Donald Trump predicted he'll face Hillary Clinton in the general election and the two will break turnout records
Trump said Jeb Bush, who exited the race Saturday, "fought really hard" but "this was not really his time"
Donald Trump’s general election prediction: He’ll face Hillary Clinton, and the two will bring out “the greatest turnout in history.”
“Frankly, if she gets indicted, that’s the only way she’s going to be stopped. I think it’s going to be Hillary and myself,” the Republican real estate mogul said Sunday in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
Trump’s comments came the morning after he cruised to victory in South Carolina’s primary – giving him two wins and one second-place finish in the first three GOP contests.
Trump said he expects to win enough delegates to clinch the Republican nomination before the party’s convention in July.
“I don’t think we’re going to have a convention, a brokered convention. I think it’s unlikely. I think I’m doing better than that,” he said.
He laid out his own road map to general election victory, pinpointing two states – Michigan and New York – that he said he’d sweep into the Republican column.
“I’ll win states that aren’t in play. I’ll win states that Republicans don’t even think of,” Trump said.
And he predicted he’d earn a “tremendous amount” of support from African-Americans.
“I’m going to do great with the African-Americans. African-American youth is 58% unemployed. African-Americans in their prime are substantially worse off than the whites in their prime, and it’s a very sad situation,” he said.
For Trump, Saturday’s South Carolina victory was an important one in stunting challenges from top-tier rivals like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz – but also because it knocked his foil, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, out of the race.
Trump didn’t mention Bush in his victory speech Saturday night, and he noted the attacks that Bush and his allies had launched against Trump on Sunday.
“He’s a good person, he’s a good man, but he really hit me with a lot of commercials,” Trump said.
Still, Trump offered some praise to Bush, saying he “fought very hard” and could have defeated Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination in 2012.
“It was really just not his time. You know, four years ago, I think he would have won,” Trump said, adding: “But this was not really his time.”
Trump acknowledged he could still lose the GOP nominating contest – “certainly nobody’s unstoppable,” he said – and launched another broadside at establishment politics, saying that “the day I decided to run, which was June 16, I became an outsider.”
He even broached the subject of the military-industrial complex in lamenting the way Washington operates.
“The drug companies control the drug industry, I mean it’s ridiculous, and the military companies – I mean it’s ridiculous,” Trump said.
And he explained away a moment in Thursday night’s CNN town hall in South Carolina in which he seemed to suggest he supports the individual health insurance mandate included in President Barack Obama’s health care law.
“We were talking over each other, and it wasn’t Anderson’s fault,” Trump said of CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who was the moderator. “There’s no mandate, no mandatory anything. We’re gonna end Obamacare, we’re gonna terminate it. It’s going to be repealed and it’s going to be replaced by something much better.”
Still, he expressed his support for at least some forms of government-provided health care.
“People are not going to die on the streets of any city or of any place if I’m president,” Trump said. “And every time I say it, I get standing ovations from Republicans. … We have to take care of people.”
In an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Trump also defended his foreign policy credentials, saying other Republicans could “start World War III over Syria.”
He said he has “great knowledge for the military and I have better vision for Syria than a lot of the so-called ‘great military geniuses’ that are saying how to fight the War with Syria.”
“And in my opinion, they’re doing just the opposite. I mean, are we going to start World War III over Syria?” he said. “Are we going to be there for the next 40 years? We’ve been there for 15 years in the Middle East and much more than that, probably.”
Trump also defended his attacks on Ted Cruz’s Christianity – particularly after Trump criticized Pope Francis for questioning his own faith over his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I’m not questioning his Christianity, I just think it’s inappropriate to hold up the Bible and lie,” Trump said of Cruz.
Trump has promised to release his tax returns – but he won’t put a timetable on when those will come.
On ABC’s “This Week,” he said he won’t release them by the March 1 “Super Tuesday” set of contests.
“No, no, no, I won’t. I’m working on it. We’re working on, they’re massive,” he said.
Asked of they’ll come before he’s the Republican nominee, Trump said “at some point” he’d release them.
“There’s no rush,” he said. “Why is there such a rush? I’m supposed to rush like crazy?”
Trump added: “By the way, I released my financial statements which are much more important. I released my financial statements and everybody was amazed at how big and how great the company is, much bigger than they thought and it’s a great company. Very little debt, tremendous cash flow, some of the best assets in the world.”