Trump hits 'joke candidates' Paul and Huntsman
December 5th, 2011
10:27 AM ET
10 years ago

Trump hits 'joke candidates' Paul and Huntsman

(CNN) – Donald Trump stoked an ongoing back-and-forth with Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul Monday, dismissing Paul's decision to skip a presidential forum he is set to moderate in December.

Trump said the choice by Texas Rep. Paul and rival candidate Jon Huntsman not to attend will result in a better event.

"I think most candidates are going to join, and I think these two candidates have zero chance of getting elected, so it makes no difference," Trump said Monday on NBC's "Today." "I think that they are joke candidates and they are doing very poorly."

"Frankly, it gives more air time to people that really have a chance at getting elected," Trump added.

The reality show star, who decided against his own presidential bid in May, is set to host a debate, with the conservative Newsmax magazine Dec. 27 in Iowa, the first-in-the-nation caucus state. Paul and Huntsman are the only candidates thus far to announce they will not attend. The other contenders have yet to formally declare their decisions.

Trump's comments comprise the latest jabs between him and Paul, which started during the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. During his speech Trump said Paul, who is making his third bid for the White House, had "no chance" of winning the GOP presidential nomination.

Paul rebutted the remarks at the time and after the debate announcement last week said the Republican Party could be hurt by allowing Trump to moderate the final debate before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.

During an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, the twelve-term congressman told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that he doesn't "understand the marching to his office."

"I don't know that he had the ability to lay on hands and anoint people," Paul said.

The comments come as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich becomes the fifth potential Republican nominee to visit Trump in New York.

Trump said Gingrich's recent rise in national and state-wide polls is due to his blunt and truthful rhetoric.

"I think one of the reasons he's surging, he's like a rocket ship because of the fact that he says it like it is," Trump said.

- CNN Associate Producer Rebecca Stewart contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump • Jon Huntsman • Ron Paul
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Fran

    Three people I would only vote for. Romney, Trump or Obama. Yes I guess I am an independent- republican for the most part however the other candidates don't stand a chance to lead this country and would do worse than Obama if elected. The other candidates are life long politicians with personal interests. I don't think that Romney or Trump would look out for their personal gain as presidents. They are already very rich and uber rich. I think they both know best how to make our economy grow and create jobs for America.

    December 5, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. stevie

    Trump was creating jobs back when Obama was still flying around with an Indonesian passport 🙂

    December 5, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. donnie

    Geez – Imagine having to look at this guy first thing in the morning!

    December 5, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Donald Trump is one thing that Ron Paul and I are in agreement and puzzlement on. I don't understand the reason for candidates wanting to be anointed by Trump, either. I would think being in political bed with would be counter productive. What does Trump have to offer? If it cannot be explained in public, then it cannot be good.

    December 5, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Jason

    Like him or not, Trump is another guy telling it like it is. Paul and Huntsman have no chance of winning. Paul is somewhat of a whack-job and could never be elected as president. While he has some solid positions, they are marginalized by his crazy opinions on so many other issues. Huntsman has a great grasp of foreign policy, but his opinions differ too much from the Republican base to win a national election. Frankly the fact that McCain was the Republican candidate is probably the reason Obama won. McMain was too far off the Republican's base positions to get them interested. I think Gingrich while not perfect on every issue has solutions to a number of our nations problems.

    December 5, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. edog

    Let the free markets speak, "Boycott All Thing TRUMP"!!!! That will shut him up.

    December 5, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. I can't beleive this

    "I think one of the reasons he's surging, he's like a rocket ship because of the fact that he says it like it is," Trump said.

    Yes he does, and next week Gingrich will take the other side of the argument when he gets paid to do so. You tube Ron Paul's ad on Gingrich, have we all forgotten who Newt was? He was for Individual Mandate (because the health care industry paid him to do so). He took millions from Freddie Mac before the housing crisis. Mr. Trump, Gingrich is just as big a joke as you are.

    December 5, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. Peter

    Really good idea. Have the moderator for your debate loudly opining on the chances of candidates, and calling some of them a joke. Why bother with this charade. Call the thing what it is. " The Apprentice – GOP". As Huntsman said, grab the popcorn.

    December 5, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. jk from MN

    Trump – the male Palin to the GOP'ers. Stick to your show, Donald.

    December 5, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    Fran, hes has " created " jobs in the service industries: find out how much the average employee at one of his hotels, casinos or resorts actually makes. Does he actually manufacture anything? Is there a process he has patented? He contributes so little to economy through his questionable businesses as to be laughable: could you be middle-class working as an average worker for him? Doubtful. Romney was riducled by Trump as someone who"...had done a few smal deals". Romeny excelled at showing people the door, reselling the companies, and pocketing the profits. Hwat did he produce in teh private sector? What did he create. Trump and Romney did nothing to change our lives: Bill Gates and Steve Jobs fundamentally changed the way we live: all Trump reminds us of is that wretched excess still fascinates the weak-minded.

    December 5, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. tigerakabj

    With Cain out, it's time to name the GOP primary "The Presidential Apprentice Show," starring Donald "Where's your birth certificate" Trump with the supporting cast Uncle Rush Oxycotin Limbaugh, Sarah Mama Grizzly Palin, and Cousin Sean I never lie Hannity. The candidates can win the game if they can placate the hosts egos and provide an extra path for them to make a quick buck at everybody's expense. If they can't pull their weight, "Their fired!"

    Obama/Biden 2012

    December 5, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  12. Martha in CF

    You are so full of yourself, Trump. This debate just lowers the Redumblicans altogether!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama/Biden 2012

    December 5, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. BinVA

    I think the GOP fascination with Trump is due to the basic misunderstanding on the part of their "base" with what Capitalism and Free Enterprise represent. They like Trump because he has basically lived off the work of others while contributing nothing of value himself (essentially he's a parasite). It's like having a chance to win the lottery and not have to work and who doesn't want to do that? He represents their dream life, living off the work of others (Wait! Isn't this the criticism of the Left?!). Under real Capitalism and Free Enterprise everyone brings something to the table, be it capital, ideas, or labor, and everyone benefits from the results.

    December 5, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Larry L

    Trump is yet another clown in the GOP circus. He would support Gingrich because morality and character are unknown and unnecessary concepts in the world of the modern facist.

    December 5, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. Dixie AZ

    Why not let the cast of Saturday Night Live moderate the debate? They have a wider sense of politics and incite than Trump will ever have.

    December 5, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. ST

    And Newt whose party is claiming is intelligent is set to meet Trump? Where does the intelligence go?
    By the way Trump, are your people whom you sent to Hawaii still not finished the job? We are still waiting to hear the results!

    December 5, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  17. Mattski

    The original joke candidate speaks...

    December 5, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Pyrometman

    @Jason, you said:
    "Paul and Huntsman have no chance of winning. Paul is somewhat of a whack-job and could never be elected as president. While he has some solid positions, they are marginalized by his crazy opinions on so many other issues."

    You sound like a broken record player. If I had a dime for every time I've hear Ron Paul called names, maybe I'd be as rich as Trump. No matter how many times people say these things does not make them true. It just speaks of someone who is uninformed.

    December 5, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    I wonder if everyone will set around a big board room sized conference table with Trump at the head. Ya' know, sort of like they do on Trumps reality show. ( I never watch it. I think 4 people trying make 4 foot tall cakes is more interesting. ) This debate could secretly be a model for an upcomoing new reality show of his, "The Candidate".

    December 5, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Noodle Nose Johnson

    What happened to the GOP? Does anyone remember Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt, anyone? The GOP is a complete joke.

    What's also being lost in this kerfuffle is the debate is being sponsored by Newsmax, the preeminent source of right wing conspiracy garbage and out right fallacies. Newsmax is for people who think Fox News is too fair and balanced.

    December 5, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Tony

    Trump has as much credibility as Gingrich on family values, Romney on conservative values, and Bachmann on history (and pretty much everything else). In other words, none. Still, he should have stayed in the Republican race. He might have been their current anti-Romney candidate.

    December 5, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    The Real Tom Paine wrote:

    Fran, hes has " created " jobs in the service industries: find out how much the average employee at one of his hotels, casinos or resorts actually makes.
    No, Donald Trump does not create jobs in service industries at hotels, casinos and resorts. Trump gets paid to have his name put on those types of facilities, no more. I think the Superdome in New Orleans has a corporate name on it, just like most stadiums and arenas. Fran would suggest that the corporation who's name appears in lights is responsible for creating jobs at the SuperDome.

    Donald Trump is at best a sly and crafty businesman who knows where and how the rules and laws can bend.

    December 5, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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