Could Donald Trump run as an independent if (as expected) he doesn’t get the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination? Could you soon hear a sudden about face on the part of talk show hosts who have been complimenting him since he became a high profile media of Barack Obama, birtherism and all and now sounds like he could hurt the GOP vote? Could he find down the road that his Fox News segment is being replaced?
The answer to those questions: yes, I predict yes, and I predict yes. According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump raised the issue of running as an independent in an inteview. Here’s some of the story:
Donald Trump will “probably” run as an independent candidate for U.S. President in 2012 if he does not receive the Republican party’s nomination, he told the Wall Street Journal in a video interview on Monday.
“I hate what’s happening to the country,” said Mr. Trump, a real estate tycoon and host of the NBC show “Celebrity Apprentice.” He will not formally make a decision until June, however, when this season of his television show is over. “I can’t run during the airing of that show,” Mr. Trump said, “I’m not allowed to.” But he said he would make an announcement “by June” and his candidacy looks increasingly likely.
Mr. Trump’s candidacy would complicate matters for the GOP as it looks to front someone who can unite the fractious party and mount a serious challenge to President Obama’s reelection bid. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll recently found Mr. Trump tied for second place with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee among likely voters in a GOP primary. Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who moved a step closer to formally declaring his own candidacy Monday, is still the frontrunner, though not by a wide margin.
“I think the Republicans are very concerned that I [may] run as an independent,” Mr. Trump said. His support is highest among the conservative wing of the party, not least because he is among the so-called “birthers” who doubt that President Obama in fact was born in the U.S. “It’s a very important issue,” Mr. Trump said of demanding that President Obama show his birth certificate, which has separately been reviewed by the media and deemed legitimate. “I’m not ashamed of having raised that issue.”
“I am very conservative,” said Mr. Trump. “The concern is if I don’t win [the GOP primary] will I run as an independent, and I think the answer is probably yes.” Mr. Trump said he thought he “could possibly win as an independent,” adding, “I’m not doing it for any other reason. I like winning.”
So Trump is now “DUH! WINNING!” too. (Will his running mate be you-know-who when you-know-who’s theater tour is done?).
This could create a major potential problem for the GOP.
Trump would not siphon away any votes from Democrats or many independents, since most Democrats and many independent voters reject those obsessed with the birther narrative as fugitives from the Twight Zone or likely candidate for a nice, white straight jacket. He has the big bucks to run and would clamor to get into debates.
On the other hand, Trump’s comments may be what many think his whole shtick has been all along: a device to get his name in the media and boost ratings for his show so it’s renewed. In this view, Trump will never run — in this view he really does not want details about his finances disclosed — and is successfully getting attention since attention in America translates into publicity and even notoriety can draw audience. Which means money.
Here’s a video of the Journal interview. (Note that Trump repeats many arguments birthers use that have been refuted many times.)