A more-subdued-than-usual Donald Trump nevertheless claimed he hasn’t “even started” going after his Democratic 2016 presidential rival Hillary Clinton during an appearance Monday on “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.”
Trump, who’s seen his lead over his Republican opponents in New Hampshire widen and his close race with Sen. Ted Cruz for first place tighten in recent polls, continued to bask in his encouraging numbers and ability to draw large crowds as the race begins to be handed over to the voters to decide.
Still, Trump resisted taking specific shots at his GOP competition, expressing relief that some of the other contenders have “rapidly” begun dropping out. Instead, he focused on handicapping the Democratic race, deducing that Clinton is “having a tough time” against Sen. Bernie Sanders (Trump called him “some guy”), who Trump believes should be “easy to beat.” And while Trump conceded the Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, is a “charming guy,” he said “time will tell” whether Bill Clinton is a liability to her on the campaign trial.
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“I think she’ll win [the Democratic nomination], I guess, but she’s got the email problem, she got a big problem with emails and we’ll see what happens,” Trump said. “She certainly has a race that’s a lot different than people thought.”
“She came out with a little bit of statement about me, and then I came out with a very big statement about her and Bill, and she’s not talking about me all of a sudden,” Trump said to laughs from the audience. Trump predicted that if he were to face Clinton in a general election match-up that the U.S. might see the largest voter turnout in history. “That’s a good thing, because people don’t vote much in this country, so that would be an amazing thing if that happened,” Trump said.
He also threw cold water on the notion that his candidacy is the result of Democratic-masterminded conspiracy. Trump “set the record straight” by quoting more unnamed polls which he claimed showed him “beating her easily and substantially.” He also retroactively claimed victory in “most” of the previous debates while teasing the upcoming GOP face-off this Thursday.
“I hope to do well, but you never know, folks, you never know,” an almost modest Trump said.
Although Fallon raised the specter of “the Muslim thing,” he largely played nice with the real estate mogul. “Security is tight,” he joked during the show’s opening monologue. “The Secret Service just built a giant wall around the building, and we had to pay for it.”
During their two-part interview, Fallon asked Trump about his uncharacteristic reaction to President Obama’s tearful remarks when he revealed his most recent gun control executive orders. “I thought that was heartfelt, I thought it was real,” Trump said. “It’s a tough situation, we’re in a tough situation, but we have to protect our Second Amendment, it’s very important.”
When prompted about whether he ever cries, Trump said: “Yeah, when I was 1 [year old] I cried.”
Later, Fallon conducted a mock job interview with Trump, in which the candidate claimed that his greatest strength is “believe it or not, bringing people together” and that his biggest weakness is “that I never forget.”
“I’m too nice too long and when … somebody takes advantage of a situation I become too bad for too long,” Trump said without citing specific examples. “So I think maybe I have to have a little bit of a shorter memory, wouldn’t be so bad.”