Waterloo, Iowa (CNN)Donald Trump has this to say to his doubters: He's not just a flavor of the week.
Trump: I'm no Michele Bachmann or Herman Cain
Speaking at a ballroom here in Waterloo, Trump addressed recent questions about if and when he might drop out of the presidential race. The billionaire businessman said the media have misinterpreted his remarks about his political prospects and pointed out that he's now been leading national polls for months.
"For three months, I've been a politician. And you know, for three months, we've been No. 1," Trump told the crowd.
He added that it was wrong to compare his front-runner status to that of Michele Bachmann or Herman Cain -- two one-time 2012 Republican presidential candidates who briefly topped the polls last cycle.
"You know they used to say, well, Michele Bachmann, nice woman, Herman Cain, good guy, but they were there (at the top) for a week," Trump said. "We've been there now for three months, more than three months. So it's good."
The real estate magnate was asked over the weekend under what circumstances he would consider leaving the race.
"I'm not a masochist," Trump said on NBC's "Meet The Press." "If I was dropping in the polls where I saw that I wasn't going to win, why would I continue?"
Trump said Wednesday that reporters twisted those comments.
"All of a sudden, the next day the headlines are: 'Trump may get out,'" he said. "I didn't say that!"
Still, the bombastic candidate was reticent to label himself the next president of the United States.
"If I get elected president," Trump began to say, when supporters interrupted by yelling out "when."
"I say 'if' because honestly, look I'm running against a lot of different people and who knows what happens. But -- so I have to say 'if,'" he said. "I don't want to be too braggadocious, does that make sense?"