So much for dropping out — Donald Trump tells TPM he believes he can win the White House as an independent candidate, keeping his name in the presidential game despite declaring last month he would not run for the GOP nomination.
TPM caught up with Trump at the Faith & Freedom Conventionm after he left a closed door meeting with event organizer Ralph Reed and other social conservatives and asked how he figured he’d do as an independent.
“I think I’d do great,” he said, telling TPM he believed he could win the White House. As for whether he’ll run, he said it depended on the GOP nominee.
“Let’s see what happens with the Republicans, who they put up,” he said.
Asked if he was consulting with pollsters on a run, he said “I was leading in the polls when I decided to sign a very big contract — I was actually leading.”
Polls actually showed his support among Republicans imploding right before he announced he was dropping out, but Trump’s reopened the door to a presidential conversation recently anyway. As with his flirtation with the GOP primary, he’d have to give up his show to enter the race.
Trump received a warm reaction from the crowd for his speech, in which he slammed Minority Leader Eric Cantor for demanding spending offsets for disaster relief in Joplin, MO and suggested Obama’s birth certificate was forged.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.