On “Fox News Sunday,” one of the Fox News debate moderator Chris Wallace, asked Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump whether he “snubbed” the voters of Iowa when he skipped last week’s Fox News Republican presidential debate.
Partial transcript as follows:
WALLACE: Now, 29 percent of people in the polls say they disapprove of your decision to skip the debate. What do you want to say to voters in these final hours before the caucuses, who may feel that you snubbed them by not showing up at the one debate to be held here in Iowa?
TRUMP: Well, you know, you love FOX and so do I and I get along great and I have a great respect for Roger Ailes. But what happened is they put out a press release that was very nasty and was taunting. And it was not appropriate —
WALLACE: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I don’t — I —
TRUMP: — anyways.
WALLACE: — I don’t want to get it — I don’t want to get into that. I’m just saying, what do you want to say to voters who feel that you snubbed them?
TRUMP: Well, I — what I’m saying is you have to stick up for your rights. And in the meantime, I raised $6 million for the veterans, which is very important. And you have to stick up for your rights. You can’t let people do that to you. And just like if I were running the country, I’d stick up for our country. But you can’t let people do that. And frankly, I had a very successful evening. We had a tremendous overflow crowd and we raised, in one hour, Chris, which I think you’re very happy about, for the vets, we raised $6 million. So, I was very happy about that. It was a great thing. It was a great decision and we’ll — we’ll do it again some time, Chris.
WALLACE: OK. Ted Cruz, who I suspect you’re familiar with, says the real reason that you skipped the debate is because you want to hide your liberal record from voters. Here’s Mr. Cruz.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He doesn’t want to debate cronyism because Donald supported President Obama’s TARP bailout of the big Wall Street banks. Donald supported President Obama’s stimulus plan. And if you can’t debate the issues, the only thing you have left to do is toss insults.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Senator Cruz says, Mr. Trump, that you’re trying to hide your support for the bailout and the stimulus, you’re trying to hide your record from voters.
TRUMP: Chris, I’m not trying to hide anything. I was a businessman. I had many different feelings about many different things. And, by the way, in business, as you know, you have flexibility. You can do many things many different ways.What I am very sure of is that Senator Cruz has hid the fact that he had major loans from Citibank and Goldman Sachs that he didn’t put on his personal financial disclosure form. That’s called hiding a record. I wasn’t in politics when I was coming up with different views. Nobody even asked me my views, frankly. I was a businessman. My views didn’t matter. I’m not a politician. Now, for the last seven months, I’ve been a politician. But what I can tell you is that he’s got a situation where he didn’t disclose Goldman Sachs, he didn’t disclose Citibank on his personal financial disclosure form. He didn’t disclose to a lot of people the whole thing where he was born in Canada, which probably makes it so he might not even be able to run, according to many, many constitutional scholars. And he said he didn’t even know he was a citizen of Canada until 15 months ago. So, give me a break. He shouldn’t be mentioning me. Here’s a couple of things — he didn’t know he was a citizen of Canada? Give me a break, Chris.
WALLACE: You talked earlier about the veterans event you held during the debate and that you’re proud of it, and understandably so. You raised $6 million, including $1 million out of your own pocket. But, sir, “Forbes” magazine took a look at your record of supporting veterans groups over the years and what they found is that from 2009 to 2013, the Trump Foundation donated $57,000 to groups helping veterans. But over the years, they say that you gave at least twice that, somewhere between $100,000 and $250,000 to, of all things, the Clinton Foundation.
TRUMP: Well, what I have done is I’ve given a lot of different events at Mar-a-Lago for the veterans. We have many. I can get you a list. I didn’t know you’d be bringing this up, but I can get you a list of all of the events I’ve given in Palm Beach, Florida, in different hotels I have for the veterans. And I’ve opened up my houses. I’ve opened up my — in a couple of cases, my buildings. And we’ve given many events. But I can certainly get you that list and I’d be proud to. I did give to the Clinton Foundation. What I didn’t know is they’d be using it for private aircraft and things like that. The Clinton Foundation was helping with Haiti and with lots of other things and I thought it was going to do some good work. So, it didn’t make any difference to me. Again, I was a businessman and it was my obligation to get along with everybody, including the Clintons, including Democrats and liberals and Republicans and conservatives. As a businessman, I had an obligation to do that, Chris.”
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