Radio host Hugh Hewitt gives ten pieces of advice to Donald Trump: How to beat Hillary Clinton.
Full transcript via the Hugh Hewitt Show.
HH: What I’d like to do, though, rather than our usual interview, is give you some of my recommendations on how to beat Hillary and get your reactions to them. Is that good with you?
DT: It’s okay. Fine.
HH: First one, because this election is going to be about terrorism, I think you ought to name either Tom Cotton or Chris Christie as your vice president, because Cotton’s, as, he’s a Senator now, but as an Army Ranger, he sought out and killed terrorists, and Chris Christie prosecuted them. What do you think of those two guys?
DT: Well, I think they’re both great, and they’ve been very supportive. And we have a lot of support. You know, it’s interesting, we have much more support than the press lets you believe, tremendous support. And you know, they may go and say well, here’s a rogue person from the Republican Party, and we definitely have the people’s support. You see that. You even see that in the polls. We get hammered for four weeks unfairly by the press, and the polls are just about even, and she’s spending a fortune, and I’m not. So we have a lot of support. I think we’re going to do great. But I like those two guys a lot. I think they’re terrific guys.
HH: Do you think that the election will turn on terror and the ability to win that war and fight it successfully, and that they would be good number twos?
DT: Well, it depends where we are. It depends where we are in the cycle. The attack was so horrible last week. And when there’s attacks, sadly, because there’s nothing more horrible. You don’t want to get things, but people view me as a much stronger person in terms of protecting our country, and you know, I’m doing very well in that regard. Now I don’t know where we’ll be. I’d like to see it, frankly, I’d like to see no attacks and a perfect country. I’d like to see a president that would do a great job even if he’s a Democrat. Let him do a great, great job for the country, because as I say, it’s the country first. It’s America first. But we know that’s not going to happen with Obama. He’s not going to do a great job. That, we have figured out. So I think I do very, very well on the protection front, and on the military front, actually.
HH: And so would Cotton or Christie help you in that regard?
DT: Well, I can say, I can’t give you any clues or anything right now, because I do have a lot of respect for those two guys. But I have a lot of respect for others, also. Chris came out very early and endorsed me. I’ve gotten very good, you know, very good statements from Senator Cotton, who is a, you know, who I know, whose parents I know and met. I think that he is a very talented guy. He’s also very popular. He’s a very popular person. So these are two names that I have high on the list for something at least, that I can tell you.
HH: My second recommendation, and it’s never been done before, but you’ve done a lot of things that have never been done before, is to name…
DT: That is true.
HH: Yeah, name a lot of your cabinet. For example, former Senator Jon Kyl at Defense, or former Ambassador Bolton at State, or former Senator Lieberman to run the CIA. Will you name members of your cabinet early so that the whole conservative movement and the middle of the country see a serious team that Donald Trump has put together to fight these so many serious battles in front of us?
DT: Yeah, are you talking about prior to the convention, or just naming the cabinet sometime soon thereafter?
HH: Either or both, maybe rolling out throughout the entire election season, but before the election.
DT: I think I might be inclined to do that. I don’t think that’s that unusual, thought. That’s been done before, hasn’t it, Hugh?
HH: No, I don’t think ever we’ve ever had a cabinet member named. There was a hint that Colin Powell was going to be W.’s Secretary of State, but it was just a hint. I mean, if you appear with these guys…
DT: Well, did they wait until after the election and then the cabinet…
HH: Yes, yes.
DT: Well, I would be inclined. I would think it’s no, I would think it’s no great shakes. I would be inclined to do a lot of it early. You don’t have to do all of it, but a lot of it early, actually.
HH: That is great news. I think that would really rally a lot of people to your flag.
DT: Yeah, no, I like that idea very much.
HH: Third one, I think you know this, the campaign is going to come down to these three debates with Hillary Clinton and you.
HH: And I’m curious, are you practicing, practicing, practicing? And I tell people that the best that I’ve ever seen you is when you gave your U.N. remodel testimony to the Senate, and you had it mastered. You’d obviously practiced it. Are you in full practice mode already with someone playing Hillary Clinton, who will be as tough on you as she will be in these debates
DT: I have not. No, I have not, and I must tell you, I think you and I have a little different mode. I watched Romney went into a log cabin or something, and he came out and he wouldn’t talk to anybody for weeks, and you know, all of that, and then he got to the debate and he wasn’t able to speak so well. I’ve seen that, and you know, to a certain extent, you have to be yourself. I do know the issue. I actually know the issues, I think, much better than people understand that I know the issue. But I want to, obviously I will be practicing, but I don’t want to put so much practice in that all of a sudden, you’re not who you are. Does that make sense to you?
HH: Yes, it does. And over…
DT: And you know better than anybody, because in the debates, at least according to the online poll and many pundits, I don’t know if you’re one of them, actually, but according to every single online poll, of which there are seven, and according to, it would change. I mean, you’d have three sometimes, and you’d have seven or eight sometimes, but according to every single online poll, which are polls after the debates, I won every debate. I don’t know if you agree with that, but I won every single debate. And…
HH: I agree that the polls said that. But this will be one on one. It’ll be like Ali-Frazier.
DT: But do you agree, would you say that I didn’t win every debate? Or would you say, or would you say…
HH: You at least tied for first in every debate. There were a couple…
DT: Okay, well, that’s good.
HH: Yeah, but will you find someone…
DT: I’ll accept that. Hey, Hugh, I’ll accept that, right?
HH: Will you find someone who will be as tough on you in practice as Hillary will be in reality? I mean, I’ll volunteer. I’ll come and throw the roundhouses at you.
DT: Ah, that’s good. Well, that’s a good volunteer. Yeah, the answer is yes. And I’m starting to think of the debates. Now the debates are an eternity, you understand.
DT: The debates are an eternity. We’re talking about a long time. And I guess it’s three debates, although I’m hearing four debates now, and of course, you know, based on, you know, they’re saying the debate, if it’s Hillary and if it’s Trump, they’re saying the debate’s going to be the biggest show ever on television in terms of ratings. They’re hearing that this could set all sorts of records. I guess maybe…
HH: I don’t know if you can beat the Cavaliers-Warriors in the seventh game, Donald Trump, but you can come close. I know what she’s...
DT: Well, no, what did they get, 30 million people?
HH: Yup, yeah.
DT: Well, we got 24 million people, and that was on…
HH: So you’ve got to go a little bit higher.
DT: And that was on, and think of it, that was on network, and we were on cable. So, you know…
HH: I think I know what she’s going to go at you on. Do you want to know what I think she’s going to hit you on?
DT: Go ahead. Sure.
HH: She’s going to hit you on triad, she’s going to hit you on Hamas V. Hezbollah, the number of carriers, and I know the knockout punch. I think she’s going to ask you about the chain of command and whether you have the chain of command mastered. Have you mastered it, yet?
DT: I know the chain of command, and I will have a lot of things mastered. You know, as I’ve told you, I’ve been a very successful businessman. I’ve never done this. When they asked about NATO, as an example, I was asked by Wolf Blitzer, you know, just off the cuff, tell me about NATO, you know, on live television. And it was very interesting, because I gave an answer. I said number one, it’s obsolete, number two, and it’s obsolete largely because it doesn’t take into account properly terrorism, and number two, people aren’t paying their fair share, right? And everybody laughed at the, you know, how it was so funny, you know, and then three days later, they started saying you know, Trump is 100% right. And then if you noticed about a week and a half ago on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, a major, major announcement from NATO, first big, big announcement in years that they were going to open up essentially a terrorism division, which is exactly what I said, and that they were putting some major general or whatever in charge of it. And it was on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Now I got no credit for that. Everybody knew, they mentioned, they did mention my name, but if it weren’t, if I didn’t say that, it would have never happened. And people are now giving me credit, but it’s begrudging credit. So you know, I understand the system, frankly, and sometimes, I understand the system better than the people that do it. They couldn’t see the forest for the trees. They were good people, but they were working at NATO for years. And one of the people who scoffed at me three or four days later said you know, Trump is right. So you know, I get it, and…
HH: She’s going to try and gotcha. That’s what she’s going to try and do. And I just….
DT: Yeah, but I can…
HH: It’s going to take a…
DT: I have plenty of gotcha for her, too, if she plays that game.
HH: Oh, you played, you did that yesterday quite a lot, and I applaud that speech. And I specifically wanted to ask and recommend that you know how to prosecute the damage she did to national security with that server. You brought it up in the speech yesterday, but detailed, I don’t think the American people get what the Russians and the Chinese got from her. You brought it up. Are you going to prosecute that case?
DT: Yes, and frankly, it’s very unfair that she’s allowed to even participate in this election, if you want to know the truth. It’s shocking to people. It’s shocking to legal people. To your legal eagles, they are, they cannot believe that this continues to go on, because what she did is so much worse than what Petraeus did and what others did. And that she’s allowed to go on this race and then get endorsed by the President, and…
HH: I agree. I agree.
DT: What she’s done, these are criminal acts, okay? I mean, you may not like the criminal act, you may, these are criminal acts at the highest level.
HH: I hope you just prosecute it every day, because it matters so much.
HH: She compromised this country’s national security.
DT: And the amazing thing is I may do a separate speech on it. And in fact, you send me whatever material you have, because I have a lot.
HH: All right.
DT: But if you have any information you have on that, send it to me, Hugh, because I may just do a separate speech on that. You know, I got very high marks yesterday. It was very interesting.
HH: Yes, you did. It was a hard-hitting…
DT: I got high marks yesterday from people that truly, truly hate me.
HH: Do it again and again and again, every day.
DT: Yeah. Well, I’ll be...
HH: Hit her.
DT: I’ll be doing, I’ll be doing a lot of it.
HH: Next two recommendations, a Sister Souljah moment where you rebuke the crazy 1% out there who say they’re with you but are anti-Semitic and supremacists and all, that you know, when Bill Clinton did the Sister Souljah moment, you could use one of those. I would love to hear you rebuke these people.
DT: I see, okay, I would do that. I certainly have done that, and I think very, very strongly. Now when you say the 1%, you’re talking about who”
HH: Now just the craziest people who say they’re with Donald Trump, and they’re not with you. You don’t like them, you reject them, but they say they’re with you.
DT: It’s true. I rejected them so strongly and so harshly, and then people say he didn’t reject them fast enough, breaking news, you know, it’s like unbelievable. The one case, I was on television, I rejected them on television. I then rejected them on Twitter, where I have a lot, you know, where I have, well, between Facebook and Twitter, we have over 20 million people. I rejected them on Twitter, @realDonaldTrump, by the way, I’ll get in a plug. But I totally rejected them on Twitter immediate after, and I still was, like it wasn’t fast enough. It’s a very unfair system. I’ll tell you what. The system is so unfair, so unfair.
HH: I have another recommendation about that, though.
DT: Go ahead.
HH: I would let the Washington Post back in. I would let the Washington Post back in and say I don’t care what you say about me, come on in, you can’t hurt me.
DT: Well, you know, it’s a very dishonest newspaper. And it’s really there so that Amazon doesn’t pay tax, and, frankly, that’s just a toy for Amazon. And a lot of people think Amazon should be paying tax, and they’re not, and they’re destroying department stores and retailing all over the country, and that is a power tool. That is like a lobbyist for Amazon. And they have been really, really dishonest as it comes to me. I mean, you know, they’re writing articles, they’ll do a book, they’ll put all these articles together, do a book, and they never write, I could do the greatest thing in history. I’ve had it many times where I said look, the press generally, but the Washington Post in particular, and the New York Times, they are so dishonest. They are so dishonest. And you do something fabulous, and they try and spin it so it’s not fabulous.
HH: But let them back in, because you only empower them by keeping them out.
DT: Well, I’ll give you an example, Hugh. So if I use my plane for, you know, for campaigning, or if we have a fundraiser or something at one of my clubs or whatever, I have to, by law, reimburse the club, right?
DT: By law. I can’t, I’d love to not. I’ve love to, frankly, just do it and you know, just say it’s part of the campaign. By law, I have to reimburse the aircraft and the plane and all the stuff, okay? And I’m very meticulous about it. So in the filing, we say Trump paid, you know, I don’t know, whatever, X dollars for his airplane. They do stories saying that Trump receives, you know, money from his campaign. Well, that’s not the truth. I mean, the fact is I have to by law. I would not to. I would love to just use my places and not charge. It’s fine. It’s better for me. I would like it much better. But they do stories like, and I was just amazed, because by the way, very serious if you don’t. In other words, if I had an event, like we have a big news conference at one of my clubs, now it’s better if I do it than if I, why should I give it to the club down the street? Or why should I give it to a hotel that’s not a Trump hotel? There’s no reason for that. But if I do a news conference, or if I do some kind of an event at a club, I have to, by law under federal elections, I have to reimburse at fair market and all of that stuff, right? And I do that. We do it very meticulously, and we do it. So the headline is Trump receives money from his campaign. It’s so dishonest. Now they know that’s dishonest, but people don’t know that. You know, because I frankly think it sounds bad when you see that kind of a headline. But nobody says in there by law you have to do it. And I think it would be stupid to use somebody else’s, somebody else’s club or somebody else’s plane. You know, it doesn’t make sense. So…
HH: Well, mull on it.
DT: So I do it very straight down the middle. I do it exactly as the law says. And instead of saying about the law that you have to reimburse, they go out and do articles like I’m paying myself, like I’m doing some great deal. And it’s just not the way it is, so you know…
HH: I’d still let them back in. That’s, you know, take it or leave it.
HH: I think you empower them. Number eight, President Obama’s legacy is in six words – leading from behind, red line, and jayvees. I hope you’ll repeat those six words every time you speak about President Obama. Those are his six word legacy – leading from behind, red line and jayvees.
DT: Uh-huh, and especially jayvees. Hold it. I’m going to mark that down. Okay….
HH: Good, good, and then my number nine, Eric, Donald Jr., and Ivanka should be at every single event you do, because they are your best calling card to this country.
DT: Yeah, they’re good. They’re good. I watched Eric last night on television, and different shows. He’s fantastic. Don is great. These guys, they, my children have done so well, I mean, so well, It’s really, it’s really nice. And Ivanka is getting ready to do a lot. And the women love Ivanka, and everybody loves Ivanka.
HH: So you’re liking my recommendations, so my last recommendation...
DT: I do like you, and I do like the jayvee, leading from behind and the red line, I’m writing that down as we go.
HH: All right, my last recommendation, do this show twice a week. It’s your best training.
DT: Well, I wouldn’t mind doing it. I mean, you know, it is a little bit of a question of time. And I know you do well when we do the show, and I’m happy for you.
HH: Oh, very well, but I…
DT: And you sometimes treat me very well, and sometimes you don’t.
HH: Oh, I try and be fair all the time, but I do think the more time, you’ve already figured this out. I think I saw you say yesterday you’re doing four one-hour interviews, and that will, that’s worth, you know, $300 million dollars in media. I don’t know what it’s worth. It’s worth a lot of dough. But you ought to be out there talking every day to people like me as often as you can.
DT: Well, I have no objection to that at all. I have no objection. I like doing your show. I enjoy doing your show. You know, it was interesting, the other day before the speech, I did basically the evening news, and they were long interviews, and they were, you know, they were covered well. And I think I got very good marks. Today, I’m doing some. But yesterday, I had a lot lined up, and the speech turned out so good and I was getting such good reviews that I said cancel everything for today, let the speech speak, you know, because if I do an interview, that’s going to go on and supersede the speech a little bit. So I said let the speech speak for itself. And it really did. They covered it fairly, and you know, they liked it.
HH: And so, at the end of my ten recommendations, the last one is not a recommendation. It’s are you having fun?
DT: Honestly, I hope you think I am, because I am. I mean, I’m enjoying it. Now with that being said, it’s gruesome. And guess what? I’ll give you a surprise. Now I’ll tell you one. We’re raising a lot of money, okay? You know, when you saw that filing, that filing was for a very short period of time. And it was when we were just started, barely started. We had a day yesterday, and we had a day the day before yesterday, and we’re raising a lot of money. And a lot of money is coming in on the small, you know, on the small line, on the small dollars. We’re also raising a lot from the bigger donors, and that’s money going to the party, by the way. That’s money going to the party, because frankly, it’s, in a certain way, easier for me just to self-fund, because you know, when I see the billions of dollars that people waste, and they hire consultants and the consultants make millions and millions of dollars, I honestly don’t believe you have to do that, Hugh. You know, when I went to New Hampshire, they all told me, you remember this. You were one of them that said it was certainly different, but they said no, you have to go to everybody’s house, and you have to go here, and you have to go there in these little groups. And I did big rallies all the time. And I said why isn’t a big rally better? And the only reason they don’t do them is because they couldn’t get the people. And I won New Hampshire in a landslide, and won, you know, just about, and we won, you know, I ended up winning, I think it was 37 states and almost 14 million votes. And it’s been a, it’s been really good. No, I’m enjoying it. I wish the press was fair. They’re really dishonest. The media is really dishonest. It’s incredible. This, now you know, obviously there’s some that are great, and some people that I have such respect for that are in the media, but generally speaking, the media is really, really dishonest, where you do good, and like for instance, over the last couple of weeks, I should have had a lot of great press for what I’ve done. You know, in Houston, we had a rally that maybe set records for the longest line trying to get into a place. I don’t know if you saw that, but it went…
DT: It stretched forever. In fact, the local, the local media was fantastic, in Dallas, in Houston, the local stuff is great. But the national media is really brutal. So you know, I’d love to see the media get honest.
HH: So last question, do you think you’re going to overwhelm her the way that Reagan overwhelmed Carter late, and the polls didn’t catch it, but that’s, I think that’s your theory of the case, that you won my hometown of Warren, Ohio. You got Democrats to reregister as Republicans in Ohio. Is that Donald Trump’s theory of the case? You’re just going to overwhelm her, because you’re not using metrics and you’re not using the online stuff?
DT: Well, you, you, well, we’re using online, etc., etc., but let me ask you. I hear I’m doing very well in Ohio. Is that a fact? I mean, you…
HH: Yes. You got a million people to reregister from Democrat to Republican.
DT: And that was fairly recently, right?
HH: Yes, in the Ohio primary. I mean, you lost to Kasich anyway, but you brought in a lot of new people, and Ohio’s very strong for you, and Pennsylvania is very strong for you. I don’t know about this New York and California gambit. Are you still wedded to those?
DT: Well, yeah, I’m wedded, but only in the term of speeches. I’m not going to spend huge amounts. You know, people are saying no other Republican would think about it, but it just seems that I have awfully big support in California, and awfully big support in New York. And I’ll tell you another one is Connecticut. I have tremendous support in Connecticut, and you know, I was down by three points in Connecticut, and most people say that no Republican can go there. You saw the recent poll in Connecticut, which really, really surprised people. So you know, I do think I have an obligation to at least give it a shot. I think New York may be, who knows? Another one is Michigan. I’m doing very well. I’m even in Michigan. That’s supposed to be one you’re not supposed to be winning, but I’ve been talking about cars and how we’re getting ripped off on trade, and our car companies especially, and you know, so I should do well in Michigan. So I think I play, Hugh, to a lot of states that are not in play for, you know, let’s say one of the other people that, you know, had they won.
HH: Will you help the down ticket Republicans, do you think?
DT: I think so. I think they’re making such mistakes by sort of saying they’ll do it independently. I don’t care. Honestly, I don’t think I’m going to be helped. I think that they are making such mistakes, and very, you know, look, again, you read about the few that are, like I’m doing very well in New Hampshire. I’m doing very well in Pennsylvania. I’m doing very well in some of these states. And I think that if they don’t embrace that, I’m fine with it. I think it’s great. I actually think in a certain way, I do better if they don’t embrace, because you know, I was an insurgent. I was, you know, an outsider. And I’m not sure that I’m not better being an outsider. But I have tremendous Republican support. And for the few people that want to play, you know, the independent game, I think that’s fine. I don’t, I really don’t care.
HH: So last question, the Cavaliers were down 3-1. No one had ever won from that position, and they did. You’re down seven points in some polls. Do you just dismiss them? Are you confident, Donald Trump, you’re going to win? Are you calling your shot?
DT: Well, you can never be totally confident. I’m, I guess I’m down five points, and pretty even in two of your big states, and I heard there was a very good Florida poll that just came out, too. so I think I’m doing well there. You know, I think I’m going to win. I think people want change. They don’t want to have four more years of Obama, and I think it’ll be worse than Obama. But they don’t want to have four more years of incompetence, four more years of Clinton with the scandals all the time. I think we’re going to win. I think that the polls obviously are good. And you know, I haven’t started yet, as you know. We’re raising a lot of money. A lot of money is coming in, which you won’t see for another 30 days, I guess. I don’t know, you don’t see that, I guess, until the next filing. But a lot of money is coming in. And I’m willing to put up my own money, too. You know, people don’t talk about that, although they do a little bit. But I’m, I’ve got a lot of money, and I might put up my own money, too. I probably will at some point in this…