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October 18th, 2011

Trump Praises Bachmann, but Does Not Endorse

Celebrity real estate mogul Donald Trump called Michele Bachmann a “very strong woman” and “terrific person” during a 50-minute conference call Monday evening. Bachmann teamed with Trump to answer voters’ questions, including one about the Minnesota congresswoman’s recent struggles on the campaign trail.

Over the weekend, Bachmann heavily hyped a pending “important announcement” from her campaign. Some in the media speculated that a big endorsement was in the works. Instead, the big announcement turned out to be the “tele-town hall” with Trump. Bachmann made it clear in the opening minutes of the call that Trump was “not on the call this evening because he’s endorsing my candidacy.”

Although Bachmann’s campaign announced the event Saturday afternoon, Trump was apparently unaware of the it until Monday morning. “I didn’t even know I was doing it till you just told me,” Trump said on Fox News.

Bachmann’s poll numbers have dropped since her Ames Straw Poll victory in mid-August. Her campaign clearly hoped this conference call would garner some publicity and renewed interest. According to Bachmann, more than 200,000 people participated in the conference call. She repeatedly praised Trump as “one of the most admired, respected men in business today.”

The two fielded questions about a variety of topics, including small businesses, Solyndra, energy independence, ObamaCare and the Wall Street bailouts. Trump voiced his displeasure with politicians for not focusing more on China and OPEC. “I’m so disappointed in both the Democrats and Republicans, because nobody until very recently has gotten loud about OPEC and China,” Trump said. He later criticized the GOP presidential candidates for not bring those issues up during the debates.

Trump flirted with a presidential run of his own and even vaulted to the top of the polls after repeatedly demanding President Obama reveal his birth certificate. Once he did, Trump’s appeal quickly faded and he opted not to run. However, several candidates have met privately with the business magnate, hoping for his support.

One questioner on the conference call asked about a Bachmann/Trump ticket. Michele Bachmann never responded to the question, while Trump deflected it by praising the entire field. “I have gotten to know Michele very well, and some of the other candidates and it’s a far cry from what we have there now,” he said.

For people hoping to pick up some sage advice from “The Apprentice” star, he said it is a great time to purchase a new home. “This is a great time right now to buy a house, especially if it’s owned by a bank because the banks are sitting on millions of houses,” Trump said. “It’s a great time to go out and buy a house that you never thought would be possible. Try and get one that’s bank owned and make them do a 25-year mortgage and a low interest rate.”

The final question was about Bachmann’s campaign and what she can do to return to the top tier. “She’s universally respected by the other candidates,” Trump responded. “She can work really hard. She’s getting some tremendous points across. Whether or not those points resonate, we’ll see.”

Bachmann continued to field questions after Donald Trump left the call, but not before making a fundraising pitch to the listeners. Bachmann’s campaign spent $2 million more than they raised in the last quarter.

It was an interesting session for voters. If Bachmann begins mentioning China and OPEC frequently on the campaign trail, we will know she is listening closely to Donald Trump’s advice.

Photo courtesy of Dave Davidson,

About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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