June 28th, 2015
11:14 AM ET

Donald Trump on CNN's State of the Union: "I'm in it to win it... I will make our country great again"

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Real Estate Magnate and GOP 2016 Presidential candidate, Donald Trump joined chief Washington correspondent and anchor, Jake Tapper.

Text & video highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

 

Trump on healthcare, trade, climate, and gay marriage

Trump is "in it to win it"

State of the Cartoonion: Scalia burns

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

Trump on the status of his stance on health insurance:  “…I want everyone to have coverage. I do want people to have coverage. I think that a great form could be, and I love the free market, I love the way it works. But we never had a free market. Even before Obamacare, was it really free market? As an example, we are in New York right now, and when I wanted to bid out my health insurance and all sorts of things, we had boundaries. I could only go in New York. If I wanted to bid it out to a company from California, New Jersey, anywhere, and I was getting no bids. I've evolved on that issue. I've evolved on numerous issues.”

Trump on his past proposal (from 2000) to tackle the national debt and why his idea won’t work today: “Well now we can't do that because the debt is so big. That would have knocked out the debt. I would have paid it. …It would have taken, 14%, and we have no debt. I would do that all day long. I would do that all day long. The problem is that since then that we gotten up to $18 trillion now. We have – you know they say, the 20 trillion is a real bad number. But the really bad, the magic number is 24 trillion. We are going to be there very soon. That is like the point of no return.”

Trump on the concept of global warming being created by the Chinese: “Well of course I'm being sarcastic you know… (but) it's a little bit serious, there's a little bit of seriousness there. Look, we are restricting our factories much more than China, I go to China. They have factories that are much more competitive, I'm not saying friendly, but they're certainly not environmentally friendly. I'm a huge believer in clean air, I'm not a huge believer in the global warming phenomenon…”

Trump on NAFTA and the U.S.’ current trade deals: “I think NAFTA's been a disaster. I think NAFTA's been a disaster. I think our current deals are a disaster. I'm a free trader, the problem with free trade is you need smart people representing you we have the greatest negotiators in the world, but we don't use them, we use political hacks and diplomats. We use the wrong people…”

Trump on building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and having Mexico pay for it: “Well the way, look, Mexico has not treated us well. Mexico treats us as though we are stupid people, which of course our leaders are. I don't blame Mexico. China is even worse. …you force them because we give Mexico a fortune. Mexico makes a fortune because of us a wall is a tiny little peanut compared to the kind of money… I would do something very severe unless they contributed or gave us the money to build the wall. I'd build it, I'd build it very nicely, I'm very good at building things.”

Trump on bombing oil fields in Iraq and his feelings on the “government of Iraq”: “The only way you're going to beat them is that. You know why they're rich? Because they have the oil. …the government of Iraq? There is no government of Iraq. The so-called government in Iraq yesterday went to Iran to meet with Iran. Iran is going to take over Iraq. It's as simple as that, okay, simple as that…”

Tapper and Trump on his stance on same-sex marriage: [TRUMP]…I'm traditional marriage. It is changing rapidly. [TAPPER]: But what do you say to a lesbian who's married or a gay man who's married who says, 'Donald Trump, what's traditional about being married 3 times?' [TRUMP]: …I don't say anything. I'm just for traditional marriage.”

Trump on attacking Jeb Bush: “I don't mean to, and I've been told that by others, I actually was told that by my wife and I don't mean to, because I think he's a nice person, I watch him, I think he's a nice person. I actually felt bad because I hit him very hard one day and I said, why am I hitting him so hard?...  …I actually saw myself a couple of days ago and I said that's, that's too rough. Because I really think he's a nice man, I think he's a wonderful man. I don't know if I want him negotiating with ISIS. I think Trump will do a lot better.”

Trump on beating Hillary Clinton: “I would be more successful in beating Hillary, assuming that she gets it, which I think she probably will, although, who knows. I mean if you go back a few years, she was going to get it before Obama came along, that was like, a done deal.”

Trump on people not taking him seriously: “My message is that they're wrong.  It's something that I've looked at over the years. I looked at it very seriously as you know, four years ago. I've been thinking about it very seriously over the last period of time and I've decided I'm going to do it. … I'm in it to win it. Look, I gave up a lot. I gave up hundreds of millions of dollars in deals and potential, you know things that I do. … I gave up The Apprentice- These politicians Jake I see them all the time, I' with them now, they run they lose they win. All they do is run. They don't lose anything. They help themselves. I'm giving up hundreds of millions of dollars- forget about what it costs, that's peanuts. That's peanuts, the cheapest part is what it costs to do it. I'm giving up hundreds of millions of dollars. I'm giving up a prime time television show on– I'm giving that up to do this”

Trump on making our country “great again”: “I will not let China rip us off any longer, I will take back jobs from all these places that are killing us including Mexico, who I have great respect for, but including Mexico, I will make our country great again… We have to take it back, we have to take our country back. We've lost our jobs, we've lost our money. We're a third world nation and we're a debtor nation at the same time, you need somebody with the kind of thinking- I built a great company. I have some of the great assets of the world. And I talk about only form- not bragging- I talk about it because that's the kind of mentality that this country needs. We need that mentality now and we need it fast.”

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: In 2000 when you were flirting with running as a Reform Party candidate, you wrote that you're a liberal on health care and you supported a Canadian-style system where the government acts as an insurer. Is that what you still believe in?

DONALD TRUMP, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I look at that. I look at it very seriously. I do believe, and some people don't agree with me on this–I want everyone to have coverage. I do want people to have coverage. I think that a great form could be, and I love the free market, I love the way it works. But we never had a free market. Even before Obamacare, was it really free market? As an example, we are in New York right now, and when I wanted to bid out my health insurance and all sorts of things, we had boundaries. I could only go in New York. If I wanted to bid it out to a company from California, New Jersey, anywhere, and I was getting no bids.

TAPPER: But the single payer no more, you're not interested in that?

TRUMP: No, no. I mean, there are different times and over the years you're going to change your attitude. You're going to learn things and you're going to change. I've evolved on that issue. I've evolved on numerous issues.

TAPPER: There is another issue you proposed in 2000 talking about trying to address and tackle the national debt which was lower than it is now. Much higher now. You proposed a one-time 14.25% tax on the rich, people who have more than $10 million to pay off the debt. Do you still support that?

TRUMP: Well now we can't do that because the debt is so big. That would have knocked out the debt. I would have paid it. I tell you this.

TAPPER: But it would still take a huge chunk out of it.

TRUMP: It would have taken, 14%, and we have no debt. I would do that all day long. I would do that all day long. The problem is that since then that we gotten up to $18 trillion now. We have – you know they say, the 20 trillion is a real bad number. But the really bad, the magic number is 24 trillion. We are going to be there very soon. That is like the point of no return.

TAPPER: So why not do your idea?

TRUMP: Because it wouldn't work, because it's too much. You have to bring in jobs you have to take the jobs back from China you have to take the jobs back from Mexico.

TAPPER: Let me ask you about China because as you may or may not know, this is a Trump tie, I bought it for this interview-

TRUMP: Not only that I buy a lot of stuff because-

TAPPER: but as you know, they're made in China

TRUMP: That's very beautiful, that tie-

TAPPER: It's a lovely tie, it's made in China.

TRUMP: Correct.

TAPPER: Is it hypocritical for you at all to talk about this?

TRUMP: No not at all

TAPPER: While you're manufacturing your clothes in-

TRUMP: No and I buy, I'm building the old post office, and I just made an order from China because they've cut their currency to such- I have an ob- I'm a private person, I may not be a private person for long, we'll see what happens

TAPPER: Right, I talk about my ties in speeches

TRUMP: You know, I'm open, I say my ties many times are made in China, not all of them by the way, but a lot of them are made in China, because they've manipulated their currency to such a point that it's impossible for our companies to compete with them.

When it comes to outsourcing jobs, which is what this tie would be a representative issue of, one of the issues is that the people in China, the laborers, are paid a lot less, and the standards are worse when it comes to the environment and healthcare, and worker safety. Many problems, I agree with that–

TAPPER: Isn't that- but- what do you say when somebody says why don't you be a leader and make them in Philadelphia? That's the thing I'd be willing to pay more for this tie.

TRUMP: You would and unfortunately you would see that it’s very very hard to have anything in apparel made in this country, you know how much is made outside the country?

TAPPER: Most of it is, but some of it–

TRUMP: - and now Vietnam, so many other places, the problem–

TAPPER: American Apparel makes stuff here–

TRUMP: I understand but, I know you bring that up, but I put ties in my speeches, it just seems interesting because you dinged Ford for manufacturing their cars in Mexico. No, no, I don't ding them I say congratulations, I think it's a great deal, but I wouldn't let you do it. You see, I wouldn't let you do it. I wouldn't let them manipulate the currency. Because that's what they do.

TAPPER: Back in 2012, you tweeted "The concept of global warming was created by the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive"

TRUMP: Well of course I'm being sarcastic you know…

TAPPER: That's not to be taken seriously?

TRUMP: No it's a little bit serious, there's a little bit of seriousness there. Look, we are restricting our factories much more than China, I go to China. They have factories that are much more competitive, I'm not saying friendly, but they're certainly not environmentally friendly. I'm a huge believer in clean air, I'm not a huge believer in the global warming phenomenon…

TAPPER: But the overwhelming majority of scientists say it’s real and it’s manmade and things are happening-

TRUMP: Oh there could be some manmade to- I'm not saying that there's zero- but not nearly to the extent- when Obama gets up said it's the number one problem in our country, and if it is, why is that we have to do our and clean up our factories now and China doesn't have to do it for another 30 or 35 years in their wonderful agreement, you know our wonderful negotiators.

They have much smarter, much better negotiators than we do, it's really as simple as that. We don't have- and that's part of the reason I'm doing this.

TAPPER: Because you're the man who wrote "The Art of The Deal"

TRUMP: I did write "The Art of the Deal" in all fairness, and a lot of people, the administration obviously hasn't read it. But we have horrible trade deals.

TAPPER: So you would tear up NAFTA? Tear up…

TRUMP: I think NAFTA's been a disaster. I think NAFTA's been a disaster. I think our current deals are a disaster. I'm a free trader, the problem with free trade is you need smart people representing you we have the greatest negotiators in the world, but we don't use them, we use political hacks and diplomats. We use the wrong people. Mexico is smart, they've out negotiated us to a fair thee well, they're going to be the capital of automobiles pretty soon the way they're going.

I respect what they're doing. I think it's great, I like Mexico. I love the Mexican people. I do business with the Mexican people, but you have people coming through the border that are from all over. And they're bad. They're really bad. I've spoken to border guards and I said how bad is it? And they said 'Mr. Trump, you have no idea how bad.' But you have people coming in and I'm not just saying Mexicans, I'm talking about people that are from all over that are killers and rapists and they're coming into this country.

TAPPER: Let me talk to you about that for one second. That the government of Mexico called those comments prejudicial and absurd. And I think what they're objecting to, is that the idea of the 11 million undocumented workers, illegal immigrants, whatever you want to call them, in this country, that you're painting them with a very broad brush. Rapists, criminals, when that's probably a very small percentage…

TRUMP: …Well I always make it clear. No no, well I don't think it's a small percentage, it's a lot. But it's not Mexicans necessarily, they're coming from all over.

TAPPER: You talked about building a wall, having Mexico pay for it?

TRUMP: Yeah

TAPPER: How exactly are you going to get Mexico to pay for it?

TRUMP: Well the way, look, Mexico has not treated us well. Mexico treats us as though we are stupid people, which of course our leaders are. I don't blame Mexico. China is even worse.

TAPPER: But how do you force a country to build a wall?

TRUMP: No, no, you force them because we give Mexico a fortune. Mexico makes a fortune because of us a wall is a tiny little peanut compared to the kind of money…

TAPPER: So you would cut off business or impose tariffs unless they built the wall?

TRUMP: I would do something very severe unless they contributed or gave us the money to build the wall. I'd build it, I'd build it very nicely, I'm very good at building things.

TAPPER: Can we talk about ISIS for one second?

TRUMP: Yes.

TAPPER: The um, I think you said that you want to bomb the oil fields in Iraq…

TRUMP: Yes.

TAPPER: …to take on ISIS?

TRUMP: The only way you're going to beat them is that. You know why they're rich? Because they have the oil. Now if you remember…

TAPPER: They have the oil in Syria though.

TRUMP: They have some oil in Iraq.

TAPPER: There's a refinery that they're fighting with the Iraqi's over.

TRUMP: They're fighting, and they're going to get it, fighting with Iraq, they're going to get it. The Iraqis will throw up their arms, they'll leave and you know, they have, it's just one of those things.

TAPPER: But I don't think Iraq, I don't think the government of Iraq would want us to bomb their oil fields.

TRUMP: Here's, here's… the government of Iraq? There is no government of Iraq. The so-called government in Iraq yesterday went to Iran to meet with Iran. Iran is going to take over Iraq. It's as simple as that, okay, simple as that…

TAPPER: I don't know that Iraq, or the government of Iraq, whatever you want to call them, would support our bombing the oil fields in Iraq since…

TRUMP: Who cares.

TAPPER: Okay.

TRUMP: I don't care about the government of Iraq. They're corrupt. The government of Iraq is totally corrupt.

TAPPER: Let me ask you about a few social issues because they haven't been issues you have been talking about for several years. I know you're opposed to abortion.

TRUMP: Right. I'm Pro-Choice.

TAPPER: You're pro-choice or pro-life?

TRUMP: I'm pro-life. I'm sorry.

TAPPER: How important is that issue to you now when President Trump picks Supreme Court justices? Would that be a litmus test?

TRUMP: It is. It is. Look you have a lot of pro-choice people out there. But that is an issue. It is very interesting because in terms of polling, the pro-choice is actually going down a little bit.

TAPPER: Let's talk about same-sex marriage. You said a few years ago that you were evolving on that issue. Where are you?

TRUMP: I'm traditional marriage. It is changing rapidly.

TAPPER: But what do you say to a lesbian who's married or a gay man who's married who says, 'Donald Trump, what's traditional about being married 3 times?'

TRUMP: Well, they have a very good point. But you know, I've been a very hard-working person. I've had – actually I have a great marriage, I have a great wife now. My two wives were very good. And I don't blame them, but I was working, maybe like you, 22 hours a day.

TAPPER: I'm not asking you to explain your divorces…

TRUMP: I blame myself because my business was so powerful for me. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

TAPPER: But what do you say to a lesbian or gay man who is married and say...

TRUMP: I don't say anything. I'm just for traditional marriage.

TAPPER: You seem to really be taking on Jeb Bush in particular in your campaign appearances. Why is that?

TRUMP: I don't mean to, and I've been told that by others, I actually was told that by my wife and I don't mean to, because I think he's a nice person, I watch him, I think he's a nice person. I actually felt bad because I hit him very hard one day and I said, why am I hitting him so hard?

TAPPER: Back to Jeb Bush for one second, his approach to you seem to be, not taking you seriously, his campaign, not taking you seriously…

TRUMP: Trust me, he takes me seriously.

TAPPER: You think so? Ok I was going to say what is your message to Jeb Bush?…

TRUMP: We have been contacted. My message is I think I think he's a wonderful person.

TAPPER: …No but but…

TRUMP: …And I look forward to seeing him.

TAPPER: But in terms of him not taking you seriously what do you say?

TRUMP: Oh, I, I, you know he takes me seriously. And his people… believe me he takes me seriously.

TAPPER: Why do you say that?

TRUMP: Because they call.

TAPPER: And what do they say?

TRUMP: What would you think?

TAPPER: Stop, stop attacking Jeb?

TRUMP: They, you know what, they take me so seriously, and they do call, and they write, and just believe me, they take me very seriously.

TAPPER: Okay.

TRUMP: But, but with all of that being said, I actually saw myself a couple of days ago and I said that's, that's too rough. Because I really think he's a nice man, I think he's a wonderful man. I don't know if I want him negotiating with ISIS. I think Trump will do a lot better. You think so too, but you're not going to say it.

TAPPER: Well I don't know anybody who's going to negotiate with ISIS.

TRUMP: Well uh, you could bring them to a point. Look, the whole ISIS thing has to be ended. It's got to be stopped. We have to stop that, what's going on over there is incredible.

TAPPER: Let me ask you about the other side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton. I was surprised to read that Hillary actually went to your wedding…

TRUMP: She did, she did.

TAPPER: She went to your wedding. And I know you've contributed to her campaigns in the past, you've said that her husband is the best post-Reagan president…

TRUMP: Well I can't go with Bush. And Senior Bush, I really liked, but read my lips, I couldn't stand it.

TAPPER: Are you, are you still in touch with the Clintons?

TRUMP: No, I'm not. I'm not at all actually, no.

TAPPER: How do you, are you worried at all, that somebody who has given money to Hillary, she was at your wedding…

TRUMP: No, I give money to everybody.

TAPPER: But that Republican voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina, might be concerned about that?

TRUMP: No, no in fact a lot of people they like it. You know, we have gridlock in Washington. For instance I've helped Nancy Pelosi, I've helped Reid, I'm a business…

TAPPER: Right, you gave money to Reid and Pelosi to help recapture Congress in 2006–

TRUMP: Jake, Jake I'm a business. I was in business, I built a great company. I built a company that is unbelievable. Some of the greatest assets in the world. They always treated me nicely. We need that in Washington, we have total gridlock.

TAPPER: So you will argue to voters, yes I gave money to Reid and Pelosi to help recapture Congress, but this is what we need, more bipartisan spirit?

TRUMP: I'm a conservative Republican. I'm a very Conservative person actually. But I get along with everybody. Obama doesn't get along with people, he doesn't get along with people, he doesn't get along with his own party. I mean look at the trade bill, I mean the people, his own party is against it… I would be more successful in beating Hillary, assuming that she gets it, which I think she probably will, although, who knows. I mean if you go back a few years, she was going to get it before Obama came along, that was like, a done deal.

TAPPER: You think Bernie Sanders can beat her?

TRUMP: Well, he's making a lot of progress. You know, you would have said, and I've watched him. I've seen his crowds. I get crowds that are fantastic too. He's got that. He's got a lot of people going to see him. Do I think so? No, I don't think so. But you know stranger – hey, you been in this world a long time. Stranger things have happened.

TAPPER: Some people look at you running for president and say, this is just about ego, getting his brand out there. What's your message to those people?

TRUMP: My message is that they're wrong.  It's something that I've looked at over the years. I looked at it very seriously as you know, four years ago. I've been thinking about it very seriously over the last period of time and I've decided I'm going to do it.

TAPPER: And you're in it to win it, you're serious?

TRUMP: No I'm in it to win it. Look, I gave up a lot. I gave up hundreds of millions of dollars in deals and potential, you know things that I do. In all fairness, I don't want it to sounds trivial, NBC renewed The Apprentice, because we had a great season last season. And they would love me not to be doing this, I will tell you right now. I mean the top people come to my office and they said please do this, but I'm not doing it because of this, I can't do it, I'm not allowed to do it, essentially, legally, I'm not allowed to do it. But The Apprentice– I gave up The Apprentice– These politicians Jake I see them all the time, I' with them now, they run they lose they win. All they do is run. They don't lose anything. They help themselves. I'm giving up hundreds of millions of dollars- forget about what it costs, that's peanuts. That's peanuts, the cheapest part is what it costs to do it. I'm giving up hundreds of millions of dollars. I'm giving up a prime time television show on– I'm giving that up to do this. And you know it's not a sure thing, that I can tell you, I'm not a politician, but I speak honestly, I will not let China rip us off any longer, I will take back jobs from all these places that are killing us including Mexico, who I have great respect for, but including Mexico, I will make our country great again, I'm a little blunt but-

TAPPER: Just a little.

TRUMP: But, you know what, maybe that's what we need. We have to take it back, we have to take our country back. We've lost our jobs, we've lost our money. We're a third world nation and we're a debtor nation at the same time, you need somebody with the kind of thinking- I built a great company. I have some of the great assets of the world. And I talk about only form- not bragging- I talk about it because that's the kind of mentality that this country needs. We need that mentality now and we need it fast.

TAPPER: Donald Trump, thank you so much for spending time with us we really appreciate it.

TRUMP: A great honor, thank you.

END INTERVIEW

 

 


Topics: CNN • Jake Tapper • State of the Union
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