Trump: ‘I will be a great unifier’

Updated 8:50 AM EDT, Mon October 26, 2015
donald trump iowa polls johns tsr dnt_00002626.jpg
donald trump iowa polls johns tsr dnt_00002626.jpg
Now playing
00:47
Donald Trump says he will be a 'great unifier'
Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein waits to be introduced prior to a press conference at the National Press Club August 23, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee/Getty Images
Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein waits to be introduced prior to a press conference at the National Press Club August 23, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
01:44
Jill Stein raises millions for recount
Former Democratic US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to staff and supporters at the New Yorker hotel after her defeat in the presidential election November 9, 2016 in New York. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Former Democratic US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to staff and supporters at the New Yorker hotel after her defeat in the presidential election November 9, 2016 in New York. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:14
Scientists urge Clinton to call for recount
LYNDEN, WA - MAY 07: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a speech during a rally at the The Northwest Washington Fair and Event Center on May 7, 2016 in Lynden, Washington. Trump became the Republican presumptive nominee following his landslide win in Indiana on Tuesday. (Photo by Matt Mills McKnight/Getty Images)
Matt Mills McKnight/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
LYNDEN, WA - MAY 07: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a speech during a rally at the The Northwest Washington Fair and Event Center on May 7, 2016 in Lynden, Washington. Trump became the Republican presumptive nominee following his landslide win in Indiana on Tuesday. (Photo by Matt Mills McKnight/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:25
Donald Trump's wild ride
Now playing
01:46
Trump's challenges in the Middle East
donald trump undocumented immigrants crime fact check origwx ty_00013807.jpg
donald trump undocumented immigrants crime fact check origwx ty_00013807.jpg
Now playing
02:47
Fact checking Trump on crimes by immigrants
Mark Makela/Getty Images/Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Now playing
01:26
Trump vs. the tape on Obama and the protester
Now playing
01:28
Trump compares Clinton email probe to Watergate
Members of the Secret Service rush Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump off the stage at a campaign rally in Reno, Nev., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/AP
Members of the Secret Service rush Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump off the stage at a campaign rally in Reno, Nev., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Now playing
01:20
Donald Trump rushed off stage by Secret Service
AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:16
Trump reads letter from Patriot's coach at rally
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during rally at the Atkinson Country Club in Atkinson, New Hampshire on November 4, 2016.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during rally at the Atkinson Country Club in Atkinson, New Hampshire on November 4, 2016.
Now playing
01:56
Trump on US officials: 'What a group of losers'
donald trump nice and cool pensacola fl bts_00001523.jpg
donald trump nice and cool pensacola fl bts_00001523.jpg
Now playing
00:49
Trump's mantra in campaign's final week: Stay on point
donald trump nice to hillary clinton and democrats orig cm_00000000.jpg
donald trump nice to hillary clinton and democrats orig cm_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:52
Audio of Trump praising the Clintons and Democrats
cuomo lewandowski hillary clinton email exchange newday_00002327.jpg
cuomo lewandowski hillary clinton email exchange newday_00002327.jpg
Now playing
01:28
Cuomo grills Lewandowski on Clinton email 'hypocrisy'
Now playing
01:49
Meet the other Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Story highlights

Trump flung criticism at politicians spanning the spectrum

But, he said, "I will be a great unifier for our country"

CNN —  

Donald Trump believes he would “absolutely” be a force for bipartisanship, but in an interview this weekend neither Republicans nor Democrats escaped a barrage of attacks from the GOP presidential candidate.

2016 election candidates

Trump flung criticism at politicians spanning the spectrum from presidential primary opponents Jeb Bush and Ben Carson to the Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and the man he hopes to succeed, President Barack Obama, in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper that aired Sunday on “State of the Union.”

And he lamented the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s questioning of Clinton, a hearing he called “very partisan” that “hurts both parties” and “hurts the country.”

“The level of hatred between Republicans and Democrats was unbelievable. The level of – I’ve never seen anything like it,” Trump said. “I’m going to unify. This country is totally divided. Barack Obama has divided this country unbelievably. And it’s all, it’s all hatred, what can I tell you. I’ve never seen anything like it…I’ve gotten along with Democrats and I’ve gotten along with Republicans. And I said, that’s a good thing.”

Tapper asked Trump if his presidency would result in an era of bipartisanship.

“I absolutely think so,” he said, adding, “I will be a great unifier for our country.”

Trump says world would be better with dictators still in power

While Clinton has taken flak for what she’s described as a tongue-in-cheek statement that the enemies she’s most proud of having are Republicans, Trump said he doesn’t consider Clinton an enemy – simply, “an opponent.”

Still, for all the talk of bipartisanship and unity, Trump did not pull punches as he vigorously took on his opponents.

Trump hit Bush, the former governor of Florida, and Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, with the same line of attack – one he has frequently used against Bush, but has only just begun using against Carson, whose reserved and calm tone strongly contrasts with Trump’s brash appeal.

“(Bush is) a low-energy person. By the way, Ben Carson is a very low-energy person. We need high-energy people,” Trump told Tapper. “I think Ben Carson is a very low-energy person. Actually, I think Ben Carson is lower energy than Jeb, if you want to know the truth. We need strong energy.”

Trump’s dipping poll numbers in Iowa

Trump also knocked both Bush and Carson for the support they receive from super PACs, groups that can take in unlimited amounts of money.

The developer dinged super PACs as a “big fat scam” and a “disaster” in the “State of the Union” interview, a line of criticism that he brought out more arduously than ever this weekend, just days after the super PAC backing his candidacy shuttered its operation after the group’s ties to the campaign drew scrutiny last week.

But Trump suggested that he may turn his sights away from Bush and toward Carson.

That’s because Carson is now the man to beat in Iowa, stealing first place from Trump (who was relegated to second place) in two polls released Thursday and Friday.

“The thing with Ben is he’s got a very good PAC, and he’s got people running his PAC, and in my opinion, he’s got people all over Iowa from his PAC, and they are running – Ben doesn’t even go to Iowa that much. And he’s doing well in Iowa?” Trump said. “I did talk about Jeb because I thought Jeb was going to be the front-runner. Obviously, he’s no longer the front-runner. I probably won’t talk about him so much anymore.”

In a previously released segment of this interview, Trump also knocked Carson for his stances on immigration and questioned his capabilities as a negotiator.

Trump tied in his “low-energy” attacks with what he dubbed the “medieval times” that the world is currently living in – saying that as ISIS beheads people, the U.S. needs a strong leader.

But as to whether he would approve a special forces operation to rescue hostages being held by ISIS – similar to the one that resulted in the death of an American soldier this week– Trump demurred.

“I think I might, but I’d have to look at the situation,” Trump said.

Pushed further to explain what the Trump doctrine would be in such situations, Trump explained that it “is very simple.”

“It’s strength. It’s strength. Nobody is going to mess with us. Our military is going to be made much stronger,” Trump said.