February 21st, 2016
12:59 PM ET

Trump on the party nominees "I think it's going to be between Hillary and myself. They say that it will be the largest voter turnout in the history of United States elections"

SOTU

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, joined anchor, Jake Tapper.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

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

Contacts: Lauren Pratapas — Lauren.Pratapas@turner.com; 202.465.6666; Zachary Lilly – Zachary.Lilly@turner.com  Brooke Lorenz- Brooke.Lorenz@turner.com 202.515.2918

 

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Donald Trump predicts showdown with Hillary Clinton

CNN ARTICLE: Trump predicts he'll face Clinton, break turnout records

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

On the possibility of a brokered convention: "I don't think we're going to have a convention, a brokered convention.  I think it's unlikely.  I think - I think I'm doing better than that.  And so far, I'm really on my way.  I thought I actually won Iowa, if you look at it real closely.  But even if I didn't, I just got one delegate less, because I came in a very, very close second.  So, I have a second and I have two firsts.  And New Hampshire was a blowout, and this one was a blowout.  And, you know, I don't think - I don't see where there's a convention.  I think most of the smart people are saying there's not going to be a convention.  Interestingly, the ones who say there's going to be a convention, usually, they are the pundits that have been wrong forever, the ones that have been wrong about me, not you, because you have been right about me.  And I appreciate it."  

Trump on his ability to win the GOP nomination: [TAPPER] “…What do you think this means for the race going forward?  Are you unstoppable?  [TRUMP]:  Well, certainly, you can be stopped.  I mean, I'm dealing with very talented people. They're politicians.  They're senators.  And I guess - do we have any governors left?  I don't know.  Let's see.  I don't think so.  But we have a lot of talented people.  And we will see what happens.  But, certainly, nobody is unstoppable.  [TAPPER]:  "Senator Cruz says that you attack him every day because you know he's the only one who can beat you.  Is that right?" [TRUMP]: " No, it's not right. But he's very talented.  And, certainly, he could beat me, and so could Marco, and so could the others that are running.  You know, crazier things happen in the world of politics.....

On Jeb Bush suspending his campaign: "I just don't know what did him in.  I can tell you, I like him.  He's a good person.  He's a good man, but he really hit me with a lot of commercials.  He was spending $25 million on commercials on me.  And I said, wow, that's another commercial.  That one is really bad and not true, although some was true.  I mean, I will tell, some was true, but a lot of it wasn't true.....Jeb fought very hard.  It wasn't his time.  That's all.  He's a very capable person.  It just wasn't his time.  And, you know, I know the family.  My son knows his son.  And my son Eric knows Jeb's son, and he says he's an incredible young man.  And, you know, it - it was really just not his time.  It was really - you know, four years ago, I think he would have won, although it would have been - you know, with Mitt and him, it would have been a good contest.  But this was not really his time."

Trump on his ability to win a general election: "I will tell you this.  As a candidate, I will bring over many, many Dems.  We're going to bring over a lot of Democrats.  We're going to bring over a lot of independents.  Nobody else will.  In all fairness, the other candidates, they will never bring over independents.  They will never bring - we're talking about the Reagan Democrats.  We're going to bring over tremendous numbers.  We're going to bring over youth.  Bernie's not going to make it, in my opinion.  And I never thought he would.  Hillary won't make it.  Frankly, if she gets indicted, that's the only way she is going to be stopped.  And I think it's going to be between Hillary and myself.  They say that it will be the largest voter turnout in the history of United States elections.  And I want to tell you, that's a great compliment to the country, because we have such a low voter turnout compared to a lot of other countries.  So, I think it will be the greatest voter turnout in history.  I mean, the stories - if it's Hillary against me, that's going to be a tremendous turnout.   I'm going to win.  I'm going to win places like Michigan that the Republicans can't even think of.  You know, they always talk about the six states, right, with Ohio and Pennsylvania and, you know, et cetera, et cetera.  I won't go through the numbers.  But I will win places like Michigan that people don't even talk about.  I will have a chance of winning New York.  If I win New York, the election's over, OK, from an Electoral College standpoint.  I have a chance of winning New York.  I will win states that aren't in play.  I will win states that the Republicans don't even think of.  And one of them that comes to mind is Michigan.  And another one is New York......" 

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

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

 

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR:  The leading candidates from both parties picked up wins.  And the night's biggest names will all be right here this morning.

First up, Donald Trump, who sealed a decisive victory in the Republican contest in South Carolina, 10 points ahead of his closest rivals, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who battled for the second-place trophy, with Rubio ultimately winning it by a nose.

And, in Nevada, Hillary Clinton winning a hard-fought race against Bernie Sanders.  Both of them will be here shortly.

But, first, let's get right to Donald Trump, who basked in his big win.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  There's nothing easy about running for president, I can tell you.  It's tough.  It's nasty.  It's mean.  It's vicious.  It's beautiful.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP:  When you win, it's beautiful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER:  And the winner of the South Carolina Republican primary, Donald Trump, joins us right now.

Mr. Trump, congratulations on your victory.  What do you think this means for the race going forward?  Are you unstoppable?

TRUMP:  Well, certainly, you can be stopped.  I mean, I'm dealing with very talented people.

They're politicians.  They're senators.  And I guess - do we have any governors left?  I don't know.  Let's see.  I don't think so.  But we have a lot of talented people.  And we will see what happens.  But, certainly, nobody is unstoppable.

TAPPER:  Your campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, said that you have not gotten the credit you deserve from the party for leading the race.

Why do you think that is?  Do you think some Republicans still don't take you seriously?

TRUMP:  Well, I'm an outsider, and - which I'm proud to be.

But don't forget, I was a member of the establishment totally.  I was a big campaign contributor.  I gave lots of money to everybody.  I mean, I would give money to everybody.  And I was a very big donor to the Republicans.  I used to be a donor to everybody, frankly, because, as a businessman, that was a good thing to do.

But, yes, the day I decided to run, which was June 16, I became an outsider.  And all of the establishment sort of said, well, wait a minute, what happened to him?  He's not supposed to be doing that.  That's not in the cards.

And I don't want money.  I'm self-funding my campaign, so I don't need donor money and lobbyist money and special interest money.  And that bothers them, because the special interests want to control their candidates, and I can't be controlled.  I'm going to do what's good for the people and for what is good for the country.

I mean, this is a great opportunity.  The drug companies control the drug industry.  I mean, it's ridiculous.  And the military companies - yes, everybody controls everything.

I'm going to do what's right.  I'm going to be fair to everybody, but I'm going to do what's right.  And that's why we have the big deficits we have.  That's why we make the bad trade deals, because all of these politicians are controlled by lobbyists and donors, et cetera.

TAPPER:  Last week, Senator Rubio said he didn't think a brokered convention would necessarily be a bad thing.

Are you concerned at all that party leaders might try to block your nomination at the convention?

TRUMP:  I don't think we're going to have a convention, a brokered convention.  I think it's unlikely.

I think - I think I'm doing better than that.  And so far, I'm really on my way.  I thought I actually won Iowa, if you look at it real closely.  But even if I didn't, I just got one delegate less, because I came in a very, very close second.  So, I have a second and I have two firsts.  And New Hampshire was a blowout, and this one was a blowout.

And, you know, I don't think - I don't see where there's a convention.  I think most of the smart people are saying there's not going to be a convention.  Interestingly, the ones who say there's going to be a convention, usually, they are the pundits that have been wrong forever, the ones that have been wrong about me, not you, because you have been right about me.  And I appreciate it.

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER:  Senator Cruz says that you attack him every day because you know he's the only one who can beat you.  Is that right?

TRUMP:  No, it's not right.

But he's very talented.  And, certainly, he could beat me, and so could Marco, and so could the others that are running.  You know, crazier things happen in the world of politics.

TAPPER:  Governor Jeb Bush dropped out last night.  He was once the front-runner, once expected to win the nomination.

Many would point to you as the primary reason his campaign sputtered.  Do you think, by labeling him low-energy and targeting him so quickly, do you think that's what did him in?

TRUMP:  I just don't know what did him in.

I can tell you, I like him.  He's a good person.  He's a good man, but he really hit me with a lot of commercials.  He was spending $25 million on commercials on me.  And I said, wow, that's another commercial.  That one is really bad and not true, although some was true.  I mean, I will tell, some was true, but a lot of it wasn't true.

And I said, wow, that's a big commercial.  And then it just kept going on and on and on.  And I said, who's doing that?  And it was Jeb.  And then there would be a new one, and it was Jeb, and then a new one, and it was Jeb.

So - and then, you know, a couple of - we had a couple of robo-calls the morning - yesterday morning and - the morning of the election.  And they were brutal.  And that was done by Ted Cruz.  We had two really brutal robo-calls, and one on the flag and one on gay rights.

And I want to tell you, they were tough, tough, tough.  So, you know, this is a tough business, I will tell you.  I think real estate in Manhattan is a lot easier.

TAPPER:  You also took on Jeb's brother President George W. Bush in South Carolina, a state that he won in 2000.  And then you won it handily, even though you took on George W. Bush.

Do you see Jeb's loss and your victory in South Carolina as a vote on the entire Bush legacy, in a way?

TRUMP:  I hope not, because it shouldn't be.  It wasn't meant to be.

Jeb fought very hard.  It wasn't his time.  That's all.  He's a very capable person.  It just wasn't his time.  And, you know, I know the family.  My son knows his son.  And my son Eric knows Jeb's son, and he says he's an incredible young man.

And, you know, it - it was really just not his time.  It was really - you know, four years ago, I think he would have won, although it would have been - you know, with Mitt and him, it would have been a good contest.  But this was not really his time.

TAPPER:  There's a lot of concern, as you know, among Republican Party leaders in Washington about, can you win a general election?

Let's talk about demographics for a second.  If the next Republican nominee wins the same share of the white vote that Mitt Romney did in 2012 - that was 59 percent - that nominee would need to win 30 percent of the non-white vote.

Now, with all due respect, sir, a lot of Republican leaders in D.C. struggle to envision you accomplishing this, especially given the fact that there are white supremacist groups and individuals like that who support you, some of whom you have even retweeted.

TRUMP:  Well, that, I know nothing about.  I mean, I don't know about retweeting.  I mean, you retweet somebody, and turns out to be a white supremacist.  I know nothing about these groups that are supporting me.

I will tell you this.  As a candidate, I will bring over many, many Dems.  We're going to bring over a lot of Democrats.  We're going to bring over a lot of independents.  Nobody else will.  In all fairness, the other candidates, they will never bring over independents.  They will never bring - we're talking about the Reagan Democrats.

We're going to bring over tremendous numbers.  We're going to bring over youth.  Bernie's not going to make it, in my opinion.  And I never thought he would.  Hillary won't make it.  Frankly, if she gets indicted, that's the only way she is going to be stopped.

And I think it's going to be between Hillary and myself.  They say that it will be the largest voter turnout in the history of United States elections.  And I want to tell you, that's a great compliment to the country, because we have such a low voter turnout compared to a lot of other countries.

So, I think it will be the greatest voter turnout in history.  I mean, the stories - if it's Hillary against me, that's going to be a tremendous turnout.

I'm going to win.  I'm going to win places like Michigan that the Republicans can't even think of.  You know, they always talk about the six states, right, with Ohio and Pennsylvania and, you know, et cetera, et cetera.  I won't go through the numbers.

But I will win places like Michigan that people don't even talk about.  I will have a chance of winning New York.  If I win New York, the election's over, OK, from an Electoral College standpoint.  I have a chance of winning New York.

I will win states that aren't in play.  I will win states that the Republicans don't even think of.  And one of them that comes to mind is Michigan.  And another one is New York.

Upstate New York, I'm like the most popular person that's ever lived virtually Upstate New York.  They're great friends of mine.  And we will do very well in New York.  I don't know, maybe win it, maybe not, but we're going to do very - we're going to come awfully close to winning it.  And I think I have a great chance.

The other thing is, African-American voters, I think I'm going to get a tremendous amount.  And you have seen the stories where African-American leaders are saying, you know, my people really like Trump, because I'm going to bring jobs back from China and Mexico and Japan and Vietnam and India, and all these places that are taking our jobs.  I'm going to bring jobs back.

And a recent poll came out where I had 25 percent African-American.  And the Republicans usually get about 4 percent or 5 percent.  And one of the hosts said, if he ever gets 25 percent, this election's over.  You might as well not run it.

I'm going to do great with the African-Americans.  African-American youth is 58 percent unemployed.  African-Americans in their prime are substantially worse off, you know, economically than a - than the whites in their prime.  And it's very - it's a very sad situation.

I'm going to do great with African-Americans.  You watch.  And I'm going to do great with Hispanics.  I employ thousands of Hispanics.  I'm going to do great with Hispanics.

TAPPER:  I want to get some clarification on comments you made this week at the CNN town hall about Obamacare.  Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR:  Why would an insurance company not have a preexisting - insure somebody with a preexisting condition?

TRUMP:  Well, I like the mandate.  OK, so here's where I'm a little bit different.  I don't want people dying on the streets.  And I say this all the time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER:  So, sir, what did you mean when you said, "I like the mandate"?

TRUMP:  Well, what happened is, we were talking over each other, and it wasn't Anderson's fault, because I think Anderson's terrific.  I thought he did a fan - I thought it was a great evening, and we got tremendous reviews on it.  They got tremendous ratings, which is always nice, too.

But what I'm talking about is very simple.  There's no mandate, no mandatory anything.  We're going to end Obamacare.  We're going to terminate.  It's going to be repealed.  It's going to be replaced by something much better, whether it's - whether - first of all, we have to get rid of the lines between the states so there's competition.  OK?

We have to.  And we will go health care savings accounts.  We have - there's many different ways.  We're going to get great health care.  You're going to have your own doctor, which people don't have, even though Obama promised.  You are going to have your own plan.  And we're going to have great health care.

The one thing I say is this.  Call it whatever you want.  People are not going to die in the middle of a street because they have absolutely no money and they're sick.  They're not dying on the sidewalks, and they're not dying on the streets if I'm president.  They're just not.

And, as a Republican - a lot of people say, oh, that's a terrible thing to say as a Republican.  Let me tell you this.  Every time I mention it - you know I have the biggest crowds, far bigger than Bernie.  Bernie is second, I will say, but I have far bigger than Bernie.

I will make a speech in front of 20,000 people and I will say, we cannot allow people on my watch or on any watch to die in the middle of a street or on a sidewalk because they have absolutely no money.  We will get them to a hospital.  We will get them to a doctor.  We have to take care of them.

Do you know I get standing ovations when I say that from Republicans?

TAPPER:  Mm-hmm.

TRUMP:  And then somebody will say, he's not a conservative to say that.

So, you can call it whatever you want.  I don't like the term mandate, personally, because that sort of means mandatory.  I will just say this.  People are not going to die on the streets of any city or of anyplace if I'm president.  And every time I say it, I get standing ovations from Republicans.

TAPPER:  But - but, just to clarify, you're saying now that you would not support requiring every individual in America to have health insurance?  You wouldn't support that?

TRUMP:  Yes, that's right.

And, honestly, we were talking over each other.  We were.

TAPPER:  OK.

TRUMP:  And it was my fault, not Anderson's fault.  But we were talking over each other.

Obviously, the answer to that is exactly that.  But - but, with that being said, we have to take care of people.  We have to take care of people.

TAPPER:  Last question, sir.  We heard from your wife, Melania, last night, which doesn't happen a tremendous amount.  Are we going to hear more from her going forward?

TRUMP:  Well, Jake, she's a very, very brilliant woman.

I have - you know, I know her academic background.  And I - you know, she was tremendously successful before I met her.  She's very smart.  She also is a very private woman.  And there's something very nice about that.  She's a great mother.  And she has some interesting causes that are going to be fantastic for the country.

And she will.  I mean, she - she's - she - I really just surprised her when I said that.  I said, say a few words, Melania.  There's only about 40 million people watching.  Say a few words.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP:  And she got up and she spoke beautifully.

Yes, she will be very much involved.  She will be very much.  What she really loves doing, though, is being a mother to Barron.

TAPPER:  Yes.

Mr. Trump, thank you so much.  Good luck in Nevada.  We will see you on the campaign trail.  And congratulations again.

TRUMP:  Thank you very much, Jake.

 

###END INTERVIEW###

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