Apparently not all successful businessmen are created equal. Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos conducted a condescending interview with billionaire Republican Donald Trump on Thursday and oddly quizzed the Republican about abortion.
After Trump simply described New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as "a little on the liberal side," Stephanopoulos pounced, "Are you pro-choice?...Are you pro-choice?" Trump has claimed he is considering a presidential run and will make a decision next year. He replied that Stephanopoulos would probably be "surprised" by his opinion on abortion (but declined to give it during the interview.)
Stephanopoulos patronizingly wondered, "So, this isn't another reality show?"
Video available after the break.
During the interview, Trump spoke out about the state of America, asserting, "When people tell me from other countries that they no longer respect our country- now, whether you like Ronald Reagan or didn't like Ronald Reagan, I mean, there was a level of respect for this country that we had."
A defensive Stephanopoulos replied, "You think President Obama doesn't have that? He's had periods where he was quite popular around the world." The celebrity businessman described the United States today as a "whipping post."
Stephanopoulos closed the interview by dismissing, "Well, when you're ready to make a decision in June, you call us up."
In contrast, Good Morning America has gushed over liberal billionare Warren Buffett as a "Robin Hood" and touted his plea for higher taxes.
A transcript of the November 18 segment, which aired at 7:16am EST, follows:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, earlier, we heard Sarah Palin tell Barbara Walters she can beat President Obama in 2012. But, first, she may have to beat another reality TV star in the Republican primary. A close confidant of billionaire Donald Trump has set up a website, touting a White House run. And the Apprentice star gave me an exclusive interview yesterday to talk about it. So, I'm reading, ShouldTrumpRun.com. And it says, "under his guidance, the United States of America will once again be the land of opportunity, prosperity and strength." You believe that?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, hat's a very nice statement.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you accept?
TRUMP: Well, I tell you, I am thinking about things. I'm looking at this country, George, and what's happened. In terms of respect, I have many people from China that I do business with. They laugh at us. They feel we're fools. You know, they're getting away with absolute murder. They're making the products that we used to make in this country. They're making them, in China. We're rebuilding China.
STEPHANOPOULOS: If you were president, what would be different?
TRUMP: Well, I do things very strongly. I would tax China. They manipulate the currency. By manipulating the currency, it's very hard to compete with China.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You tax China, they stop financing our debt, our economy collapses.
TRUMP: We tax China, we will pay off that debt quickly, because that's the kind of-
STEPHANOPOULOS: Why would they go for it?
TRUMP: They don't have to. It's us. It's us. We have the cards. Because we're the ones that are spending up a of this money in China.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, don't they have the cards because they're our bankers?
TRUMP: I don't think so at all. I have had bankers over the years. I don't think bankers have the cards.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, how serious is this? You set up an exploratory committee back in 1999. I think we talked then and then decided not to run.
TRUMP: Well, in 1999, a group of people wanted me to run. I never wanted to run. And I never was a big believer in the independent party at that time. And, really I was lucky that I didn't do it, because they really self destructed.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, walk us through your whole process. What are the triggers that could get you into this race?
TRUMP: Would I rather be in the race or not be in the race? I can tell you, I'm loving what I'm doing. I'm having a great time doing what I'm doing. Although-
STEPHANOPOULOS: You like talking about it, right?
TRUMP: It would be fun because I would like to see some positive things happen for the country. When people tell me from other countries that they no longer respect our country- now, whether you like Ronald Reagan or didn't like Ronald Reagan, I mean, there was a level of respect for this country that we had.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You think President Obama doesn't have that? He's had periods where he was quite popular around the world.
TRUMP: Well, initially, he was. I mean, certainly, initially he was. But we cannot let the rest of the world beat us up. I mean, we're like a whipping post right now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, if he ran, you would run as a Republican, correct?
TRUMP: I am a Republican. I would run as a Republican, yes.
STEPHANOPOULOS: When you look at the field, now, We have got Sarah Palin, saying she is thinking hard about it.
TRUMP: Very interesting. Hey, same producer. Mark Burnett produced her show. Produces The Apprentice, which has become a major hit, as you know. And we've had a lot of fun. But, Sarah Palin, hey, she is very interesting. And don't underestimate her. I see what she does. Do not underestimate Sarah Palin.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Would you take her on if she gets in?
TRUMP: Well, if I ran, I have no choice. I would take her on. I like her, but I'd take her on.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me go back to my original question, then. What's it going to take for you to get in?
TRUMP: Well, I'm going to make a decision, probably by June.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You're worth more than $1 billion. How much you willing to spend?
TRUMP: Oh, I would spend a lot. Yeah, I'm worth a lot.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Meg Whitman might have spent $200 million, maybe a little less trying to be governor of California.
TRUMP: She didn't work, for whatever reason. She was very smart. Very this, very that. Didn't work.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One place where it has worked was here in New York City. Where Mayor Bloomberg spent a lot of his fortune to get elected the first time around. He's looked at the presidential race. You think he could do it?
TRUMP: He's a very good friend of mine. I don't know if he could do it as a Republican because he's got- a little on the liberal side of things. So, I don't know about getting the nomination.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you pro-choice?
TRUMP: Excuse me?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you pro-choice?
TRUMP: I am- Well- I don't want to discuss right now, but you will be shocked when I give you that answer.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How can I be shocked? [Laughs]
TRUMP: Well, you will be very surprised when I give you- I'm going to make a decision. And when I make a decision I'll let you know about that. But, I think you'll probably be surprised.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I having a hard time figuring out how serious you are about this. You're obviously passionate about a lot of issues. But you've walked up to this line-
TRUMP: Well, I'm passionate about the country.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, this isn't another reality show?
TRUMP: No. No. I've done very well. I've had a show, for many might nights, was the number one show in television. I don't need that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, when you're ready to make a decision in June, you call us up.
TRUMP: You'll be right there.