Donald Trump, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, admitted to identifying with some Democratic principles and criticized how former President George W. Bush handled the economy in his last years in office.
“I identify with some things as a Democrat,” Trump told the hosts on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on July 24. He also stated that he was “never a Bush fan,” referring to the 43rd president who led the country from 2001 to 2009.
“When the economy crashed so horribly under George Bush because of mistakes they made having to do with banking and lots of other things, I don’t think the Democrats would have done that,” Trump said.
“Now, I see it both ways, but I hated what I was watching in the last two years of George Bush, because it was a bubble that was waiting to explode. What they were doing was a death wish, and I saw that.”
Since his announcement that he was running for president on June 16, Trump has been in numerous controversies, from his comments about illegal immigrants from Mexico to his most recent comments criticizing Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
Earlier in the week, Trump gave an interview to political news source The Hill where he said he would consider a third-party White House run if he did not win the Republican nomination. That rhetoric seemed to be toned down during his MSNBC appearance a few days later.
“I’m a conservative, I want to run as a Republican, I’m leading every poll. I do not want to do independent at all. Now, if I’m treated poorly, that’s one thing. If I’m treated well and with great respect and don’t win, I would not do that.”
Despite his conservative leanings, Trump revealed to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in 2004 that he was inclined to support Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry over incumbent Bush.
“In many cases, I probably identify more as Democrat,” Trump said in the interview 11 years ago. “It just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans. Now, it shouldn’t be that way. But if you go back, I mean it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats … But certainly we had some very good economies under Democrats, as well as Republicans. But we’ve had some pretty bad disaster under the Republicans.”