Trump urges GOP to be 'mean as hell'
August 27th, 2012
11:09 AM ET
11 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. Dave

    I'd say they certainly have "mean" covered. Let's just see if they can take it as well as they dish it out...

    August 27, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Jim Hahn

    And that great president will be Barack Obama

    August 27, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. once upon a horse

    I LOVE it when I hear righties say Obama CAN'T run on his record. Truth is he will NOT run on the record that the GOP claims that he has, especially the lies that Romney and Co. been saying about him. Take for example the one big GOP lie that Obama has raised taxes when he hasn't. Plus didn't Donald Trump a few months ago claim he was NO LONGER a Republican? Thank God that there is still baseball and now football going on so I can have something else to look at on tv this week. Sure don't need to watch another reality show or in this canse NON-reality.

    August 27, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. mdn

    MEAN is what the GOP knows well. When it comes to HELL and getting there, the GOP knows that well...too.

    August 27, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Ann

    Obama's campaign was vicious 4 years ago in the primary and they are vicious now. Yes, I agree with Trump. Axelrod? Chicago dirt.

    If Romney/Ryan will not get distracted and talk about economy only.. they will win. And the economy is the number one problem.. as it was 4 years ago when Democrats stupidly preferred Obama vs. Clinton.

    August 27, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. rs

    Funny- Lets take all of the unpopular positions on immigration, taxation, Social Security, Medicare, women, Gays, foreign affairs, THEN- let's be mean.

    Headline: GOP on suicide watch.....

    August 27, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. Malory Archer

    Some enterprising individual should host tours around Tampa with a special stop in front of trump towers – or should I say – the mess that was supposed to be trump towers. the donald walked away and let the property fall into weed filled, blighted disrepair that Tampa city workers are responsible for cleaning up – AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE NO LESS!

    August 27, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    I do remember Trump once saying, " Romney's done a few nice small deals": now he thinks Romney is great? Please. one other thing: how does Trump expect the GOP to pull the country together is they are " mean as hell"? This is not a backroom negotiation for a golf course, this is the country.

    August 27, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. Say No to Willard Romney Hood and Personhood Ann Ryand

    Reinhold Rinse Prius sure tried to use Chump's strategy this morning and Chris Matthews promptly debated him under the bus. The circus is in Tampa this week.

    August 27, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Marie MD

    The birther fool telling the party of norquist (pledge to help the rich) and rove and the Koch bros to get mean as he'll?
    How much more do you wNg them to be? They are against women, minorities, Blacks, the poor, seniors, gays, Nimal lovers. What's next hurt children?
    He was not afraid that thing on his head would blow way?

    August 27, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. BlkPwr817

    I guess he's telling Romney to LIE a little bit more to the American people. It's been right for em' so far huh?

    August 27, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. ghostriter

    Ann, we'd love for Romney to talk about the economy. Like will he alter his plans after report after report has judged his ideas as not too good at doing anything. Can he show us a report that his plans will create the 4 million jobs he promised? If Obama is taking $700 billion from Medicare, what is Ryan's plan doing with the money?

    Just saying.....

    August 27, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. carlos

    so nauseating......

    August 27, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. Tree

    Everybody is not mean in America.......the GOP and their troops are but 89% don't think like that. Evil Evil Evil

    August 27, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. Joe Smith

    The GOP seems to have painted itself into an interesting corner. On the one hand, they claim to be the party of the "job creators", standing up for the rights of the middle class and small business owners. On the other hand, they are totally subservient to the very rich and the big corporations. The rich are certainly not interested in seeing the middle class gaining political power at their expense, and the big corporations definitely don't want to see their economic power lessened by the emergence of the sort of competitive ideas generated by small businesses. When push comes to shove, whose side do you think the republicans will take?

    August 27, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. Corey Ely

    Donald and Mitt are the same type of people, ignorant businessmen who have no idea how our economy works. It doesn't work like their businesses. It dumbfounds me to know that people think like them. Obama needs to be re-elected, and democrats need to retake the senate so we can get things done, rather than the repubs sabotaging everything to make Obama look bad.

    August 27, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Joan

    Probably the GOP had two reasons for cancelling Monday's activities at the convention. First, they were legitimately afraid that Isaac would pose a risk to the members attending the convention. Secondly, it gave them a chance and reason to cancel Trump's appearance which would have been ridiculed and torn apart by the media as an attention grabbing stunt. This guy does not seem to understand his own reputation and that he is one of the most disliked guys in the US. People laugh at him not with him.

    August 27, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. lolo

    The nerve of this guy. Wonder how his ratings are going now that he has let the cat out of the back regarding he is a tea partier. Also he wants Romneyhood to win so that he can keep getting bailed out of all of his bankruptcies with government funds. This is how the GOP rolls. If you ain't rich you ain't it.

    August 27, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. California Gary

    The GOP doesn't need any encouragement to fight mean and dirty.......they have been doing that for the past ten years. The difference this year is that the Dems are fighting fire with fire instead of rolling over for them. I'm glad to see it.........Romney steamrolled his primary opponents, but it will be a little harder to do that to the Obama folks.

    August 27, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. george of the jungle

    trump is a glory seeking show off. A publicty hound through and through. Never watch his shows or stay at his hotels. As for mean the repos statred mean almost 4 years ago and have not stopped. Every time the president gets a zinger in they cry fowl and try to make him into the bad guy. Since repos have no answers all they can do is be mean. Hope it shows at the convention so people get a good look at what they really are. Forward 2012

    August 27, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Jojola

    They say politics make strange bedfellows. Let’s look at some of Romney's bed mates. Trump, Arpaio, Akin.....oops, I mean Ryan and of course, the infamous Koch brothers and Karl Rove, just to name a few. The RNC convention is gearing up to be a real Klan man's dream. The main agenda is, "Let's see how many lies, vile, vitriol and ignorant insults we can spew out about President Obama within a two day time frame". You take away the Obama bashing and Romney doesn’t have a platform to stand on. Every time he speaks, it’s all about what Obama hasn’t done or what he has “supposedly” messed up but we never get a clear cut statement about Romney’s record as governor and how he could do any better. Take away the bashing and you get absolutely nothing from a candidate who stands for nothing but falls for every billionaire Koch brother who is will to contribute heavily to his campaign. Romney isn’t running for president. He’s likening to the queen of England, only a prop with no political power. The real power behind his campaign is all those billionaire contributors trying their damndest to buy this election. Yeah, the RNC convention should be a real hootenanny!

    August 27, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. Bart

    Is the irony that he was accepted an award as "Statesman of the Year" and was telling a political party to be mean and dirty?

    August 27, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. gord

    why are all these republicans who started life with daddy,s money -nuts

    August 27, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. Four and The Door

    Ann, we'd love for Romney to talk about the economy. Like will he alter his plans after report after report has judged his ideas as not too good at doing anything. Can he show us a report that his plans will create the 4 million jobs he promised?
    Mitt Romney will help create 12 million jobs by the end of his first term. ( you are probably remembering 4 million as what Obama promised with his $850 billion stimulus which didn't happen. ) What you will not see is Mitt Romney asking for $850 billion in new government debt to help create these jobs. He will reduce government spending and create jobs like he did in Massachusetts. It can be done if you know what you are doing.

    August 27, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. Gurgyl

    Obama12. True middle class America.

    August 27, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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