In a recent interview, Donald Trump suggested that he is transitioning his presidential campaign to go the long haul and preparing to fight in the general election. He also noted that many of the current GOP candidates should drop out of the race, considering their low polling numbers.
“I didn't know it would be this quick,” Trump told USA Today in an interview published Oct. 22.
"It" marked roughly his 100th day of leading national polls as well as 100 days from his first official test: the Feb. 1, 2016, Iowa caucuses.
The GOP front-runner said that as the crowded Republican primary field narrows, he may grow less bombastic.
"You know, before, we had 17 people and we were all out there fighting and I had people out there hitting me," the billionaire real estate mogul said.
But now, "we're so far out in front that there's no reason to be quite the way we were, and I do want to tone it down a little bit, but at the same time I don't want to lose the energy,” he said.
“We have tremendous energy going for us; our campaign has tremendous energy," he added.
Toning it down might be tough for a candidate who has typically lashed out at those gaining on him in the polls. A new Quinnipiac University, released Oct. 22, shows former neurosurgeon Ben Carson with a 28-20 lead over Trump in Iowa, according to CBS News.
But Trump may well have an answer for that too.
He told USA Today that he is already considering running mates should he get the GOP nod, and the list of candidates includes those currently running against him.
Trump suggested during an Oct. 20 interview with CNN “New Day” host Alisyn Camerota that he wouldn’t rule out a run with Carson.
“Well I like him, he likes me. I mean, stranger things have happened,” he said. “But it's too early to think about.”
Trump also told USA Today that some of the remaining GOP contenders need to drop out of the race, particularly those who can’t meet a national threshold of 3 percent support. Those would include Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York governor George Pataki, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.
“I think it's an embarrassment to the party when Bobby Jindal gets up on stage and when Pataki, who has zero,” Trump said. “You look at Lindsey Graham; it's very sad. Lindsey Graham, he's a sitting senator. He's at zero. And you have a number of zeros and I would think they should get on with their life and go back home.”