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Donald Trump gave an illuminating interview on “Today” Monday (Dec. 5), wherein he addresses everything from the debate he’s moderating to Newt Gingrich to whether he’d get in the race as a third-party candidate.

On his debate, which candidate Ron Paul has likened to a circus and which Paul and Jon Huntsman say they will not attend:

“I think most candidates are going to join and I think those two candidates have zero chance, so it makes no difference.

A lot of the Republicans, top Republicans, asked me to do the debate. I think it’ll get tremendous ratings … I have a lot of people, millions of people, that follow me because they’re tired of seeing this country, our great country the United States, getting ripped off by China, by OPEC, by almost every country that does business with us. I’m tired of it and a lot of other people are tired of it and I think the candidates know.”

As to finding the right candidate and why it’s appropriate for him to moderate a debate:

“When I left, I was leading in the polls … I want a great candidate, a candidate that is going to beat President Obama. It’s very important, it’s vital to this country. If we don’t get that candidate, we are in big, big trouble because the country is in big, big trouble. It’s being led down the drain.”

On Newt Gingrich’s comments that poor children have no role models that actually get up and go to work:

“It wasn’t maybe politically correct, but it happens to be the truth. I think one of the reasons he’s surging, he’s like a rocket ship, is because of the fact that he tells it like it is.”

On the role model for poor, inner city kids:

“They have a role model in President Obama. Let Obama be the role model. Unfortunately, he hasn’t turned out to be much of a role model.”

As to whether he’d run as a third-party candidate:

“The equal time provisions don’t allow me to run until May when I’ a free agent … the fact is that if the wrong candidate is nominated to run, if I think it’s a candidate that’s not going to win and not very good, and that could happen, I guess … if the economy continues to be bad, and I think it will because we have incompetent leadership, I would certainly think about running as an independent.”

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."