Donald Trump: I would spend ‘whatever it took’ to win White House
August 11th, 2013
04:59 PM ET
7 years ago

Donald Trump: I would spend ‘whatever it took’ to win White House

(CNN) – He flirted with a presidential run that never materialized in 2012, but Donald Trump is again making forays - serious or otherwise - into White House politics.

The real estate mogul and reality television host trekked to Iowa this weekend, along with other potential 2016 candidates Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, to speak at the evangelical Family Leader Conference.

And he told ABC News that he was willing to spend big on a presidential campaign - that is, if he decides to run for real this time.

“If I did it, I'd spend whatever it took,” Trump told ABC’s “This Week.”

Claiming a fortune of more than $10 billion, the magnate said voters would see a candidate who has “built a great company with a tremendous net worth.”

Many voters, however, still see Trump as the loudest backer of the “birther” movement, which questions President Barack Obama’s birthplace and thus his eligibility to serve as commander in chief.

Trump’s unfulfilled run for the 2012 Republican nomination included his demand that Obama make public his full birth certificate from Hawaii.

The president previously had provided a shorter version that serves as the public record in Hawaii, but amid the media glare on the issue raised in part by Trump's repeated questioning, the president released it in April 2011.

Noting he’s still not convinced the long form certificate is legitimate, Trump said in the interview Sunday that the “birther” issue wouldn’t disqualify him as a candidate, despite widespread condemnation of the issue from most Republicans.

“How does that make me not serious? I mean, I think that resonated with a lot of people,” he said.

During his address at the Family Leader event Saturday, Trump predicted a tough presidential contest in 2016, no matter the GOP candidate.

“Somebody is going to have to emerge who is really smart and really tough,” he said. “Because Obama should have been beaten. Hillary is going to be tougher to beat. And the Republicans have to do what's right. If they don't pick the right person, and I mean, it has to be the perfect person, they are going to get dropped in the 2016 election.”

Filed under: Donald Trump • Iowa
soundoff (340 Responses)
  1. The REAL Truth...

    @Don T. Hall – unfortunately, Obama knows how to add and subtract just fine, thank you! He adds to the deficit and subtracts from the middle class! Or what's left of it!
    I'd say it was fortunate.. it's the Republicans who don't know how to add... Obama has increased spending the LEAST amount of any POTUS in the last 60 yrs..
    Here are the average spending increases per year in raw dollars (not adjusted for inflation) in descending order by president:
    Carter 1977-1981 16.4%
    Nixon 1969-1975 13.5%%
    George W. Bush 2001-2009 10.2%
    Reagan 1981-1989 8.6%
    Kennedy 1961-1964 7.1%
    George H.W. Bush 1989-1993 5.8%
    Clinton 1993-2001 4.0%
    Eisenhower 1953-1961 3.6%
    Obama 2009-2013 1.4%

    August 12, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. Milton Platt

    I can't imagine the Republican party choosing him to run.

    August 12, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. jimmorrisonmania

    If he is willing to stop this amnesty and dramatic foreign worker visa increases that they pushed through the Senate and are now trying to ram through the House, or promises to repeal any such law he has my vote. We need to take care of the Americans who are here legally. We have 20 million Americans either unemployed or underemployed. If Trump is going to protect American jobs and the taxpayer by not granting amnesty he gets my vote hands down.

    August 12, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. columbus

    All this huckster is about, is money, he would legislate similar to his renowned show, whoever gives him the most money wins/buys his approval.

    August 12, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. amisc1970

    Since Trump is willing to spend whatever it takes for himself, if he doesn't get the nomination it would be reasonable to expect him to spend some $10s-$100s millions to get some other Republican elected. It will be interesting to see what he actually does spend.

    August 12, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Lenny Pincus

    Trump could try to spend "whatever it took," but becoming president takes something Trump doesn't have: a sound mind.

    August 12, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. john west

    there is nothing i'd rather see more, than for him to lose all his money. somewhere down the road, he will screw up and lose his fortune....I hope.

    August 12, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. Lsteel

    Riiiight, Hilary will be tougher to beat. That's why Obama was defeated by her–oh, wait.

    Trump will never run because that would mean disclosing specifics of his finances. However, I hope he hangs around, saying outrageous stuff, because his entertainment value is considerable.

    August 12, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  9. AZ Girl

    Does anyone else see the irony of Donald Trump speàking at an "evangelical family leader conference"? ROTFL!!

    August 12, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. Olaf Bjornstrand

    The man is a bag of hot air. He can spend all he wants, not enough people will take him seriously. Which is quite a blessing.

    August 12, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Bob Chimel

    Trump running for President! He may like the idea better than his TV show, but realistically, what does he know about running government, perhaps how to get government contracts or loans, but nothing else. Can you imagine him understanding how most people live?
    Run Donald, we all need a good laugh.

    August 12, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. susan kaye

    My Gosh! Trump will spend whatever it takes to regain the WH!. Are you kidding me? Hold on to your wallet folks, because it will be YOUR money he plans to spend. Just like his phony University and how to make it in the business/fast money world motivation. This is P.T. Barnum at his best. And the public will be " A SUCKER is born every minute" when any credence is given to THE DONALD (as in duck). Oh, let's see the China issue, the neckties, suits, watches, shirts, shoes, ,et al, all of your wardrobe with the Trump label has given China lots of money. So let us all follow Trump deafly and blindly. This is a hot air buffoon.!

    August 12, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  13. Peter

    He might try to run as an independent, but there is NO WAY that the Republicans would have him as their candidate.

    NO WAY.

    August 12, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. really

    I'd spend whatever it took

    -You don't have that much money Donald.

    August 12, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. observer99

    The ONLY political office Trump will ever be president of is his ONE-MAN fan club!

    August 12, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  16. cher

    Trump is a idiot

    August 12, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  17. svann

    Isnt he in debt up to his ears?

    August 12, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  18. svann

    Maybe Trump could rebuild the Whig party?

    August 12, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  19. Dicazi

    So, he thinks he can BUY the Presidency??!!! Disgusting. Republicans tried that with an Ohio Senate seat. Outspent the Democrat by almost 2-1. They lost.

    August 12, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  20. Or hiker

    This guy is a jerk. I hope he runs and spends all his money. Sarah could be VP. What a punch of self-centered people. I need a good laugh. Run Donald Run

    August 12, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  21. craigorie

    Trump shouldn't waste his money because he wouldn't even get the nomination. Also, he's too off the wall with that birther stuff...look, even if Obama was born in Kenya, Norway or wherever he'd still be an American because his mother was born in Kansas so that would make him American.

    August 12, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  22. banana juice

    Then he file for bankruptcy.

    August 12, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  23. bob

    Position available for 2016. President of the United States. Ignorant bigots need not apply.

    August 12, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  24. Mark

    Woohoo the Donald Chump Clown Show is back! Step right up, folks! Every spectator gets a free bottle of Trump Miracle Hair Tonic! Cures all that ails ya!

    August 12, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. Derek

    I hope he runs... Because then America can call him a 'Loser' again for the third time

    August 12, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
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