Businessman Donald Trump told Breitbart News on Thursday that the Republican Party needs to shape up and “quickly” or it may not survive.
“It has to get tough and it has to get smart and it has to act quickly,” Trump said of the GOP in an exclusive interview in his dressing room backstage at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). “If it doesn’t, it’s not going to be much of a party.”
Trump specifically singled out some Republicans’ efforts to try to grant amnesty to illegal aliens and pass immigration legislation that would include a massive increase in imported foreign workers.
“On immigration, you’re talking about millions of people coming in and when they vote, they vote Democratic,” Trump said. “So it’s going to be even harder if they do amnesty. They have to get very tough and very smart very quickly. And the whole focus [of the Republican Party] should be on jobs and making America great again.”
While Trump said he thinks the GOP will win the Senate back in November largely thanks to Obamacare, he urged the base of the party–Tea Party and conservative activists–to stay true to their principles. “They need to hang tough, stay united and stay smart,” he said.
Trump said the country is in much worse shape than when he first spoke at CPAC a few years ago. “The country is just going down,” he said. “It’s just going further and further down. I started doing CPAC two and a half years ago and it’s amazing how much the country has gone down since then. It’s incredible. No respect, leadership is a joke, what’s happening with the president and Putin is just incredible to watch take place. The country has just gone a long way down since then.”
Trump said the way President Obama has handled the crisis in Ukraine, and dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin, is “horrible.”
“It’s like we’re a laughing stock all over the world,” Trump said. “They told Obama they won’t go in, and two hours later they went in. It’s really pretty amazing.”
On Thursday morning the Democratic Party attacked Trump–along with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee–labeling them “fringe.” Trump wasn’t flustered. He said he is actually kind of flattered that the Democrats would attack him.
“I’ve never been called fringe before,” Trump said. “I employ thousands of people. I’ve created tens of thousands of jobs. Nobody has ever called me fringe before. I’m honored by their statement.”