance of winning," he said. "He's famous for being famous."

Update: Trump hits back, slams Sen. Lamar Alexander

The GOP senator claimed that "there are only two to three people on either side who have any real chance to be president of the United States." And for him, the contest depends who has "the capacity and ability to be President of the United States."

"So Tim Pawlenty has a much better chance than Donald Trump of being the Republican nominee," Alexander said.

He also divided the GOP presidential hopeful pack into those who have the ability to run, and those who are still unsure. "Mitt Romney is most likely to run and is clearly someone who has the ability to do it," he said. But, "There are others who could but they haven't indicated they're sure to run, like Mike Huckabee, Mitch Daniel, Haley Barbour, Governor Pawlenty. And then you've got Newt with the force of his ideas, and Sarah Palin with the force of her personality."

Describing the field as "a pretty interesting primary," Alexander stated, "It will boil down to two or three and basically it will be the ones who are willing to start and finish."

While noting that "any incumbent president is formidable," he cautioned against the belief that President Obama has an easy road to re-election.

"I wouldn't assume there won't be a primary challenge…this is a lot harder than it looks," he said.

Richardson, who sought the Democratic nomination for president in 2008, imagined that Obama's biggest opposition would come from a "dark horse candidate that is strong with their conservative base." He observed that the GOP candidates "haven't started out well" and said that he'd thought Sen. John Thune of South Dakota could have been a contender against Obama. Thune announced that he would not seek the presidency in February.

When it comes to what it takes to go the distance, Richardson recalled his days as a candidate and observed that half the battle is fundraising.

"I asked my campaign manager, David Contarino, what were the six steps we needed to take before we made the run. And three out of six were can we raise the money to do it. So that's a big factor. Secondly, do you have it within you to go through two years of very intensive personal and professional trials and tribulations running for president? Third, do you have a theme?"

And he singled out the importance of a candidate's ability to stand out saying, "And then lastly, where do you fit in within the current crop?"

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Robin Hood come to America.

    Everybody know that.

    March 6, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. Root and stem

    Forget defeating Obama. Focus on retaking the Senate and keeping the House. After that Mr. Obama can be removed from office legally and his attacks on the foundations of this country can be halted.

    March 6, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    Why should being an arrogant jerk disqualify someone from being president? We have certainly had our share of idiots.

    March 6, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. vic nashville tn

    Poll show Donald Trump has chance

    Busting unions, take money from middle class giving to rich, attacking single mom will give Donald trump a chance

    March 6, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. huxley

    I like how CPAC's top pick was Ron Paul – another candidate with no chance of winning a Republican nomination. The Republican party has a history of snubbing any candidate who leaves the fold and I doubt they'll forget Ron Paul's attempt to run as an independant in the past.

    March 6, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    Oh, Root and stem, you silliy, silly person! What specifically has President Obama done that would warrant impeachment?

    Anyway, while all these Republican yahoo wannabees are arguing over who's the most "conservative" (whatever the heck that means), President Obama is actually DOING things to help our country get through the mess the failed Republican economic, military and foreign policies created.

    March 6, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. EddyL

    Nop chance for Trump? No chance for Palin or Gingrich either....

    March 6, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Bob

    True but ONLY because the Voters are IDIOTS. We all know Both parties are Greedy lying crooks and do not care about Americans but the voters have this "I must for for my party" stupid attitude and thus the beat goes on. It wouid not matter if God ran he would loose. OH well down the toilet we go.

    March 6, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. carlos

    root and stem.....comeback to reality if you know what reality is...........for sure not any of those disgraceful republiCONServatives have a chance of winning.....not with their record of failures.......just look at the hitlerian walker in wisconsin......putrid and evil........

    March 6, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. paulbark

    Lamar Alexander has a lot of credibility (and experience) when it comes to running for president with no chance of winning. He has a storehouse full of his flannel shirts that was the trademark of his failures in running for president.

    March 6, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. mike H

    I would vote for him. I have about 11 friends and They said they would vote for him as well. I hope he runs. Go Dtrump.

    March 6, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Annie, Atlanta

    Since it's obviously not in corporate media's best interests to keep covering the attempt to break up unions, starting in Wisconsin, I have a question:

    If public school teachers are bilking us taxpayers to live so high off the hog, what are politicians doing?

    March 6, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. john ross

    Rather amusing actually; on one hand we had a community organizer morph into a president whose resume reads like the ultimate example of affirmative action gone wrong (a Nobel Prize for what?) and on the other the same people that think this president is the greatest thing since sliced bread believe a man who actually accomplished something in his life is just a loser candidate...makes sense right? why should we want a president in office that has ever demonstrated the ability to get something done; far better to just blame the other side. I don't like Trump personally but if you believe the persona you see is the person he is; you're a complete idiot.

    March 6, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. annie s

    Root and stem, if our President was guilty of any impeachable offense, your post might make sense. But he is not and, as he apparently is a man of honor and wisdom, it's unlikely he ever will be. Further, what you see as "attacks on the foundation of this country" many of us see as embracing that foundation – a nation of immigrants and a government of, by and for the people. President Obama, in my opinion, honors that.

    March 6, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. Ridgeway

    I will vote for the the GOP candidate regardless of who it is in 2012 I just hope it's not the same tired asses McCain, Newt, Romney, etc or another Bush and certainly Palin. Nothing against them but the GOP needs a new player vis a vi Rubio, Trump, Pwaltney, Larry the Cable Guy, Jindahl. Anyone to replace the most unqualified President ever, Obama.

    March 6, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    As this economic recovery takes hold, and the DOW creeps toward 13,000, and unemployment continues to decline, and democracy continues to flourish where dictators once ruled, and the Republicans continue to cry "Socialist!" and "Marxist!" and "anti-Constitution!" and other empty superlatives at the incumbent President, the odds of Obama winning re-election improve exponentially. Who on the right side of the aisle looks remotely presidential these days? It's kind of fun watching Obama painting the right into a corner in multiple ways. He is masterfully using the 2010 midterm elections as a weapon in his favor, starting with the allowing the Tea Party and Sarah and Michelle to tear apart the party from within.,,,

    March 6, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Ridgeway

    It's fascinating the number of posters who think Obama is doing a great job. To them I say get out of my wallet and back on the picket line. You guys have hitched your wagons to a one trick pony. His trick? He's the first Black President. Isn't that cool? I would ask you Bush and GOP complainers two questions 1) how did you personally suffer under Bush and, 2) name one thing Obama has made better for you personally?

    March 6, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. PulTab

    you republicants might as well face it. you have no one who can come anywhere close to beating President Obama in 2012. you might as well start grooming failin palin for 2016. that idiot stands as much of a chance as anyone.

    March 6, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. Billy Davis

    John Ross- Let me get this straight being a community organizer in your youth is a bad thing? Growing up poor graduating from Harvard while being the President of its law review without daddy's help is Affirmative Action gone wrong. Being elected President and changing America's negative global image, working hard to fix the economy. I guess being the epitome of the American dream bothers you, why? The President's life story gives every kid especially poor kids the example that they can actually grow up and be President.

    March 6, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    Dunno, if Daniels doesn't run, I would have to opt for Donald, as the next best choice. I have zero interest in the also-rans from the past, and Obama has to go.

    I will NOT vote for any GOP candidate who is anti-abortion, and anti-gay. I will not support religious interference in government, whatsoever.

    At least Donald knows how to balance a budget. I doubt any career politicians do.

    March 6, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. jake

    Buisnessmen make good buisnessmen. Politicians make corrupt ideologues out of good buisnessmen. Stay out of the race Don, be good to yourself and leave the politics up to the corrupt, the self entitled, the ignorant. Palin is a politican, beck is a potiticain, newt is a politician, romney is a politician, cheney, bush, rumsfield...war criminals.

    March 6, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |