Underdog presidential contender Donald Trump came out in full force during a 20-minute interview on CNN’s New Day this morning. He lashed out at Ben Carson, who now holds a lead in the Republican primary polls, as well as Marco Rubio. And then he went after CNN itself, critiquing the on-air style of CNN’s Sara Murray for her coverage of his book signing yesterday.
Trump told Chris Cuomo that Murray “didn’t report [my book] very well.” Trump went on to say, “Either she’s a very unemotional person or she’s not a very good reporter.” Trump also continued to attack Carson over his ability to manage national debt, before continuing his disparagement of Marco Rubio, who is also rising in the polls, over his private credit-card debt. (The day before, at an event for his book, Trump told the crowd that Rubio “certainly lives above his means, there is no question about that.”)
But the real subject as always was the Trump star power. The interview was hashtagged on the screen #trumponcnn, as if to emphasize the commercial showmanship of the election. “Nobody gets ratings like me,” Trump said. “If [Marco] Rubio was there, you would have had two people watching.”
Then, when talking about his SNL hosting gig, he said: “It started off as a skit,” but then, “When they took it up to Lorne Michaels — who’s an amazing guy, he’s run Saturday Night Live brilliantly for many years, and he’s a friend of mine — he said, ‘Well, wait a minute, he’ll do the skit. Will he do the whole thing?’ And he called me and said, ‘Will you host Saturday Night Live? And I said, ‘It’s an honor.’”
Cuomo noted Carson had said doing SNL wasn’t serious enough for a candidate for president, to which Trump responded: “Ben Carson would have done it in two seconds if they asked him! … But if they asked him, nobody would watch. So they wouldn’t ask him! Because they are about ratings and they are about current culture.”
When Cuomo asked Trump whether his temperament was a problem for voters, Trump responded, “I have the ultimate temperament, my temperament is great, you can’t have a bad temperament and build a great company.”