Businessman Donald Trump said Ron Paul has “zero chance” of securing the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Trump made the comments in a joint press conference with 2012 Republican candidate Newt Gingrich. He was responding to Ron Paul’s rejection of attending an upcoming GOP debate moderated by him.
Gingrich also defended the selection of Trump at the press conference.
He first pointed out that the office of the U.S. presidency has been occupied by an actor (Ronald Reagan) and a peanut farmer (Jimmy Carter). Therefore, it is not farfetched to bring in a showman like Trump into the picture.
Gingrich added that Trump knows about job creation because the latter’s business empire employs many people.
Paul’s camp, in their rejection of attending the Trump-moderated GOP debate, said Trump’s selection to the event is “beneath the office of the Presidency and flies in the face of that office’s history and dignity.”
Paul’s camp is not only concerned about the fact that Trump is a reality TV personality; they are also offended with his multiple flirtations with the running for president (and his failure to ever follow through) and his canceling of an Iowa fundraiser appearance last spring.
Monday’s press conference is not the first time Trump hit at Paul.
“Few people take Ron Paul seriously and many of his views and presentation make him a clown-like candidate,” Trump told the New York Daily News on Sunday.
In a recent Des Moines Register poll, Paul polled second at 18 percent. Gingrich was first at 25 percent and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was third at 16 percent.
The New York Daily news pointed out that Trump, at his peak in 2011, polled first at 26 percent.